Last day in Shanghai

Shanghai Travel Blog

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Ancient stone Buddha carvings

Braving the heat on the last day, we went to the Shanghai museum which had been highly recommended and was free which was another point in it's favour! When we arrived we were faced with a queue of people waiting outside in the blazing heat, luckily we had packed our umbrella so joined the crowds and joined the heat experts in shading ourselves with our umbrella. I actually don't think it does much, I certainly felt just as hot with it up, but you feel the part!


After the obligatory bag check and scanners (gearing up for the Olympics) we went into the main hall and headed to the sculpture section.

Children playing in a waterfall outside the museum
Most of the sculptures were religious, various displays of the Buddha, in his differing forms. As Buddhism novices we were unsure as to why Thai Buddhas look so different to Chinese Buddhas (the more well known 'laughing Buddha'). Apparantly they are the same, just different countries depictions, just like a painting of Jesus might look different in England than in Africa. The Thai Buddha looks more 'Thai' and the Chinese looks more 'Chinese', although we've never seen a Chinese person that fat, so I don't know what he was eating!


There were several other rooms, displaying porcelain and other Chinese artifacts. I was dissappointed not to see any Willow pattern, although there were lots of plates, vases etc in a similar style. I've looked at the Willow pattern design with 3 classes in 2 different schools, and would have liked to have seen some here.

Looking back over to the Bund


My favourite desplay however was of the Olympic Games, ironically an exhibition shipped over from the British Museum! I really wanted to take a photo of the iconic discus sculpture but we weren't allowed. I even loitered around in the hall, on the right side of the do not take photos inside sign to sneak a picture down the corridor but the nasty guard stood in the way! We also learnt some more gay trivia (always a bonus), that the older men often 'celebrated their wins' with younger men which was apparantly a common practice that wives allowed. I suspect that hundreds of years ago, a really ugly old rich man couldn't find a nice young fellow to celebrate with and banned anyone else from doing the same, deeming it sick and wrong as he was so jealous. That's my opinion anyway!


In the evening we went under the river to the area of Pudong, the financial side of Shanghai.

The strange Bund Tunnel
The guide book recommended skipping the metro and going via the 'Bund Sightseeing Tunnel' as it was an 'experience'. They weren't lying. We paid for our ticket and got onto a little peoplemover style train and headed into the tunnel. Lights starting whizzing all around us and a rather ominous voiceover told us which sections we were going through, such a *cue loud booming voice* 'deep red hell' and 'particle displacement' (or something like that). At each section the light display would change, and as we went though 'hell' there were some strange floaty bodies that looked in at the windows..... I think it was thought up during some sort of drug induced hallucination, completely bizzarre!!


Our sleeper train the next day was far nicer than the one to Shanghai. On the train to Beijing they don't have the hard sleeper option, so we had a soft sleeper. We got complementary slippers and a little toothbrush kit, very exciting! It was the first time ever however that we were annoyed that a train was going to arrive earlier than scheduled, as the guard came round at just past 6am to wake everybody up.....

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Ancient stone Buddha carvings
Ancient stone Buddha carvings
Children playing in a waterfall ou…
Children playing in a waterfall o…
Looking back over to the Bund
Looking back over to the Bund
The strange Bund Tunnel
The strange Bund Tunnel
Another sleeper train, but look ho…
Another sleeper train, but look h…
Shanghai
photo by: Chokk