Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 6: Shanghai (Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, Tian Zi Fang, French Concession, the Bund)

Day two of Shanghai has been incredible! Shanghai is such a magnificent city -- truly cosmopolitan and, for lack of a better word, sparkly! There are so many lights, so much art and fashion, and so many people!

My only minor complaint so far on this trip has been the weather. Not that we didn't know it would be hot in China in the summer, but the humidity is truly a killer. And, we have apparently had "cool" weather while we've been here. Note to self: stay away from the "hot" weather here!

Our day started at 9:00 a.m. when we met our guide, Neil, and headed to our first stop: the Shanghai Museum. The Shanghai Museum is located right across from our hotel next to People's Square.

The location of the museum and People's Square are surrounded by gorgeous high rises. Here are a few pics:

It was hot and humid in line, and a few people decided to cut in front of us. I have been known to say a thing or two in a situation like this, but the combination of the language barrier and not wanting to appear like an ugly American prevented me from opening my big trap. However, I did manage to give one woman the stink eye. I must have a pretty effective nasty glare because she decided to cover up her face. Hehe.

The entrance to the museum. A "modern" lion? I love him.

The museum is seven levels high. I snapped a few pictures of my favorite things.

Grumpy pants.

Itchy lion.

Vases from the Ming Dynasty.

I love this vase from the Qing Dynasty.

Chamber pot from 265 A.D.

The calligraphy exhibit was definitely my favorite.

Poem dating back to the Song Dynasty.

Also from the Song Dynasty (this guy was a little stamp happy, no?).

My favorite. "Ode to Peony" by Zhu Yunming (1460-1546). Even if I could read Chinese, I think I would be SOL trying to read this guy's handwriting. But, it's so pretty!

My second favorite. "Poem" by Liu Jue (1410-1472).

I think the museum has every major coin ever used in China. Pretty impressive.

Next to the calligraphy exhibit, the traditional clothing exhibit was my favorite.

Last but not least, there was a furniture exhibit. I had to snap a picture of these Ming Dynasty chairs because they look like our dining room chairs!

After leaving the museum, we went to the Yu Garden. However, before getting to the actual garden, we passed through a very lively shopping and restaurant area right outside the park.

We went up to a rooftop to get a better view.



After window shopping and making our way through the crowds, it was time to go into Yu Garden. Yu Garden was "built" during the Ming Dynasty, and it took eighteen years to complete (1559 to 1577). It is my favorite garden so far.

Loved the doorways!


So beautiful.

More great doorways.

LOVE this tree.

Round doorway.

Dragon on the wall! Love it.

The fattest fish I have ever seen.

After finishing up at the gardens, we headed to the Tian Zi Fang art street, full of designers, artists, and hipsters, to wander around, take in some of the ambience, and have some lunch.

Our guide suggested a place called Kommune, which is apparently a popular cafe among cafes in this area.

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that we weren't going to have some traditional Chinese food, but lunch was still very good.

I had a salad.

Josh had potato wedges with chili sauce.

We sat out in this little courtyard and people watched while we ate.

The chairs and tables in the courtyard were so funky and cool.

We walked around Tu Zi Fang a little more and soaked in some of its charm. There were so many interesting shops and designers there, and the clientele was oh-so-fashionable. We also stopped in to see the workshop of the late artist Chen Yifei, which was very cool.

We came across several tables of men gambling, too, which was pretty random but fun.

Our next stop was the French Concession. Sadly, it started to rain a bit then, so I was only able to snap a couple of pictures for fear of my camera becoming completely drenched.

A few minutes after arriving in the French Concession and strolling along the shops on Xin Le Road, the wind began to blow so hard, it was moving vases on the sidewalk. Then, the sky opened and it began to POUR! Luckily, we made it in a cab just in time!

We said goodbye to our guide and rested for a bit back at the hotel. I took the Monkey's advice and took a few pictures of our view at night.




As we were in our hotel, it continued to rain and there was even some thunder and lightning. I managed to catch a picture of the lightning as it moved across the skyline! I was pretty proud of this shot.

After resting up a little, we decided to walk to the Bund. We walked along Nanjing Road where there are a ton of lights, people, and amazing shops.

It was so pretty because the streets were still wet, so it looked like the light was bleeding on to the sidewalk.

Nanjing Road intersects with the Bund, a long street that borders the Huangpu River that boasts buildings representing over 50 architectural styles. Also, it has an amazing view of the skyline in the Pudong district and the Oriental Pearl Tower.

Pudong skyline.


After our walk, it was time for a late dinner. We went to a little restaurant on the Bund (cannot remember the name) with a good view for people watching.

We ordered fried noodles.

(Josh was especially excited about the noodles ... hahaha, I love this picture.)

Mmmm ... dumplings ...

And some green beans.

So delicious!

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel to call it a night! We have a big day tomorrow, so time to get some rest! More soon ... Night!


California Girl said...

Pics showing up as red boxes! Boo

Danica said...

more great pics! i especially love your night skyline pictures -- the lightning shot is amazing! do tell me what kind of digital camera you have, i'm looking to get a new one soon and need some direction.

yay for shanghai, looks so fun.

Arian said...

The lightning photo is amazing!!! So beautiful! And the photo of Josh and the noodles is hilarious.

WeezerMonkey said...

All I can see are red squares (and not in the Communist sense either).


Nanette said...

Ditto Cali and WeeMo!

Kitt said...

Tell Josh to quit being an ugly American. I can just see him trying to teach someone the badger dance...

We're all so jealous! Looks like you're having a fantastic adventure. :)

Big bro.

R said...

Why can't I see the pictures? So sad!! Sounds like a great day regardless of the picture-less-ness.

dapotato said...

exactly what the monkey said is what i was thinking while looking.

was i just speaking english?

WeezerMonkey said...

I see now! I see now! And I love everything! The lightning and noodle pics are my faves, too! Isn't the skyline marvelous?

dapotato said...

yay! the shanghainese noodles look so delicious.

California Girl said...

Just beautiful! I love it all - the architecture, the designs, the skylines, the lightning! Really incredible!

wan-nabe said...

i am such a dork, i was wondering why people were watching you as you ate. :X

and, you're so cute with the lion love!

amber said...

i'm drooling over the noodles. they look soooo good.

clothing and pottery exhibits tend to be my favorite at museums.