Shanghai, China Day 2

April 2, 2010

Shanghai is a very cosmopolitan city and has an intriguing combination of old and new.  The Pudong area on the east side of the river, which is filled with skyscrapers, has all been built in the last 20 years.  Some of these buildings are quite spectacular.  The Jin Mao Tower has a nice design, as does the one called ‘the bottle opener’ (photo below).  The Pearl Tower (photo above) is their communications tower, which is the tallest one in China.  As you can see from the photos, Shanghai does a pretty credible job with lighting their buildings at night.  It is lower key than in Hong Kong, but still beautiful.

Our second day in Shanghai was a nice, sunny one with pleasant temperatures.  We had another excursion scheduled for this day that would take us to some entirely different kinds of places.  The first was the Yuyuan Garden, situated in the middle of the old town, or Chinatown.  Yes, they have Chinatowns in China...  The garden is a traditional Chinese garden, with traditional designs in both the buildings and the plantings, and other landscape features, such as the dragon wall and ponds.

After the garden tour we were given free time to look through Chinatown.  There are modern stores there such as Dairy Queen, plus stalls that sell traditional Chinese food.  There is a silk museum, and we found a music store where they were selling traditional Chinese musical instruments.  

The other major stop on our tour was the Shanghai Museum on People’s Square.  This is another huge museum that requires at least a couple of days to do it justice.  We chose to look at the ancient bronze exhibit, with pieces dating back as far as 2000 BC.

The other exhibit we looked at was the pottery, which of course included some of the Ming Dynasty pieces.  We were tired by the time we got to the end of our time at the museum.  It is a place that is worth going back to when we have more time and energy.

As we drove back to the ship it was entertaining to see the varied architectural designs in the city.  The aptly named ‘bottle opener’ at 101 stories, and Jin Mao Tower at 88 stories are the tallest.  The Shanghai Center will soon be the tallest building in the city, at 104 stories.  The Marriott Hotel with a sphere between the converging points on its roof is another interesting building.  We do not know what the building with the globes is.  You can’t see the second globe very well, but each of them has China highlighted, and they face in opposite directions.  The city is doing a lot of work to prepare for the upcoming Expo, including planting many trees.

Shanghai is a thriving, beautiful city.  The amount of construction underway is mind-boggling.  The city presents a face that does not look like the expected drabness of communism.  The sail-away, as we ate dinner showed us another face of some of the buildings.  The tall building on the left is the ‘bottle opener’.

There is much to do here; we would enjoy coming back and having the opportunity to see more of the city.  

© Susan L. Stone 2015