When it comes to seeing Chinese culture in Shanghai, there isn’t really that much to see. Shanghai is more of a modern city and there are no famous city walls or palaces to see. When you come to visit Shanghai you come to see its modern marvels and historical sites that mostly date back to the 1900s. Jess and I were able to see all that we wanted to see in the city in just two days.
On day one of sight-seeing in Shanghai we first went to see the Jade Buddha temple. It is a temple in the downtown area of Shanghai that has a beautifully carved, jade Buddha statue. We were allowed to take photos of the temples but not of the jade statue. The temple’s religious ceremonies and tourist activities are organized by the many Buddhist monks that live in the monastery. It was very neat to see that this temple was still in use.
After leaving the temple we took the subway to one of the city centers along Nanjing Rd to experience all of the shopping malls. It reminded me of pictures that I have seen of New York City with all of the foreigners, western restaurants and shops, skyscrapers and big screen TVs. After that we walked down the road until we got to Shanghai’s famous waterfront. On one side of the river there is the Bund, which contains old skyscrapers from the early 1900s and on the other side there is the Pudong Skyline. The Pudong Skyline has Shanghai’s modern skyscrapers, some of which rank among the tallest in the world.
Lastly we went to another famous area in Shanghai called the Old city which contains the Yuyuan Garden and a Ming dynasty style bazaar. The garden was a beautiful example of on old traditional Chinese garden with many coy ponds, and great pieces of Chinese architecture. The bazaar was also a lot of fun. There were many different types of food that you could buy and eat off of a stick and there were countless shops to buy souvenirs from. We really enjoyed Old Town because it had character and a festive atmosphere.
On day two of site-seeing we walked around in the French Concession and were able to see the building where the first Communist Youth League was started. Other than shopping malls, there wasn’t too much to the French Concession (at least of what we were able to see) so we didn’t stay there too long. We next went to a major shopping mall back on Nanjing Rd to do some bargain shopping for fake goods and were able to get Jess some souvenirs for her family members.
Then after that we got back on the subway to go to a station that was near an old Spanish church in the old part of the city. Finding this place was a bit of a task because we kept getting lost and its location was in the middle of where the local lived. Eventually we found it and went inside. It kind of reminded me of home because I had not been inside a church in being at home in Wisconsin. It was a little tough getting back to a subway station to get back to Reid and June’s apartment, but we still made it back in time for dinner. The next day we said our goodbyes and then took a bullet train to Beijing.
Over all Shanghai was good to see so I could better experience China’s skewed money distribution, but other than that, there wasn’t too much to see. And it was good to get to know Reid and June.