We spent two busy days in Shanghai checking out the Shanghai Museum, strolling along the Bund, straining our necks to check out the towering buildings in the Pudong district, hanging out in the City God Temple Bazaar, taking part in a not terribly relaxing tea ceremony [200 people, I estimate, chattering while someone we couldn’t understand spoke very loudly into a microphone, doesn’t make for a peaceful setting!]. Doesn’t seem like many sites but add going to lunch and dinner and the fact that it takes no less than 45 minutes and more like an hour to get from place to place, the day can feel very full. There usually seemed to be enough time to see what there was to see, if at times that was cursorily; sometimes decisions had to be made, for instance at the museum, jade or calligraphy? bronzes or paintings? furniture or pottery? I don’t think we were ever back at our hotel before 8 o’clock! Had breakfasts in the hotels but never dinner.
Actually not much time was spent over meals. We’d be ushered into a restaurant [most with the capacity to seat hundreds, I’m not exaggerating!] where round tables for ten awaited. A huge lazy Susan on the table was soon filled with 10 to 12 dishes to which we helped ourselves as they passed by, sometimes a bit too quickly - especially since serving pieces don’t seem to be part of the cutlery in China - chop sticks, those stubby soup spoons, and the odd fork, that was it! Being polite sometimes meant that if you didn’t take something from a tasty looking dish as it sat somewhat to your right, by the time it appeared in front of you, as, for some reason the lazy Susan seemed to get turned counterclockwise, what remained could be celery or onions!! After a few such experiences. I occasionally took to ‘spinning’ the ‘table’ clockwise! Of course if one liked the fish there’d be no problem! I would think that most meals were over in 45 minutes! Overall I enjoyed the food.
Although the bus did drive through some ‘local’ shopping areas so we could see the small shops , our routes took us mainly on major streets, some of which were shopping districts. We could have been in any large city of the world; all the big up-scale shops are there. The Chinese like lights so at night the shop fronts and buildings were very colourful.
One night we took a cruise on the river so we could see the Bund and Pudong lit up. It was a windy, rainy evening [one of only three wet times we had] so getting photos was rather challenging! Lots of electricity being used. Cutting back could substantially reduce energy consumption. – but ‘things’ would not look as impressive! Not having heat from April until October - now that saves energy! Yes, that’s the way it is below a certain latitude (?)! Can be terribly cold at times for the citizens especially in areas with high humidity. And very difficult for clothing and bedding to dry out. Sunny days see lots of bedding and clothing [national flags!] hung out to dry on retractable clothes racks.
Highlights of Shanghai were what we saw. In getting to them, we recognized that Shanghai has lots to offer and a longer time there could be well spent.