Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall
This building contains an incredibly accurate miniature model of the entire city, complete with every little window detail, roofing and siding! Made to scale! There is information about the water and electrical lines, infrastructure and foresight into upcoming architectural plans for the future. A dream for any architect or engineer interested in urban planning and design.
Address: 100 Renmin Da Dao
Directions: Take taxi to People's Square.
It is fast and convenient to travel around by metro. Always bring some coins with you and use the ticket vending machine to buy metro tickets, which saves you a lot of time standing in a line to get ticket from the counter.
As far as I'm concerned, Zhou Zhuang is a must see if you have some time in Shanghai. It is a town of canals and old houses and you can take a ride on a Gondola. It is only a 90 minutes bus ride so you could visit for one day if that's all the time you have. I stayed for a night, which I recommend as the hoardes of tourists depart by 4:00pm and you have the place to yourself. The beauty of the village can not be overestimated, you simply must visit. A photographers heaven.
Please see my Off the Beaten track tips for more information on this wonderful place.
People watch in Shanghai - the kids are cute!
I love observing local people and how they go about their daily life when I am in a foreign city. But, what I especially love is the children, and the children of Shanghai (I think) were especially gorgeous and adorable. Do you agree with me?
"No Longer in Japan"
On leaving Shanghai airport and jumping in the first available taxi, the see-through plastic barrier encasing the driver, to protect him from actual bodily harm from irate customers, told me I was no longer in the safe haven of Japan. I had arrived at night and the view from the Nanpu bridge looking out on both sides of the river was nothing short of stunning. Shanghai is a city literally on the rise.
I booked into my hotel and soon headed out to explore. I walked along the bank of the river in the area known as The Bund. The stately, colonial buildings of the west bank look on serenly as their younger cousins on the east bank reach for the stars. It was a warm night and the floodlit facades of the old institutions made for a romantic atmosphere. It seemed ashame to be travelling on my own in this city.
I found a restaurant and ordered pork in fish sauce and stir-fried rice, using the power of my finger to point at the thoughtfully provided picture menu . I washed it down with what the waitress insisted was beer, even though the menu described it as rich, glutinous wine. It was 10% by volume but it tasted like beer, which was the main thing.
I returned to the hotel, pleased to have successfully negotiated my first night in China.
"Orders and decrees"
Somewhere in Shanghai there is a guy called "Ladies Bar". The reason I know this is because I must look quite a bit like this guy. Strange men on the street keep coming up to me and greeting me by saying 'Hello, Ladies Bar?'. There is obviously don't look completely like this guy because they say this with a rising intonation that denotes a question. Whoever this guy "Ladies Bar" is there are a LOT of people who want to speak to him.
After five days in China I'm of the opinion that the place would be a lot better off if there weren't so many chinese people everywhere. They're not exactly the type of people who go in for quite contemplation of things either. It strikes me that most Chinese people seem to think there are too many people, too. Drivers for example make every effort to try and cull some of the excees population evreytime they come to a junction. Maybe this comes as a directive from The Party. The one child policy hasn't worked at keeping the population down so maybe increasing the roadkill numbers will help.
The Party are very good at ordering people not to do things, too. As part of the drive to put on a more socially acceptable face to the outside world in time for the olympics you can see signs saying 'No spitting', usually witha guy hocking a loogie right next to it. There are also signs at the subways stations telling people its prohibited to bring explosives into the station. Islamist extremists don't stand a chance with those kinds of counter-terrorism measures. Another decree, at the station platform, reminds anybody contemplating suicide that its illegal
to jump onto the train tracks in front of the train.
Right, I'm off to bed. If you see Ladies Bar, let him know there are a few people who want to speak to him on the Nanjing Road.