Well, here I am at Shang Hai????, with the intention to visit the World Expo 2010. The train ride was a short 1.5 hours cruise from Hang Zhou, costing 64 yuan (approx. AUD$10), and I am now comfortably settled into a hotel not too far from the expo itself. Before I delve too deep into the expo itself, it was nice to be able to have a stroll around some main attractions around Shanghai namely:
The Bund ?? (Wai Tang)
Now, I can see where all the tourists to Shanghai took their photos! It is just across the river with the financial district (Pu Dong) as the backdrop where millions are made and lost by countless typhoons. I suppose the most noticeable building here is the “Ming Zhu” tower (The one that has two round spheres), which I personally think is ugly, together with the current tallest building in China to the right.
Being a tourist myself, I took the time & money to get to the top of the tallest building (Shanghai World Financial Center) and watched the same Ming Zhu tower from the 94th floor:
Nanjing Dong Walkway ????
Again, it appears it is compulsory for tourists to take a photo at the sign near the entry to the famous mega-shopping walkway featuring probably the most crowded mall you will ever see in your life:
Here’s what I mean, when I say it’s the most crowded shopping mall you’ll ever see in your life:
Old Town ????”
Shanghai, being a mix of Western & Chinese creation, is a relatively ‘new’ town compared to its neigbouring cities. Nevertheless it is old enough to have several fairly traditional albeit commercialised areas of its own. You might bump into some monks, which I thought was a little out of place for ‘modern’ Shanghai:
No matter where you go, everyone looks like they are in rush somewhere to do something. I think this picture sums it up best:
People have no difficulty here waiting for ‘good’ food, namely for the dumplings from Nanxiang bun shop ???????. I joined the queue, and waited almost 1.5 hours for it! But, I was left wondering what the fuss is all about. I can’t say it’s the best dumplings I’ve ever had!
And if you are willing to venture out a bit further out of Shanghai (which I did), you’ll get a slightly more authentic version of old town. Here’s a shot from Zhujiajiao ?????:
Life is a little slower here, and not quite as commercialised as some of the other popular destinations, which is nice. But it is still fairly busy in its crowded laneways, with all sorts of products on offer.
Here you can have some local cuisines that involve cane toads, turtles, dogs & cats and plenty of other animals that you and I probably would not eat.
Shanghai is in many ways a lot more modern than Australia, with its mega-malls, ultra modern towers, and complex transportation systems. Yet there are still many parts of town, where it remains ‘old’ and traditional. I suppose that is what I like about Shanghai. When I feel like having some coffee, I can still duck down to Starbucks for a quick cuppa. But when I need a bit of time to relax, I know don’t need to go very far to rewind.