Friday, October 26, 2012

Holiday Photo Diary: Shanghai

 What is there to say about Shanghai? Because my sister lives there I had an insider's look into the city. I knew the restaurants and street stalls to visit, where there was the best shopping (for the lowest price), and which bars had ladies night and free cocktails. But the most fun came from just walking around and poking my nose in everywhere. The location of my sister's apartment is ridiculously amazing, and a 5-10 minute walk to most of the sites in Shanghai, so I was able to take in a lot each day. I still managed to get lost several times, but it was those deviations that led me away from the skyscrapers and down the streets with house after house of families with their clothes hanging out their windows, or the kids toys piled up beside the balcony or meat being butchered on tables outside (kinda gross actually).

Shanghai is a very modern city, but modern in ways that seem like they're taken from the pages of a science fiction novel. The Radisson hotel, the Oriental Pearl, the New World Emporium ..they're all extravagant and curvy and surreal, creating a patchwork skyline that's probably my favourite so far.

There aren't as many sites to see in Shanghai as there are in Beijing and Hong Kong, but that didn't mean I was ever left wondering what to do. Just taking in all the galleries and museums would have required a full week alone! It's the little streets of restaurants, or the YuYuen Gardens or the fun fair smack bang in the middle of People's Square that will keep you searching and hunting around Shanghai for hours on end, although the shopping isn't bad either!

On my last full day, Sian and I took a trip up to Hangzhou (about 45 minutes by bullet train) where there was a huge lake and 1000s of people and police. It turned out it was a fireworks festival that evening, and even though it was only midday, everyone was settling down on picnic blankets to make sure they got the best spot possible. The crowds made it hard to see everything we wanted to (the buses were packed beyond capacity) and it was also the one day where we didn't have perfect weather, so it was kind of a wash, but there are a few photos included at the end of our day. It was also the only place where people stopped taking sneaky photos of me, but ran straight up to Sian and I to have group pictures taken. It's kind of weird to think I'm going to be on their computers or in their photo albums for years to come!

Dumplings at Yang's in Shanghai
This guy was jamming out 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' from a hotel balcony at the pedestrian shopping street, just look at the jacket. Dude had style.
Propaganda posters at the Propaganda Poster Art Centre (French Concession, Shanghai)
A very, very old sculpture at the Shanghai Museum
I couldn't help but giggle at this one, Shanghai Museum
The Shanghai Museum, a hop, skip and a jump from my sister's apartment in People's Square
The gardens by the Shanghai Museum, planted with red and yellow flowers for the National Holiday
Government house, opposite the Shanghai Museum
The Shanghai opera/exhibition centre/performance space (I can't remember which) which totally doesn't look like a weird helicopter landing pad...
Walking through People's Square at night, that alien ship building is the Radisson
The New World Emporium, a fantastically fantastic building in Shanghai
My sister's kitty, Piccola (so cute!!)
A street in Shanghai...somewhere. I was lost.
Fruit shopping in Shanghai (still lost)
The best bike racks I've ever seen
Lovely tree lined streets in the French Concession, Shanghai
I never imagined Shanghai would have houses like this!
The busy streets around YuYuen Gardens, Shanghai
YuYuen Gardens, so tranquil, but about 2km from the centre of the city!
YuYuen Gardens, Shanghai
Fishes! YuYuen Gardens, Shanghai
Making the most of the frontward facing camera on my phone (travelling alone sucks for photos!) YuYuen Gardens, Shanghai
YuYuen Gardens, Shanghai
YuYuen Gardens, Shanghai
My favourite building in Shanghai, The ICBC building on the Bund
Tianzifeng, Shanghai
Tianzifeng, Shanghai
Lunch in Hangzhou (those are crabs on the stick by the way)
Street calligraphy in Hangzhou, amazing to watch 3-4 men just doing their thing.
More of the calligraphy, Hangzhou
Lantern/kite things at the lake in Hangzhou
beautiful boat on the lake at Hangzhou


  1. That saxophonist rules! And duuuude, Shanghai looks so awesome! OMG

    1. It was so not what I was expecting, and I completely fell in love with it. I'd happily move there, maybe not forever, but for a fair while.

      That dude was great, he had a CD as an accompaniment for some other instruments and he flicked through like 3 before settling on another song



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