by Roaming Panda
Nestled along the Huangpu River, you'll find Shanghai. A city famous for its iconic waterfront skyline and its rapid modernization. The ride from Suzhou to Shanghai was about 2 hours. We arrived in the afternoon around 3:00 to incredibly hazy skies. The sun was nowhere to be found and a thick layer, of what I can only assume is smog, hovered above the entire city.
We were dropped off behind a parking garage where a back alley led us into our first destination: Yuyuan Bazaar. Amidst the tall shiny buildings and designer shops, Yuyuan Bazaar is like a historic set piece straight from the movies. Local and foreign tourists alike flood the streets to scavenge the many shops and fill their bellies at the number of different restaurants and food stalls throughout the market. This was a great place to people watch and haggle your way to some sweet deals. I made out with a few items myself here. The food stalls had tantalizing treats on display, and had I been hungrier when we arrived, I would have seriously indulged myself. Shanghai is known for their soup dumplings (xialongbao) and they had some large enough for you to sip with a straw.
After we lightened our wallets, we made our way to the riverfront to take in Shanghai's architectural wonders. Shanghai's skyline is home to iconic buildings like the Oriental Pearl Tower (looks like a rocket ship), the Shanghai World Financial Center (tallest building with a hole in it, looks like a bottle opener), and the Shanghai Tower (tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world). The breeze from the water was a nice relief from the warm weather. The haze lingering overhead hid the tops of some of the taller buildings. There isn't much to do on the waterfront aside from enjoying the view so we didn't spend much time here. Our next stop was dinner and the conclusion of our first day in Shanghai.
The sun was shining on the second day as we made our way over to the China Art Museum. The building itself is a work of art and the design was inspired by the Chinese character "華" which symbolizes the Chinese people. The building is massive with multiple levels of exhibits. Art museums in the states predominately show American and European artwork so seeing Chinese artwork throughout the last few decades was a nice change. There was one particular piece that depicted the chaos and violence of the Japanese invasion of China during World War II that really stood out to me.
Our time in Shanghai was short lived. I would have loved to see what else Shanghai has to offer but I guess we'll have to leave that for another time. We had to leave right after the art museum to catch a bullet train to Beijing. Never been on a bullet train before so this will be a new experience. Up to this point, we've only spent about a day in every city we've visited. We'll be spending the remaining few days of our trip in Beijing visiting the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and other historic landmarks. I have a lot of content from Beijing so I might break it up into a few posts. Stop by and read all about it on the next episode and check out the rest of my pics from Shanghai HERE.