Take that Shanghai

Trip Start Jul 03, 2009
1
28
45
Trip End Aug 16, 2009


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow
Where I stayed
The Westin on the Bund

Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Joe is often mocked at his love of itineraries and specific planning. To some it might seem anal and unnecessary, not spontaneous or fun. I've always had an appreciation for his gift for details and have felt the consequences when we didn’t take advantage of his skills. Today we were in full New York detailed itienrary mode, ready to see what Shanghai really has to offer.

We began with a hearty breakfast at the hotel, even discovering a new fruit with a fuscia rind and a white melon like fruit with black dots that looked like poppy seeds on the inside. Anyone know what this might be?

Onto the concierge desk to get some addresses written out in Mandarin for the cabs that we planned on taking. There would be no messing around today, no scams, no leaving anything to chance. We also booked some tickets to Shanghai Circus World, an acrobatic show recommended in our guide book. Our first stop via cab was the Shanghai Art Museum. In line, the staring continued. A little girl behind us got in trouble because she kept reaching out to touch me. It’s an odd sensation to constantly feel eyes on you, but with nine hours of sleep, a good breakfast, and a loose t-shirt hiding the girls we were more equipped to handle the unwanted attention. The museum was easily the most boring I’ve ever been to. We both almost fell asleep on a bench although Joe just claims it was because he was tired (after ten hours of sleep..). There were scrolls of calligraphy, jade, stamps, zzzzzzz oh I’m sorry, I just nodded off for a second. Joe did manage to get some funny pictures of some signs with an "x" through a hand to indicate “no touching” next to some statues without arms.

We then moved on to the Shanghai Museum of Urban Planning. This was an awesome museum outlining the plans for the city and for China in general for the 2010 World Expo. Take a look at the photos of the mini city of Shanghai built out of wood. It was incredibly impressive. The slogan for the expo is “Better city, better life.” One can’t help but wonder what the people really think as their homes are demolished so that the world may see a cleaner higher class China that they no longer have a place in.

After the museums we decided to brave the subway system and were pleasantly surprised at the easy to read maps and lines. We both felt more comfortable knowing that we could get around on our own.

It was time for lunch in the French Concession area which if any Americans are reading this and want a great place to stay in, choose this neighborhood. The Xin Tiandi mall district is fantastic with tiny alleys full of high end shopping and great restaurants like our lunch stop, The Crystal Jade. Even though the opportunity to have pig throat, pigeon and bull frog were offered, we kept it pretty safe with the restaurants famous hand pulled noodles (amazing), soup dumplings, fried noodles with cabbage, a flour roll which was insanely delicious to me and disgusting to Joe (score). We sampled all of their specialities and were prepared to pay handsomely but were charged a mere $35.00 American.  Fancy and cheap.,Shanghai is looking better already.

We then headed to the First Meeting House of the Communist Party. It was amazing to discover how young the founders were and to see the beautiful space that the party had to meet in.

Next up was the futuristic World Financial Center, our favorite building in the city that looks like a bottle opener.  They have a unique observation tower with a glass bottom on the 100th floor of the building. Unfortunately, just as we got to the deck a thick line of clouds rolled in. It was still really fun and we tried to wait out the clouds to no avail.

It was time to take the subway to Shanghai Circus World. I was a little wary as I hate the American circus, but our book promised a non-cheesy acrobatic experience. The show was really fantastic with lots of different almost unbelieveable acts of flexibility, strength and bravery with just a touch of stupidity. Safety standards are not the same here as we watched an acrobat on a circus wheel about to juggle fire when his costume seemed to set ablaze. He just shook out the fire and kept on spinning. He managed to get one juggle in before he seemed to give up. There was also a motorcycle wheel of death which we’ve all seen at our local circus except this time they stuffed nine motorcycles in the tiny cage. We almost asphyxiated in the audience from the gasoline odor, I can’t imagine what the performers go through.

It was late and our day was long, time to head back to our hotel. We took an annoying rainy walk home on Nanjing Road being constantly harassed to buy watches, bags, umbrellas and roller attachments for our shoes. Time for bed.

TSHIRT PHRASE OF THE DAY WORN BY A YOUNG GIRL: I love Katy and We Are Getting Married.

Tomorrow: More from Shanghai
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: