Friday, May 2, 2008

Old China, New China

To me, nowhere that I've been in China has a greater contrast between old and new than Shanghai.  Since we had a few days off (Thursday and Friday are holidays in China), we decided to come back to Shanghai and relax.

In the foreground, charming little streets with noodle shops and family grocers.  In the background, huge megatowers of glass and steel!

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LEFT: A huge building near Nanging Dong Lu that looks like the docking port for a spaceship.  RIGHT:  In the foreground, some locals in the alley having a visit.
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It looks like today is shaping up to be a clear day, so we decided to head over to the Jin Mao tower, currently the tallest (completed) building in Shanghai.

Most people go to the Pearl Radio and Television tower (far left) and pay about $15 US to stand in long lines and visit the observation decks. 
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Shanghai 011Our Lonely Planet guide recommends to go to the Jin Mao tower and go up to the "Cloud 9" bar.  There you can sit at a beautiful window table in the gorgeous bar and have a drink for about the same price.  We went there too early today and it was closed, so we'll try again later this evening if the clear weather holds.

Today (Friday) is also a national holiday, so there are many crowds about and lots of flags up.  Below:  The Chinese flag displayed proudly amid the towers of glass and steel.
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Looking across Shanghai and the Huang Pu river.
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We stopped at the Shanghai Urban Planning and Development center where they have a historical account of Shanghai's long history as well as future plans for growth and development.  Shanghai in the old days...
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A scale model of Shanghai which contains about 30 million people at this point.
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Peter is becoming interested in all things architectural, so he really enjoyed the Urban Planning center.  Part of future plans are to build a 32km bridge out into the sea where ships can dock.  Then trucks would load the goods and bring them into Shanghai, without having to bring smaller boats up the river!

We went across the street to People's Square where it was starting to get hot!  It's supposed to hit 90 degrees today.
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This cute little boy sporting a lovely queue was playing with a bubble-gun, which, for our kids suddenly became a must-have!
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Well we found the store where the boy had gotten his, so here's Sophie attempting to inject some bubbles into Jack's mouth.
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Sophie, of course, REALLY enjoyed trying to catch the bubbles on her tongue.
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Jack, Peter and the Chinese Pippi Longstocking (remember her??) in a sea of bubbles!
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LEFT: Sophie and I waiting for our dinner, and RIGHT: Peter, during lunch today, showing the proper technique for eating noodles.  Slurp up a whole bunch, then use the chopsticks to keep feeding them in.You don't want to bite them, because long noodles signify a long life!

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Near the lunch restaurant today was a jelly-bean store.  How cool is that?  We love Shanghai - it has everything!
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Next we went back to the Jin Mao tower now that the "Cloud 9" bar was open to have a drink and look at the views...
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Sue and Jack on top of the world...
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Next, we went back to the restaurant that Cara, Shawn and I had gone to before getting on the train.  It was wonderful to sit by the river and watch the traffic go by on such a warm day!
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A view of the river from our table...
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We were sent an email with pictures of people holding the sun... so of course Peter and I had to try this :). 
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Hanging out at dinner with the 3 kids...
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Finally, as the sun completed setting, the building lights across the river came on.  Beautiful!
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We made our way back across the river to the Bund and pushed through the crowds for some Gelato.  What a clear, warm night that we all enjoyed!
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The Pearl Radio and TV tower all lit up.
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Ambrose said...

The best advice I received before we went to Shanghai the first time was to go to Urban planning Museum. It was a hit with my son, too.
Don't miss the aquarium if you haven't already been there. It is just incredible.

Anonymous said...

Gee it was fun today to see all the buildings of Shangai. I recognized them. The space station one I tried to draw while walking down the street staring up into the sky!Loved your yellow mountain blog!!! Such an adventure!!! I'm tired just from reading the blog! Love Mom

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys!

Ahh, the familar sights of Shanghai! Looks like you guys lucked out and got a clear day. I think it's great that you got to go to Cloud 9 again. I think that was one of my favorite places while we were there! Now when you write the blog, I know just how you are feeling and what your experience is like! I will always have fond memories of our time together in China! So glad we came to visit you! :)

Love, Cara