I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!
Shanghai Travel Blog› entry 9 of 42 › view all entries
After a fraught first morning spent changing rooms and arguing with reception about whether or not they would wash our clothes for free (as bugs got in my bag), we went for a walk down the Bund. The Bund is the walkway along the Huangpu River, filled with tourist stalls and sightseers. The view to the other side is impressive, with the TV tower dominating the skyline. The temperature was beyond belief, people were sheltering as best they could in any shade available but we had to concede defeat and come back in the early evening.
The next day we walked along East Nanjing Road, the main commercial area of Shanghai. Again it was hot, but we could stop and go into shops for air conditioning every now and then so it wasn't so bad! We walked up to People's Square and stopped for a rest on one of the benches. As soon as we sat down, a couple of Chinese guys came over to talk to us. This wasn't overly surprising as over the last couple of days we have been stopped by people asking for their photo taken with us and generally being intruiged by us. However, within 15 minutes we had an audience of about 25, with people coming over to see what the commotion was and they just staying! For 2 hours we had to field question after question about hobbies, music, film, jobs, money, anything and everything.
We had arranged tickets through our hostel to go and see the Shanghai Acrobatic Troup performing at the Cultural Theatre. The show was mainly for tourists, a selection of gymnastics, magic and circus skills called Huangpu Sensation. The show started with some children bending themselves into some quite insane positions, then there were some teenagers and then adults. Some of the acts were better than others, mainly acts which we see all the time at home didn't seem so impressive, things like juggling and plate spinning. However the actual acrobatics and gymnastic type displays were stunning. At several points the whole audience audibly winced at the contortions and displays of balance and strength.
On Monday we strolled (which makes it sound far more effortless than it actually was) down to Yuyuan Gardens, a beautiful preserved classical Chinese garden built in the 1500s. We had taken books with us and spent several hours wandering around and reading in the peace and quiet! In fact we actually lost track of time and only realised when a guard came over and told us 'Shut, leave now', oops! Just on the other side of the exit was a huge bazaar, with tourist shops and snack bars in elaborate Chinese style buildings. It all felt a little bit fake but was fun nonetheless, and made for some good photos.