guys reading newspapers that are posted each morning on the street
We started our day sightseeing in Shanghai like we started it in Seoul, laying out a fairly flexible itinerary for the day, and then walking to a subway station to take the train to our first destination, in this case the Nanjing Lu shopping district on the other side of the river. First order of business for me was to buy a camera to replace the one that was stolen. We found a camera store within minutes and 20 minutes after that I had a new Canon 12 mega pixel. I think from now on Lauren will be more than willing to lend me anything she wants upgraded.
The shopping district didn’t hold much attraction for Alan and me so we headed up the street to the Bund.
Some places are forever associated with a landmark and in the case of Shanghai it’s the Bund. Also known as Zhongshan Lu, the Bund was at the heart of colonial Shanghai, flanked on one side by the Huangpu River and on the other by the hotels, banks, offices and clubs that were the grand symbols of western commercial power. Most of the old buildings are still in place such as the Peace Hotel (see pic) noted for its jazz scene in the ‘30’s, and the Hong Kong .& Shanghai Bank. Rubbing the paws and heads of the large bronze lions in front of bank is supposed to bring you luck but I figured I’d need to carry one around with me to make up for this past week.
people hang out their laundry to dry and it doesn't matter if it's a high rise luxury apartment or this
When we walked up the steps from the street level to the Bund, the view of the skyline of the Pudong district was incredible (see pics).
Probably the most impressive or at least dramatic of all the buildings was the Oriental Pearl Tower (see pics) which is on virtually every postcard and photograph of Shanghai taken in the past 10 years. Skyscrapers in China, and particularly in Shanghai, are very dramatic in style and become absolutely visually dazzling at night when they are lit up in ways simply not seen in the west. Uses of brightly colored and moving lights that accentuate, highlight and outline buildings make for a truly dramatic presentation.
The Peace Hotel
Walking down the Bund is at times like running a gauntlet of people hawking things from ‘Rolexes’(see pic), to barbecued octopus tentacles (see pic).
It really became annoying although wasn’t nearly as bad as the Yu Gardens and Bazaar where we were constantly being hounded by people selling stuff. The old style buildings of the Yu Gardens bazaar (see pics) aren’t really old but were interesting nonetheless. The Huxingting Teahouse was built in 1784 by cotton merchants and only became a teahouse in the late 19th century. Apparently President Clinton and Queen Elizabeth have been there, though I doubt they had to go through what we did. Toward the end of the day, maybe around 4:00 or so, Alan and I spotted a Starbucks in the Yu Gardens & Bazaar and waded through the crowd to get some coffee. I ordered a turnover and 4 shots of espresso, which I tried to convey by holding up 4 fingers and saying es…press..ohhhh. I got 8 shots and god only knows what I paid for it. We went over to the zig-zag bridge (see pic) to drink our coffees, which protects the teahouse because apparently evil spirits can’t turn corners.
guy carrying baskets full of...something
If only it worked as well with guys selling Rolexes. As I leaned against the railing by the pond of the teahouse, I heard for the umpteenth time someone snorting phlegm with all their might. I mean, it sounded like this person’s life depended on getting this stuff out. When I looked over, and please don’t ask me why I felt compelled to do this, I saw that the snorter was a woman who had to be 90 years old. In a way I had to hand it to her, I mean, it sounded like she had the snorting strength of a 25 year old man. After she accumulated enough she turned around and spit it into the coy pond. I reflexively closed my eyes tightly and felt my stomach turn. I took my coffee and half a turnover and threw it in the garbage. As we walked away, we passed another person doing the exact same thing. Never in my life have I seen so many people do such a disgusting thing. Alan told me that this repulsive habit is becoming a real health problem in China.
girl carrying baskets full of...something else
Boy, who would’ve thought that millions of people spitting all over the place wouldn’t be sanitary.
what would a group of pictures be without a statue?
After the teahouse phlegmfest, we walked over to the Jinmao Dasha, one of the tallest buildings in China, to get a drink on the 87th floor in a bar called the Cloud 9. The view as the sun went down was spectacular, particularly of the Bund across the river (see pics). It was actually a very nice, dimly lit, multi-level lounge with a 360 degree view of the city rather than a tacky observation tower type of thing. It was full of tourists, with a fair representation from Germany for some reason, but still a very enjoyable way to end the day.
buildings on the Bund
Afterward, we walked back to the hotel, and tried to decide where to eat that night. After looking through both China books we brought with us, as well as local guides, we decided to head back to the Grape where we ate the night before. I guess we were both too tired to make a decision but also felt a little guilty for not choosing some other place in a city like Shanghai. It was fine though, we got right into the restaurant, ordered a bunch of dishes, including another, though different, whole fish dish, and loved it. We went a little easier on the TsingTao but still managed to finish off 4 of the big bottles. We hated to leave Shanghai and I must say I was more impressed with this city than any I can remember.