Friday, August 05, 2005

China Tour - Part V (Shanghai)

We didn't have hotel reservations in Shanghai, but we had reserved an apartment on the recommendation of my boss. We arrived at the address, after about an hour-long cab ride, were buzzed into the building and escorted to the apartment, which was quite nice. We were impressed with the elegance and spaciousness of these accommodations. We retired to our rooms and went to sleep quickly, as it was well after midnight and we had had a long day. We were going to be in Shanghai for the next four nights.

Shanghai - The BundIn the morning, we went to reserve tickets to see an acrobatic show in the evening. Shanghai is supposedly famous for such entertainment. We did that without incident and made our way to the building wherein the Communist Party in China was first founded in 1921. It has since been turned into a museum which included a wax recreation of a discussion between all of the founding members seated around a table. This place was fascinating for all of us as there were many old artifacts to examine. We then made our way to The Bund, which is the waterfront in Shanghai, to take a walk along the water. Shanghai is considered China's most modern city and we were stunned at how modern the it looked with its skyscrapers and massive concrete highways swirling about the city, especially compared with Beijing. The architecture in Shanghai is also quite different, exhibiting a more European look outside of the touristic areas than all of the other cities we had visited.

Shanghai - Central District - Famous TeahouseWe continued on to the Central District (pictured on the left) which has been beautifully renovated, to walk around and enjoy the sights there, and afterwards, visited a temple to see the Jade Buddha, made of white jade, which is the largest jade Buddha in China. Then we went to eat before going to the theater to see the acrobatics show, which was awesome. The performance showcased what you might expect (spinning plates, feats of balance and strength), the highlight of the evening, although not exactly acrobatic, was an act which included four motorcyclists riding at a high speed and performing maneuvers inside of a giant round steel cage. It looked extremely dangerous and was exciting to witness. Unless you've seen it, it's very difficult to explain well.

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