Longhua Temple and Pagoda
Longhua Temple has a long history and has survived the many turmoils of Shanghai in the past hundreds of years. Its construction, including its wooden pagoda, can be traced back to 997 AD, during the Northern Song dynasty, though earlier versions of the temple may have existed. The temple complex was enlarged in the subsequent Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. It was severely damaged during the Japanese bombing of Shanghai in 1937, and again in 1966 when thousands of Red Guards stormed the temple to destroy its treasures, including Ming dynasty Buddha statues and sacred Buddhist scriptures (all gone). The temple and its pagoda were saved from total destruction due to the intervention of local residents. Today's Longhua temple must be a shadow of its former self, but remains the largest working temple complex in Shanghai. There are several halls dedicated to various deities, separated by tranquil courtyards. Its 7-storey pagoda has striking orange walls and a metal spire at the top. Longhua Temple is located near Longcao Road metro station in southwest Shanghai.
Rigged Taxi Meters in Shanghai - Part 1 of 2
This is also a transportation tip WARNING
It is my experience that Shanghai has the most credible and honest taxi drivers in China. Taking you the long way, rigging meters, refusing to use meters etc. is much less prevalent here than it is in some ohter cities in China. That said, beware!
Lately there have been an increase in the number of rigged taxi meters in Shanghai. Especially around the area of Longyang Lu, where the maglev drops off passengers coming from the Pudong airport, taxi drivers hang around and haggle fares with you as if you were in Manila. These fellows are up to no good. They try to get you to agree to a ridiculously high set fare, rather than use the meter (bad idea!). Even worse, some of them have rigged meters where the fare goes up at a rate much faster than in should. Here are my suggestions to protect yourself:
1. Do not take a taxi if the driver calls out to you in English, no matter what.
2. Do not take a taxi if the driver does not have his vehicle number ID tag displayed on his dash board. Make sure the photograph on the ID tag is really your driver.
3. Do not agree to a flat fare unless you know what you are doing. If you have not been to Shanghai before, you do not know what you are doing.
4. Try to know roughly what the taxi fare should be from your point of origin to your destination.
5. If you don't know what route the driver should be taking, pull out a Shanghai map and act like you are following along. If you can really do it, great, but just putting on the show might be helpful.
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
Situated within the Pudong Park in Lujiazui, in the Pudong New Area, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower is 468 meters high. Like the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower is as much a symbol in Shanghai as it is a spectacular structure. Along with the Nanpu Bridge and the Yangpu Bridge, it forms a picture of two dragons playing with a pearl.
The base of the tower consists of a lobby, a shopping mall and science "fantasy city." Various public and physical plant facilities occupy the two-level basement. The five spheres are designed as a "space hotel" and arranged like a cluster of beads. The observation deck is on the first upper level, at a height of 250-295 meters and a diameter of 45 meters. The so-called space module is even higher at 350 meters and 16 meters in diameter. This observation floor and entertainment area is reserved for special parties and distinguished guests. The antenna extends yet another 118 meters above the building. It transmits TV programs from nine different channels and radio programs from ten FM stations. The tower is equipped with spectacular external lighting, which makes the entire structure colorful and bright.
At the ground floor, the Pearl Tower boasts a magnificent lobby, a sleek elevator zone and an extensive shopping mall. The lower sphere, at 50 meters in diameter, is a self-contained amusement park, with attractions and rides such as a trip through the universe, a tour through space, a time tunnel and an observation corridor.
The Oriental Pearl Tower is a multi-functional establishment satisfying virtually every need of visitors and patrons, including tourism, dining, shopping, entertainment, boarding and Audio & Video Broadcasting. It has already become one of the symbolic buildings and tourism resorts in Shanghai. It is also honored as one of the ten best views in Shanghai
A bird's eye view of Shanghai
If you are flying into or out of Shanghai and you are lucky enough to have a window seat on a clear day (as I was!) then please get out your camera and click away. I was absolutely amazed at the expanse of this city from the air, it just seemed to go on and on and on forever. I took some fantastic shots that day. Have a look for yourself!
Weekend of 8/21/05:
Fri: Huangpu River dinner cruise (class #1, execs, etc), Ascott
Sat: Market, Ascott
Sun: Yu Yuan Gardens (shopping, etc) and Shaolin monks at theater
Monday 8/22 - DUblin exchange with Steve and Misty (talked to Brendan and Noel(ly) re: upcoming Asian Gaelic Games)
Weekend of 8/27:
Dublin Exchange w/ 8 for dinner
The Bund and Nanjing Ju alone - lunch, shopping, photos, etc.
Jin Mao "The Grill" for dinner (Melanie, Steve, Ryan), Cloud 9 and The Max for drinks/pool (female cover singer)
Weekend of 9/2:
Friday: Dinner at Hooters - Pool and drinks at Club Max
Saturday: Oriental Pearl tower w/ China Sups (Catherine, Aurora, Emily) and Omaha crew
Italian Dinner at SuperBrand Mall
Sunday: Market (golf club, wallet, watch), ascott
Weekend on 9/10:
Friday: Last day at work - took Maglev train (426km/hr) to airport
Melissa arrived - flight was delayed and took van back to Ascott at 11pm
Had dinner at La Seine and up to room to bed
Breakfast at La Seine
Taxi to Pearl Circle (K.S. Pearls) for pearls
Toured Yu Yuan Gardens - shopping and a drink
Taxi to Xintandi - lunch/drinks at CJW (Cigars, Jazz, Wine)
Taxi to Nanjing Lu
Walked to The Bund
Taxi to Ascott for nap then ready for dinner
Dinner at The Grill on 56 of Jin Mao Tower and drinks in the lounge
Breakfast, steam shower, nap