Shanghai is everything you’ve heard. It’s cosmopolitan, bustling, and crowded. It’s tall, beautiful, modern buildings and jam-packed city streets.
It is modern China. We only had a day and a half to explore and we could have spent a lot more time here.
Our evening cruise on the Huangpu River was a great introduction to the Shanghai skyline. At 6:00 every evening the buildings along the river light up at a cost of $400,000 each day. The Oriental Pearl Tower, the one with pink spheres is the central focus. Built in 1994, it is said to be the tallest TV tower in Asia at 1535 feet. The World Financial Tower, which looks like a bottle opener and the Jinmao Tower are other landmarks.
During the cruise we were again asked to have our photo taken with many Chinese. We couldn’t communicate beyond a smile, but we all had a great time.
Our second day in Shanghai started back along the waterfront to see the skyline during the day. The strolled along the Bund, which is the riverside promenade that draws thousands of tourists every day. In addition to watching the ships stream up the river, we also stopped to see the Bund bull, which is a reprisal of the Wall Street bull by the same artist, Arturo diModica.
This version, however, is said to be younger, stronger, and “redder” for the Chinese setting.
After our walk along the Bund, we headed to the Old City bazaar. We hadn’t had many opportunities to do real shopping in China and today was the day. We were turned loose for several hours to search for treasures. We bought a few gifts, a knockoff purse, and a stuffed panda toy for Mia our poodle. The bazaar was built with upturned eaves and lattice windows in the Ming style. While it had the feel of old China, it was actually built in the 1990s. In the bazaar there are two Starbucks and a McDonalds amid the souvenir shops.
Shanghai is known for producing world-renowned acrobats. We were lucky to be able to attend a show at the Shanghai Circus World. The production included juggling, contortionism, trick bike riding, and high flying acrobatics. When the show started we were exhausted and thought about skipping out and returning to the hotel to rest. It was a good thing we didn’t. ERA: Intersection in Time was spectacular, rivaling the best Cirque du Soleil show.
Our wake up call the next morning came super early as we caught a morning flight to Xi’an for the next phase of our Chinese journey.