Friday, 15 October 2010

Stunning Shanghai

Shanghai makes completly different impression that Beijing or Xi´an. As Beijing is for me huge, busy, unfriendly and still comunist city, Xi´an is smaller, more friendly but still busy and comunist, Shanghai is huge, busy and very cosmopolitan. First place that I´ve hit was Nanjing Dong Lu, which is shopping street, and it feels like Oxford Street in London. That gave me good feeling, even though I was completly shattered after all day walking in Xi´an before I´ve left, than 12h journey in train to Beijing (yes I know I did not plan it too well) and next flight to Shanghai in the afternoon, which meant half a day waiting in Beijing (what a pity that my Frequest Flyer does not entitle me to enter to the lounge in Beijing) and hanging around on the airport. The only good thing about that was that I´ve found stands with free internet, so I´ve done some research essential for further trip.
Maglev - fast train from Pudong Airport to Shanghai
I´ve struggled a little bit to find Julian´s apartment, but not too much. And apartment is briliant. First when I´ve found the building I was not that happy, but on the other hand side I knew, that he would not be living in some shabby place, and I was not mistaken. Very nicely renovated apartment, at the Suzhou Creek´s bank, with the overview to Bund - Shanghai business centre.
I´ve started sightseeing of Shanghai from Old Town which is the most traditionally Chinese area of Shnanghai with some lilongs (longtang or shikumen) which are equivalent to Beijing´s hutongs, Yuyuan Gardens and Bazar, where I´ve bought one of the things that I´ve promised myself - pearl earings. I´ve paid 50% of the original price, but I wonder if it would still be possible to bargain more, especially that I´ve bought 2 pairs... Probably yes, but even though I think that price was resaonable.
Yuyuan Gardens
Why not?
Lilong gate
Here used to be lilong district, check what´s left
Interesting thing there is Chenxiangge Nunnery - community of around 40 darkbrown-clothed nuns. They look exactly like monks. Their heads shortly shaved and in my opinion orange robes.
Female Monk in Chenxiangge Nunnery
Second district, that I´ve liked a lot was French Concession. Following Lonely Planet tour I´ve seen some fancy houses (like fairy-tale look like castle owned by Swedish businessman till 1949, spanish house, Sun Yatsen´s former residence and lilongs of course), Shikumen Museum, which showes how they look like inside, Xintandi (renovated lilongs and turned into modern and fashionable district with western restaurants and chains) and Chinese Printed Blue Nankeen Exhibition Hall, where blue-and-white cotton fabric (sometimes called blue calico) can be bought and seen.
Spanish Villa
fairy-tale look like castle owned by Swedish businessman - Eric Moller
Chinese Printed Blue Nankeen
That does not seem much, but in fact it was around 7h of walking and hanging around which caused that the only thing that I was dreming in the end was subway to get home.

No comments:

Post a Comment