Today I will take you to the Shanghai we saw. The streets were full of people...all 23 million of them it seemed! Our first stop was...
...the Old Town Bazaar...a tourist mecca. The brochures warn travelers to stay away on national holidays because of the crowds. No one told us!
Our arrival coincided with the Chinese New Year and everyone seemed to think the market was a good place to spend the day.
There were long line-ups at the concessions...
...dishing up local treats.
Despite the huge highways into the city...many locals still get around on two wheels.
The cars are all new. The bikes are all old....it seems.
Scooters often transported the entire family...mom, dad and child.
Oh...and sometimes the family pet! Helmets are an unknown in China....and they seem to think headlights on scooters are unimportant as well.
These police have no problem maneuvering around in the city in their carts.
We had our own bus (complete with English tour guide)...but for those who needed a narrated tour...this was the way to go.
When our time of exploring on our own was over...we were to meet under the giant 'tea pot'...down one of these little side streets. Oh dear...where was that again? It is a little unnerving to know you can not 'phone a friend'...or ask the policeman for directions. No one in that crowd seemed to speak English!
Whew! There he was...our friendly guide, John...always wearing his red jacket.
After exploring the old part of town...we walked Nanjing Street and the upscale shopping district...and paid a visit to Plaza 66 Mall. There the names were all familiar to us...and bargaining was out of the question.
Next stop...The Bund. Also called Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu...the famous waterfront has been regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years.
Shanghai is undergoing one of the fastest economic expansions the world has ever seen. It has the largest stock exchange, the world's first magnetic train system, and well over three-thousand skyscrapers. The World Financial Centre is one of the tallest buildings in the world (pictured in the back with the 'see-through' window on top)...however, it will soon be dwarfed by the tower coming up nearby. Everywhere we saw cranes on top of buildings under construction. During this building boom there have been times when 1/4 of all the cranes in the world are working in Shanghai.
John...our favorite guy and source of so much knowledge!
The Monument to the People's Heroes is a 24 meter concrete structure in Huangpu Park...built as a memorial for those died during the revolutionary struggle for Shanghai dating back to the Opium Wars.
After our walk along the famous waterway...we carried on to our next stop.
The Shanghai Silk Carpet Factory. We had a tour...and though the factory was closed for the New Year holiday... a few workers came to show us how their carpets are made. Beautiful works of art...they are!
We had a nice chat with this young gal...who spoke a beautiful English. She was an employee at the factory...a university grad...though she looked all of sixteen! Though most of us were not in the market for a carpet...they did make a sale or two.
We left Shanghai after our first day of touring...en route to Suzhou. Next stop!