Bund, Gardens, and Bazaar

Shanghai Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 12 › view all entries
When we got to Shanghai we got a taxi to our hostel. Our taxi driver got a little lost finding the hostel, but only charges us 50 yuan which was what it should have cost. I tried to give him a little extra as a tip, but he wouldn’t take it. We could tell he felt really bad and I was impressed by his gesture.

After getting settled in, we headed out to the city. Shanghai is very modern with the first skyscraper being built in 1992. The architecture was amazing as well. We were headed to the Shanghai Museum and got intercepted by three locals. They talked to us for a little bit then invited us to go to a tea Ceremony. We were hesitant, but went anyway. It was a little expensive, but we enjoyed it. After the fact we thought about things and tried to figure out if it was a scam or not. We later found out it was (and I was asked the following day to go be someone else!), but we still had a good time and enjoyed it. By the time we were done it was 4pm and they weren’t letting anymore people into the museum. We walked around People’s Square and decided to walk over to the Bund instead of taking the Metro. Because we walked, we ended up in the scenic tunnel and had to pay- go figure! The scenic tunnel had a little tram that took us to the other side. The Bund was interesting for the buildings. There was a lot of very different architecture and as nighttime fell buildings started to sparkle in lights. For dinner we did okay and found wonton soup with noodles. From there we headed back to the hostel to crash.

Saturday morning I tried to make some plans for the week, but was getting sad and frustrated. Mom and I got some bao on Nanjing Road- major shopping/walking street. They were really good. Then we went to Bread Talk and got a Raisin Pillow and a croissant covered in chocolate and nuts- it was fabulous! We made second attempt at the Shanghai Museum, but there was a huge line for security check and they limit the number inside at a time. The museum itself was free though. We walked around the park some more and then went back to the hostel so I could make some arrangements and change my room to a dorm. I got a train ticket to Suzhou for a day trip the next day.

After all that we headed to the airport. We took the metro and then the bullet train called the Maglev. We stood in like for awhile to check Mom in and even though we asked if we were in the right spot, it turned out we were in domestic. The guy in front of us did the same thing. Mom ended up spending most of her waiting time with me (although her flight was a little delayed). Of course as she was getting ready to go through security I started to cry. I wasn’t really crying because I was travelling the next week alone, but because I knew I was going to miss her. It’s such an adjustment to go from talking every day, laughing, hugs, just hanging out every day to nothing…it’s like quitting Mom cold turkey and it stinks! It was an amazing two weeks for sure…

Once I composed myself again, I headed back to the city center. Third time is the charm because this time I made it to the Shanghai Museum. I only had about an hour inside, but that is okay. All the rooms had English translations and paper that explained about the art in each room. I went in the rooms with jade, furniture, Chinese art, and statues. They don’t joke about the museum closing at 5:00 either. At 4:55 music plays and they start ushering people out of the exhibit areas. As soon as everyone is out, the guards turn off the lights and close the gate to each room. As I was coming out of the museum, I was approached by a girl asking me to take her picture and started conversation. Then she asked if I had been to a tea ceremony. I had to laugh especially when she talk me she should enjoy it and then proceeded to sit on the stairs of the museum.

I hung out by the fountain to write and watch the kids playing with bubbles and in the fountain. This guy James (originally from near Wuhan- I think) started talking to me. We talked for awhile about traveling, working, where we were fun, whatever and then went to get some local food for dinner. The restaurant was pretty good and had an English menu. Finally I’m with someone who speaks Chinese and I get a menu I can read. Oh the irony! We ordered a pork and bamboo- not as good as Stone Ox’s and a beef in oyster sauce which onions and green peppers. He also paid as in Chinese custom they see foreigners as their guests; I tried to argue, but it didn’t work. After dinner I headed back to the hostel.

When I got to the dorm, one of the girls was there. Her name was Bonner from Pennsylvania. She was in Beijing studying Chinese and then decided to spend a couple weeks traveling before starting college in the fall. One of the other girls, Marlene, came in later and she’s from Winnipeg, Canada. I didn’t meet the last girl, Caroline, that night since she was out until after I fell asleep. Caroline is from California, but has lived in England for awhile.
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photo by: spocklogic