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Shanghai Travel Blog

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Argh!!!!!!!!

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 skyline across from the Bund.
It seemed that we were not alone in our thinking as later on we had to cross the main road through an underpass and it took about 10 minutes! There were hundreds and hundreds of people pushing and shoving to get through, absolute mayhem!


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.

Nanjing Road at night
Everytime someone new came we had to start the whole process again, at one point Lisa even had a couple of small children asking her a series of IQ questions!! It was one of the most bizzare moments of my life, they didn't want anything from us, they weren't threatening, they just wanted to know EVERYTHING!! The first 2 guys that had come up had a encyclopedia knowledge of the UK, even asking me if it was true that the M1 went from London to the Midlands! I could not believe some of the things he was saying, and asked him where he had been in England (he was talking about specific streets in London). He looked at me proudly and just said that he had never been but he had the Dorling Kindersley guide and he loved reading it. Wow, these guys knew England better than us, and by reading a guide book! One guy came up and introduced his 6 year old daughter to me, getting her to stand in front of me and practice her English that she had learnt in school.
Backflips on stilts!
In the end we had to leave as we had tickets to a show, but they would have kept us there all night I suspect!


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.

Enjoying the peace at Yuyuan Gardens


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.

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Argh!!!!!!!!
Argh!!!!!!!!
The skyline across from the Bund.
The skyline across from the Bund.
Nanjing Road at night
Nanjing Road at night
Backflips on stilts!
Backflips on stilts!
Enjoying the peace at Yuyuan Garde…
Enjoying the peace at Yuyuan Gard…
Shanghai
photo by: Chokk