lardbucket: shanghaied

3/20/2017

Shanghaied

Filed under: Travel — Andy @ 4:05 pm

Today was full, but not super busy as such. As our tour guide explained last night, Shanghai is always the last stop for their company’s tours, because there’s not as much history in the city (in practice, around 200 years), therefore less to do and it’s not as spread out as the other cities we went to. 

Breakfast was yet another buffet with lots of choices.


Our first stop was a very old (for the area) governor’s garden, which was a reasonably impressive complex. 


And of course, the garden. (To [roughly] quote our guide, “this means we call it a garden. Without this, it’s just a house.”)


From there, we went through the markets ringing the attraction and to other markets, where my mom got some yarn for future use. The floor that housed the yarn vendor also sold what I can only describe as thousands of flip-flops, in each of dozens of stalls. Outside, you could buy umbrellas by the bundle (possibly handy as it was drizzling). It would admittedly be nice to have such a market near home, effectively a physical AliExpress market. (Or, a Costco, for things you wouldn’t expect to get at Costco.)


Next up, we went to an old French house in the French area of the town. (Two-sentence history lesson: the British, French, and Americans all effectively took over parts of Shanghai when it was developing as a port city, but got forced out later. The Chinese resent this, but acknowledge it led to Shanghai being what it is today.) It was interesting, but somewhat small. Effectively a one-house museum. 


After that, we grabbed lunch at a Chinese restaurant. (Of course any food procured in China is “Chinese food” by some definition, but many of our tour guides have asked if we wanted Chinese or Western food when we ask about lunch or dinner options. We’ve generally opted for Chinese, as it seems like we’d get more authentic Chinese food here than elsewhere.) There was a bit of trouble with the menu, and we ended up cancelling one of our items once some others arrived, as we had ordered far too much food, but it worked out in the end. 


After that, we headed to a “TV tower” (the Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower) to tour a tall building with a theoretically good view. It was still drizzling, so the views weren’t as good as one might like, but it was still impressive. They also have a level where there’s a glass floor and the outer walls don’t go all the way up to the next floor, which is more open than I’m used to at most such attractions.


At the base of the tower is a museum about Shanghai, which we also toured.


As the last stop in our tour, we went to the Bund, the west side of the river bend in the middle of Shanghai. It gets lit up in the evening, and is just over a mile long of a walk. 


For dinner, we weren’t feeling strongly like we needed to try more Chinese food, and someone suggested we try the French bakery across the street from our hotel. That turned out well for an unorthodox but tasty (if disconcertingly sweet – sweet cheese bread? sweet garlic bread?) meal.


After that, my dad and I went for a short walk back along the Bund (so I can now say I’ve walked all the way along it), and came back and went to sleep. 

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