"" Writer's Wanderings: From My Travel Journal - Shanghai

Thursday, July 25, 2013

From My Travel Journal - Shanghai

Tuesday, November 6, 2007—Shanghai, China

            Shanghai is not as busy or crowded as Beijing except for the shopping areas filled with tourists. Those areas remind me of my Forbidden City experience.

            Our first stop on the tour is the nearly 1400 foot high Jin Mao Tower/Building. It houses the Hyatt hotel and you can look down through the core to the lobby. We go to the top, the 88th floor, to get a view of the city and look upon the Huangpu River full of barges that trail down the river as far as you can see. There is a TV tower close by which looks like a giant bejeweled Christmas tree topper—pointed with two large spherical areas.

            The buildings in Shanghai are often ultra-modern. They have unusual shapes, twists and turns, and the tops are all different. Some building peaks look like a crown, some are pointed, some have a huge ball on top. Each seems unique. A student of architecture would be enthralled.

We visit the 400 year old Yu Garden. It is very pleasant with lots of walkways and pagoda shaped buildings. Ponds filled with koi dot the gardens. Lots of dragons decorate the roofs and buildings with the most significant being the “Dragon Wall.” It is a wall enclosing part of a garden and has a giant dragon forming the top of the wall. According to our local guide, the garden was created by a man to honor his father giving him a place to seek peace in his old age.

            After our walk through the garden, we stroll through a shopping area in what they say is the Old Town. We are squeezed from all sides at times with people who just use an arm to push you aside and pass through the crowd—sometimes gently, sometimes not.

            We see many beggars today in addition to vendors who push and shove to get to you and have no qualms about grabbing your arm to try to sell you their wares. It is all very congested, confusing, and at times uncomfortable. I am glad when we return to the bus. These vendors make the Caribbean look like child’s play.

            After dinner we return to the city by way of the shuttle bus from the dock area. It is impossible to get a cab back and forth since the ship is berthed in a commercial container port and taxis are not allowed through. There is no way you could walk from the entrance gate to the ship safely and without getting lost. Along the way, we see some of the buildings lit up but we do not get close enough to the area where they are said to be spectacular. Once we leave the bus, the vendors converge like flies and we give up on any thought of exploring further. Seeking the shelter of the next bus in line to leave for the ship, we board quickly.

            We are too late to get a seat in the show when we return to the ship. It is unfortunate. The performer is singing some great music—all the golden oldies—and dressed in leather no less!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...