Shanghai Week- 28th September- 2nd October

Saturday 28th September- 2nd October

On the first day, we visited the financial district of Pudong, which is a 10 minute walk from our apartment. The main deal here seems to be the Pearl TV Tower and a huge shopping mall, too big for us to bear really. The architecture around here looks a lot like something out of a Nintendo video game, I’m thinking of Captain Planet, Ben doesn’t remember…

We visited the People’s Square in the heart of the city, which is basically a huge open space surrounding by lots of equally huge buildings.

We find it difficult to order food unless there’s a picture of it, so we snack on these:

We visited the Bund, which is basically a load of buildings that look like Europe, from back when we colonized bits of China in exchange for drugs- the view over to Pudong is amazing.
Pudong, from The Bund

Nanjing Road that leads from the Bund to People’s Square is also pretty manic, and great for crazy neon, and Chinese restaurants that have ridiculous portion sizes. We are giants in this country (people stop and stare), but I think they were overdoing it!

The next day we went to the Old Town- easily one of our favourite bits of Shanghai. There’s a great park, and lots of amazing Chinese architecture.

Even Starbucks looks good

We had tea, with a traditional tea ceremony, in the teahouse in the middle of the lake. They actually put the English to shame with the care and attention that goes into their tea. They pour hot water on the pot to warm it up, brew it, pour the brew over, rebrew it and so on. And you get great snacks with it. The egg, fermented in tea was amazing!

The tea kit- we had ‘Iron Goddess’ tea.
Yes Mom, I am drinking all of the tea in China
Tea egg confusion

It was absolutely brilliant.

Inside the tea house
The tearoom’s view

We then walked back through the insect market, which sadly was closed, as Ben wanted a cricket in a tiny bamboo cage.

Our last full day in Shanghai, we went to the French Concession. We went to Xintiandi, the upmarket bit in the morning, which was okay, but a bit blah, like West London, but about 6000 miles West. We walked from there to Fuxing Park, which was really nice. There were lots of people doing interesting things, including two guys playing weird Chinese violins, and dancing classes in public.

The king of Chinese dancers

Finally, we went to the Tianzifang- sort of a hipster town in China. Loads of cramped little alleyways full of tiny bars and food stands- we drank a lot of beer, and had thick crisps on a stick, and a fresh waffle (the first baked product in China that wasn’t very strange and full of sugar and MSG). The local people hadn’t seen an e cigarette before, and a lot of Chinese people were stopping and staring at me- so I demonstrated how it worked and they were impressed! Ben came back and thought I was showing them a  magic trick, which is fair because one women did shout out ‘magic!’ at one point haha.

Tianzifang
Beer alley
Comrade Ben
Giant potato snack! i thought they were doughnuts :o( but Ben enjoyed it
Drunk sugar fix
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