|No other words than "Wow" for Shanghai.
After a short morning flight from Xian we made it to Nan Nan's birth place. It is a bustling metropolis of 18 million people. The first thing we noticed driving in is the massive construction occurring every where. We thought Calgary was going through a boom but in Shanghai there are at lease 2 dozen projects like EnCana's Bow going on with probably another hundred sky scrappers under construction. These new ones will join the thousand or so newer existing residential and commercial towers. There is a distinct contrast of new and old. One can see many Western type buildings from the 1840's to the 1930's built during the period where the West was given concessions in Shanghai. One forgets its 2008 as you tour Yu Yuan, a relatively quiet Ming Dynasty Garden or explored the Jade Buddha Temple. The contrast is especially noticeable as one strolls the Bund along the Huangpu River with its wonderful restored elderly stone buildings build prior to WW II. As one gazes across the river you are forced to focus on the silver and glass sky scrappers of the Pudong district. We really liked the tallest Pudong tower which has been nicknamed the bottle opener.
One building on the Bund that has special significance is the Customs House which has a big clock tower. The kid's Great Grand father worked there prior to WW II as customs official and commanded a gun boat which ran down smugglers during those times.
Food remains tasty and exotic. At times the kids get tired of chinese food and we find a place that serves pasta or a hamburger.
Shopping is great as there are many chinese crafts (especially silk in this area of China) and souvenirs to buy along with a great selection of fashions, hand bags, and neat toys.
We visited a silk factory and watched how they made silk thread and silk quilts from cocoons which the chinese of being doing for thousands of years. It was this craft that created the trade along the famous Silk Road.
Halloween was a different experience for us. We toured the trendy Xintiadi area with its bars and restaurants decorated with ghosts and gouls. There were no real pumpkins but we did get some treats that a few merchants handed out. We finished the day with a show at the Shanghai Acrobatic Circus.
Like Beijing, we could have spent weeks here exploring the City and its suroundings. Our 4 days was not long enough to enjoy the city.