Sunday, Sept. 27/15…Shanghai, China

Sunday, September 27/15
We arrived in Shanghai sometime during the night.  We apparently were to travel for 5 hours up the river once taking on the pilot.
Oh man are there a lot of boats coming and going up the river.  I am not surprised that there are collisions here.  The water is brown….dirty….not sure if that is pollution or soil that has been washed down for up stream….like in the case of the Amazon.  And the smog…..well you cannot see much more than 5 kms.  But we can see blue skies when looking up.
A guide with a sign saying On-line Vacations, greets us, checks us off and we walk…..forever it seems.  Some are thinking we are walking to the hotel but no we are going to the bus.  And then we sit….and wait!  I think there are 4 buses for On-line Vacations.
Our guide is Shelly….Xie given name in Chinese. Sialee..
First we go to the 400 year old Yu Gardens….during Ming dynasty 1591.  Built by Pan.  Water, plants, architecture & rock. … 4 element of garden.  In 1982 became national monument.
Shanghai tower not open yet. Huangpu River mean yellow river in Bund area on western side.  Then we went to Shanghai museum.  Drove by the Bund (means Waterfront) & acrobat show, $60 U.S. Plus lunch and dinner.
The acrobat show was like nothing any of us had ever seen.  The cost for day at $60 U.S. Would have been worth it if the show as the only thing we ever saw.  Incredible!   A guy balancing on a triple or quadruple thingy, tossing up from his foot to the top of his head, about 10-12 bowls,then a cup and then a spoon into it.  Amazing!  8 motorcycle going around and around on the inside of a sphere without hitting each other, others flying through the air.  There were about 30 individuals all probably under 25 years and apparently from acrobatic families.  If anyone ever gets to Shanghai, go to see them at the ERA Theatre.  I don’t know if you can find anything in the internet but ……
Driving 60 km/hr on elevated ring road….not very fast.  Modern cars, buildings going up all over the place.  In some cases 5 new apartment buildings in a group being built at the same time.
Coconut oil, cannabis oil & beeswax mixture that lady on tour gave me to put on my knees.  Worked so very very fast.
Public park for exercise. And dancing. Doing ballroom dancing to Chinese music….kind of weird.
Lots and lots of people…holiday.  KFC, Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Hagen-Daas.
Lots of motorbikes…no helmets, driving all over the place.  Max and I saw this man with a child in front of him and one behind as well the wife behind the child and she was holding a baby……all on a small motorbike built for one.
Moon festival……it is now August 15 in Chinese lunar calendar.

Largest container port in world and China’s and Far East’s financial centre.
1949 People’s Republic of China established.

Shanghai has been in existence for 2000 years. The original name of Shanghai was Hudu…Hoodoo….from bamboo fishing traps….means upper reaches of the sea.
1842 beginning of trade with the world.
Hunfu is name of traditional dress.
The Bund…1000 metre waterfront…with banks, clubs ….is a preserved area…..built up in the early part of the 20th century, after the Opium Wars.  Art Deco style. Colonial era style. 33 meter long bar…longest in world at time… A person would be positioned along it according to status.
19 ferries 40 piers along river.
Huangpu River divides the two sections of Shanghai. There are 6 bridges ,7 tunnels … is double decker and over 3 km long.
Paris of east. China’s NY.  Jinmao tower
Nanpu Bridge fashioned after Alex Fraser bridge….can see where World Fair Expo 1982.. were.  ….first steel bridge… Built 1991
3rd largest free span in world at the time.  Ferries cheapest and fastest to cross. Huangpu river is 114 km.  Apparently there is a 36 km long bridge is being built south of city …longest in world.
400 financial institutions in Shanghai…..changed from manufacturing to financial centre.
Super Brand Mall …..a Shopping Centre……300,000 shoppers each weekend…..13 stories, 70 restaurants.
Oriental Pearl TV tower is 468 metres high. 3rd highest after TO. & Moscow.   Very beautiful!
Hudu….from bamboo fishing traps.2000 and 20,000 fishing boats and junks per year on Huang Pu River.
Pu Dong… 522 sq mi 1.5 million people.  In 1991 Pudong was just farmland.
Oriental Pearl TV tower…..492 metres; Jin Ma Tower 88 floors in 45 secs. ; Shanghai Tower when complete in 632 metre high 128 floors 9 cylindrical units with exterior outside that twists.  ..collects rain water and somehow is used in AC.  supposed to be completed in 2014 but not done yet.
Population increases by 10% annually.
Monsoon sub-tropical climate .  From below freezing in winter to 35 C in summer. June plum season, heavy rain; August /Sept. …typhoon season.
Shelly our guide from yesterday said that if you have not seen Shanghai by night, you haven’t been to Shanghai.  Well we decided to walk to the Bund to see what all the talk was about even though it was raining.  Everyone in this city has an umbrella.  Remember this is monsoon country!  We walked all along the waterfront.  There were lots of cruise boats that looked like they were serving dinner on board… know a romantic cruise while wooing your sweetheart.  And across the river all the beautifully lit buildings in the Pudong area.  Absolutely breathtakingly!  And then at about 8:45, fireworks that went on and on ( probably 10-15minutes).  If I am not mistaken, they are on every night.  Wow!  This city is so not like what we were expecting.  Yes there are a lot of people and all the motorbikes that don’t obey any rules or lights (cars don’t much either) and they all honk their horns constantly.  It is really amusing actually.  It poured so bad….we were so drenched.
Tuesday sept 29/15
X-ray square  6 elevated ring roads..non Shanghai licences not allowed on highways in busy periods. There are no tolls.
London plane trees aka sycamore, everywhere.  Look like maple leafs but have patchy/blotchy trunks.   Buddhism from 1st century. In 80s govt relaxed ban of all  recognized religions while when the country became communist, all religions were banned..  Confucianism and Taoism are not  exactly religions but thoughts and ways of life.
Close to beautiful Jing’an Temple is Plaza 66 all designer such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc and local brand names.went Jade Palace, then to Pudong to go up the Jinmao tower.  Travelled 88 stories in 45 secs…fast yes???  But alas could not see a thing…totally socked in.  But we could look down the entire centre…all 88 stories.  Kind of weird sensation.  The hotel  in this tower is the Grand Hyatt from the 56-88th floor….the highest 5 star lobby in the world.

Fungshui ?
1882 Jade Temple
Suzhou is a place that we need to go to  on next trip….country side and canals, rickshaw rides
Yangtze  water canal…delta town to visit…..

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