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Shanghai Travel Blog

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Kite sellers in the Peoples Square outside the Shanhai Museum.
Left rain in Melbourne (yay!) to head off to China.  Flight from Singapore to Shanghai was quite rough and it turns out that we were flying over "typhoon No. 2" which could explain the bumps!  Very impressed with Singapore Airlines - quite good legroom for those of us who are a bit longer - and terrific in-flight entertainment with movies on demand, even down the blunt end of the plane.  Our National Escort (Jason) and local guide (Zelda) met us at the airport after a very easy cruise through immigration before heading off on our hour-long trip to the hotel.  First impression of China was bright sunshine but thick smog - although we are assured by all Chinese guides that it is in fact NOT smog, but rather fog (apparently it's "natural") that just happens to hang around all day and every day.
Across the river from the Bund, slow boat vs high technology
  Didn't do very much on our first day, just had a rest and went for a walk around the hotel, which was near the central train station, and had dinner.  All meals are included in this tour package, along with a drink.  The beer in China is much lighter, in general, and not quite as fizzy so even Melissa quite liked it!
Our first day of touring started with a visit to the Shanghai Museum - 4 stories of Chinese antiquities and arts in quite a modern building next to the People's Park.  Outside there were kite vendors flying their wares and lots of small children running around.  The Museum had a special exhibition on of American Modern Art from the Guggenheim Foundation, so saw some quite interesting Rothko, Warhol and Pollock works.  We started at the top and worked down through bronzes, ceramics, Minority costumes, calligraphy etc..  We had 1 1/2 hours, and probably another 1/2-1 hour would have been good, but most enjoyable.  We then drove over to the Bund and took a 45 minute walk along the river.  Great fun to finally see the sights we've seen so many times on television like the Orient Pearl TV tower and the barges plying up and down the river.  Lots of street peddlars along the Bund, but they seem to be fairly well policed because they did not hassle you too much.  Apparently the record was 10 copy watches for 100 yuen (about A$18) but one man in our group got 11, so the local guide was very impressed with his bargaining skills!  After lunch we headed off to Nanjing Road,China's longest shopping strip, being about 5kms of shops.  They were mostly big chains and department stores, but also some smaller local shops.  Noel was a bit worried that Melissa might get carried away with so much retail entertainment available, but she's waiting for the markets and street vendors - much more fun.  Lots of spruikers for "genuine" luxury brands, but you have to follow them to a secret room and apparently you can get locked in the rooms if you don't buy something.  Luckily that didn't happen to any of us.  If your legs got a bit tired from all the walking, you could also jump on a little train that  zooms up and down the strip.  Went back near the Bund for dinner, for "hotpot" cuisine.  Very tasty, and much more interesting that last night's hotel fare.  The spicier the better for us, but most of the group are a bit older than us and not so keen on the Chinese cuisine so we'll see how it all goes.  After dinner we went for a walk around the French Concession, much of which has been bought by the actor Jackie Chan and restored.  The area looks great, but most of the shops are more exclusive and quite expensive.  A big restaurant and nightclub area which comes alive at night, the restoration of the old "shikumen" buildings has been done very well.
sylviandavid says:
sounds like a great beginning! Sylvia
Posted on: Feb 12, 2008
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Across the river from the Bund, s…
photo by: spocklogic