Thursday, February 14, 2013

Shanghai, China

The first stop on our southern China tour was in Shanghai, the famed coastal city with a lot of history.  We visited "The Bund", a famous walkway along the waterfront with views of the modern buildings across the river, and older European-style buildings behind us.

'The Bund' in Shanghai

Since we've been home, we went to see "Skyfall", the James Bond movie, and part of it is filmed on the Bund in Shanghai, so we could say "We've been there!"

The Huangpu River looking across at Pudong, the financial district.

The "Oriental Pearl" TV tower on the left, convention center in front and the used-to-be tallest building in the world with the rectangular space in the top, and the soon-to-be tallest building in the world under construction on the right.
We also went to the YuYuan Gardens Tourist area, although we didn't go in the gardens proper.  There is a huge shopping maze filled with shops in narrow alleys and walkways.  We ate some of the famous dumplings and then bought some Chinese goodies.  Like Chinatown, only in China!

The " nine zigzag" bridge.

So many shops, so little time (and money)!

You see how busy this area was.  Every few steps, someone approached us and said, "Do you want to buy a watch?"  There were also beggars, and the shopkeepers would grab your arm and pull you in to look at their wares, or call to you and ask you to "name your price".  

Our hotel had a hot jacuzzi and an American-style breakfast, with an omelet and a chocolate croissant.  Those two things alone make this a great vacation spot!

Next morning, we went to the Shanghai Grand Museum.  Here are displayed ancient ceramics, coins, bronzes, sculpture, jade articles and furniture.  It was filled with lovely, intricate art pieces.

The building is shaped like an ancient "ding" vessel.

Carved jade

Jade funeral mask pieces

Chinese mythical beast

This is a pillow!!

The furniture is exquisite--I'd love this in my house!

We went up inside the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, a 1535 ft.-structure that was the tallest in China when it was built in 1999.  There are great views from here!

On the left is the 101-story Shanghai World Financial Center.  On the right, still under construction, is the Shanghai Tower, and when it is finished in 2014, it will be the tallest building in the world, at 1804 feet tall.
Huangpu River

Monument to the People's Heroes at the confluence of Suzhou Creek and Huangpu River

 The view of this traffic circle is taken from the viewing platform with plexiglass in the floor!  Don't watch this if you're afraid of heights!

View from The Pearl of the Orient

We got a kick out of taking some fun pictures, trying to look like we're falling.

Back on the ground, we could see the traffic circle had some fun topiary dragons in it.
We drove past the tall buildings and could get a perspective from the ground up.

Those are pretty tall!!  And wherever we go, there are always "random" shots that I take, showing interesting things that are uniquely Chinese.
Boarding a plane--standing in line is NOT an option in China for anything!

Laundry hanging on a transformer.

Granny's "wheels".

This little cutie put her hands up in a pose--but you rarely get the Chinese to smile for a photo!

More proof that China needs more English teachers.

This carved wooden lion is decorated for Chinese New Year - he's in the Oriental Pearl lobby.

These two heaters are painted like fine art--too funny!

Can you ride a bike with a load like this?

The Chinese are making an effort to recycle, but the bin on the right is labeled "Recyclable" and has a picture of a jacket and an umbrella along with milk cartons and newspapers.

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