Shanghai is everything you think it’s going to be – a shoppers paradise, with every posh shop you can think of…and then some more! The high rises are pretty epic (including Jinmao Tower which is China’s second tallest building at 420.5m, and Shanghai World Financial Centre which is the world’s third tallest building at 492m), the design of some of the buildings absolutely mind blowing, and the city’s skyline is everything it’s cracked up to be. At night the sight is amazing.
Our first day here we spent walking along The Bund – ‘Shanghai’s most memorable mile’. The views of the city’s famous skyline are best viewed here. On one side you have the ultra modern high rises, on the other, you feel like you are walking through an historic street in Paris – an influence of the international French settlement which was established in 1863.
On our second day here we decided to get a different feel of Shanghai – there is only so many times you can walk past amazing clothes shops knowing you cannot afford to shop there! We went exploring in Qibao, an ancient town within the high rises which dates back to AD 960-1127. The little alleyways were bustling with locals and tourists alike, intriguing (and at times unusual) smells wafting around, and all the usual weird and wonderful things to eat.
There is a small canal which weaves it’s way through, and we were lucky to have a relatively smog free day so the sun was out, making it a very pretty place indeed. We stumbled across a Buddest Temple, which was a lovely peaceful retreat away from the bustle of the city. The temple was rich in decoration and colour, and it was fascinating watching the people at their daily prayer. Offerings of food had been left at some of the alters, and coins had been left on the small statues which adorned all the walls. The air smelled of incense, and there were monks wondering around…however typical of the mobile phone obsessed nation we saw a monk on his Iphone! That kind of ruins the magic doesn’t it?!
A 2 day tour of Shanghai! We would have spent more time here if a) we had the money to go crazy, and b) if we had a spare suitcase! However, it was enough to get a feel for what is a typically modern, vibrant city. Next stop, Hong Kong.