Hard bargaining for branded goods
Xiangyang Market (Xiangyang Shi Chang) is a flea market located just off Huahai Zhong Lu. It is a collection of several hundred stalls selling fake branded goods. You can get just about any fake branded item - Prada, Gucci, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton clothes, Omega, Rolex watches, Callaway golf clubs etc. You must bargain hard. As a rule, slash the price to 20 - 30% of the original quoted price.
Ajisen Ramen is a very popular chain of Japanese noodle restaurants with delicious hand-pulled noodle soups...! For such an inexpensive eatery, the flavors were so sensational! It reminded me of eating at one of Tokyo's soba cafes, only much, much better! As you can see in the photo, the atmosphere is very nice...! I highly recommend this place... The one I ate at was on Huaihai Road... Noodle soup with chicken and spices, and a side order of potato/fruit salad combination... It sounds simple, but I tell you, the flavors were OUTSTANDING!
Confucius Temple (Wén Miào)
A beautiful, serene set of buildings set just off a busy, crowded road just outside the city center. It was magnificent to see the lush gardens and view the well kept, stark buildings.
There was an option for just a couple dollars to buy a little card that you could write on and hang in the garden on the trees - a prayer, a note of thanks, anything you'd like to say and it was gorgeous to see all the languages written and strewn about in the garden trees - different people from different places all appreciating the same experience...
Shanghai - a classic blend of the old and the new
"First impressions ..."
On our plane trip from Guilin to Shanghai, it was my first and only time with a window seat, and I took full advantage of that. I knew Shanghai was a BIG city but I never knew exactly how BIG until we were coming in to land. The weather was nice, the sky was clear and you could see for miles and miles. I took a lot of pics of what I saw out that window, and it was then that I knew for sure that I was going to like Shanghai! A lot of travellers dont particularly like big cities, BUT I DO! Not only do they have all the modern cons to offer, they are also jam-packed with everything ancient and historical.
Our Hotel in Shanghai was a perfect blend of the old and the new. I really liked the Metropole, a Hotel built in the 1930's with history and a certain old world charm about it.
Shanghai was also easy to get around it, via either taxi, the subway or by simply walking. We did sooooooo much walking in China that I came home 2kg lighter! Taxis were in abundance and, even though the drivers spoke very little english, they were courteous and fair. We caught the subway several times to Xinyang Markets and twice across to Pudong to see the amazing towers and buildings there.
That is my next heading ...
"The amazing heights of Pudong ..."
Tracy and I were constantly mesmerised and amazed at the enormity of Pudong. Seen either from the Bund area, or from the ground in Pudong or from one of the 3 main tall buildings in Pudong, either way you will be blown away.
The 3 main buildings I was encouraged to concquer were:-
1. Oriental Pearl Tower
2. Jin Mao Tower
3. The newest addition to the family - The Shanghai World Financial Centre.
And ... yes indeed ... we did concquer all 3 of them, and enjoyed every moment of it. Apart from being way up in the clouds at times and not being able to see a thing! We went up the second highest observation deck at the Pearl Tower and were lucky to be there on a clear day. We went up to the 100th floor of the SWFC - but were up in the clouds and saw very little. We also had a drink or 2 at the Cloud 9 Skylounge in the Jin Mao Tower on the 87th floor, which is reported to be the highest bar in the world.
Once again, we were drinking up in the clouds - up in heaven!
"The ancient Shanghai ..."
I guess the only historical point of interest we visited in Shanghai was the Yu Yuan Gardens and Bazaar, a place we both thoroughly enjoyed. The gardens and the buildings, even the pathways, were very tranquil, serene and beautiful to look at and also to photograph. It was kind of a weird feeling to be walking through the peaceful gardens, knowing you were close to the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world.
I am told that Shanghai has a population of around 20 million people in inner Shanghai and approximately 60 million in the entire Shanghai province.
That is a rather large amount of people. But, when you were inside the Yu Yuan Gardens, you didnt feel like you were anywhere that busy and crowded, it was quiet and peaceful. Plus, there was absolutely fantastic shopping in the surrounding shops! Unfortunately, we left it until our second last day in Shanghai to visit, we really should have gone there first!
My memories of Shanghai are all good ones, many funny ones, and also many amazing ones.
I know for a fact that I will return to Shanghai one day ...
I simply must return, for there are many things we did not get around to doing. Like visiting the Jade Buddha Temple, walking the Bund, Huangpu River cruise, exploring the Peoples Park and Square, a day trip to Suzhou and riding the Maglev.
PLEASE ALSO HAVE A LOOK AT MY ACTUAL CHINA PAGE, AS THERE ARE A LOT OF TIPS AND INFO ON THAT PAGE THAT RELATE TO CHINA AS A WHOLE :)