Apr 27

Shanghai

Taking the high-speed rail again, this time to Shanghai a city of 23 million (+ or – depending on how you count), the biggest city I have ever visited. A city that appears to be highly modernized, yet when you scratch the surface there are still some relics of the past.

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On one side of the river you will notice Euro-style architecture from early 20th Century. At that time, many of the European powers had exuberantly lustful interests to colonize parts of China.

Across the river you see the amazing modern towers shooting up to the sky! IMGP3712

As cities go for me this one is too big and there is too much of a hustle happening to enjoy the place. The place exudes a sense of cosmopolitan ingratitude. Most everything is overpriced, especially food. Additionally, the food is generally too sweet for my liking. I prefer more savory foods. My first meal in Shanghai was quite disappointing.

I did see more Westerners in this city than any other. I also heard folks speaking English, German and French – perhaps due to the fact that this was fashion week in Shanghai. The weather reminded me of Seattle (and that is not a good thing). Not helping my discord with this mega-city was a nasty head-cold that I picked up in the past 48 hours.

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A fantastic compilation of ancient arrowheads, knives and other tools to create this collage representing a pre-historic face

On the second day, I had breakfast and lunch with the twins.

Yangyang and her twin sister.

Yangyang and her twin sister.

 

 

The breakfast dumplings were very good and the hot soup helped to ease my head-cold. It was an unexpected but excellent choice for my morning meal! Also a big improvement over the pretentious hotel food the day before. This style of dumpling was a pork filling inside a larger and thicker dough. Additionally these dumplings were fried. They were really delicious this way, but extremely hot! A wonderful and filling way to start the morning.

 

 

We also visited the Shanghai Museum. Their collection includes nearly 130,000 pieces. A small museum with an excellent selection of ancient art including jade sculpture, calligraphy, ceramics, coins, furniture, seals and stamps.

jade ceremonial weapons.

jade ceremonial weapons.

 

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A beautiful hand-carved piece of jade dating back over 1,000 years.

To my surprise, there is no entrance fee for this museum! I would put this one on the top of any traveler’s list of places to see in Shanghai, especially for that price!

Get there early, because it fills up quickly. After the museum, the girls helped me to find some cold remedy medication and lunch at a noodle house. Thanks to the girls for spending their morning showing me Shanghai’s better side.

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Shanghai’s skyline is well known for its rapid growth in recent years and the Oriental Tower is unique, if a little garish, with its space-age presence.

Night-time in Yu Garden

Night-time in Yu Garden

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Shanghai is known for its gold market and this is one example of extravagant gold art in a shop window.

I enjoyed a very nice dinner with my friend, Jason Du. I remember having some thought provoking conversations with Jason during his lessons. His college major was philosophy and I bet that has a lot to do with his ability to speak intelligently on many interesting topics. His wife Gloria needed to look after the baby so, unfortunately she did not join us. Student Eva Shi met up with Jason and I to have a nice conversation over an interesting selection of Shanghai favorite foods. A delicious but fattening pork belly with sweet sauce (said to be Mao’s favorite food), a pair of cold lamb terrine I enjoyed very much, some rice concoctions that were sweet like a dessert food and a sweet fish served cold. Thanks, Jason. It was great to finally meet you!

Jason blinked when I took the picture!

Jason blinked when I took the picture!

Pork Belly in a sweet sauce.

Pork Belly in a sweet sauce.

Eva looks great after having her baby!

Eva looks great after having her baby! Both mom and baby are doing well. Congratulations, Eva!

My head cold was not going away easily and this was cause to have only a short visit with student, June on the final night of my stay in Shanghai.

 

 

 

 

 

Next time; a side trip to Suzhou and Hangzhou.

From Shanghai I boarded a domestic airline to Xi’an. Check-in was a bit sketchy for me, because I had no interpreter to help. I showed my passport and ticket info to one group of uniformed employees of some sort and they pointed >>> over there and I went that way. Soon to realize I had no idea what the hell they were pointing at. There were a few signs in English, but nothing of the airline that my reservation indicated. I think it was China East airlines. Eventually I decided to stand in a short line for a different airline and when it was my turn, I showed my passport and the ticket info on my phone. The clerk scanned my passport,a short while after she handed me a boarding pass and pointed in the direction I needed to go.

Next stop Xi’an.

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/shanghai/

12 comments

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    • Yangyang on April 29, 2015 at 7:06 am
    • Reply

    Nice pictures!!
    It’s our pleasure to take you tasting the local food in Shanghai.
    We are very happy to show you around Shanghai and enjoy the sunny day without the boring class.
    Hope you have a stronger body and take a trip to SH next time!

    1. Thanks, Yangyang. It was fun seeing you and your sister and I think the Shanghai Museum is a great spot. I also loved the soup and fried dumplings!

    • rachel on April 29, 2015 at 9:56 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Kevin, great trips with wonderful pictures and words. It is a pity not meeting you this time, but believe we will meet in your next trip to China~

    1. Glad to receive your comment, Rachel. I hope we will meet at some point in the future. Sorry your schedule did not permit this time.

    • Summer on May 4, 2015 at 5:35 am
    • Reply

    Hi Kevin,i like those beautiful pictures!
    I have been to Shanghai too and i love it. It is a international city anf of course full of delicious food.
    After seeing above pictures of food,i am a little hungry now.I think i should have dinner now.HaHa..

    1. Don’t forget to eat especially when you are traveling!
      I think I took more pictures in Shanghai than any other city.
      I particularly liked the glass exhibition I stumbled into and the SH museum is a must see for free!

    • Lily on May 8, 2015 at 2:30 am
    • Reply

    Shanghai is an very international city and also is my favourite (not becuase of my husband works there,haha).
    But it’s too crowded, especially during the rush hours. I bet you will find more shinning points if spend more time. Wish to see you in China again!

    1. Yes, the crowded feeling of Shanghai was not enjoyable for me and rush hour was very congested.
      I do want to return to SH as a connect point to some of the smaller cities like Hangzhou and Suzhou.
      Looking forward to my next visit.

    • Morning on May 15, 2015 at 4:47 am
    • Reply

    Delicious food is an integral part of a city, your pics proved it!
    I enjoyed the foods when I went to Shanghai.
    The pity was i did not take any pics.
    Tks for your contribution,haha

    1. I need to remember to take pictures of the food next time I am in Jinan.

    • Eva Shi on May 16, 2015 at 10:17 pm
    • Reply

    Great to see you and have a dinner together in SH , Kevin. But it’s really a short meeting and convesation. There are more different fantastic Chinese food waiting for you to taste in your next time coming here!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Eva.
      It was good to see you in your city.
      I’m looking forward to exploring more of China’s culinary offerings in the future.

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