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Shanghai, China


Shanghai, China is one of the more modern of the cities we traveled too, but still had loads of history. Here you will find that more people do speak a bit more english, but only in the touristy areas. After arriving to our hotel, we quickly refreshed ourselves and headed out. We ventured off to visit the Shanghai Museum full of Chinese art. Then we walked to Nanjing Road and the Bund. The Bund is the outer bank of the River. We went during the day, but went back at night to see all the lights. After walking around for a few hours, we opted to go see a silk factory. We learned how silk worms produce silk and how people and machines create different kinds of silk. My aunt and I walked out with some goodies and I am so glad we did.


Did you know? China produces about 78% of the worlds silk! 1 cocoon filaments holds about 600 - 900 meters of silk thread.


After the Silk factory, we headed off to Yuyaun Garden which was built in the Ming dynasty. This area is known to be old Shanghai. Also resembles Chinatown. Lots of street food and shops. This garden has ponds and bridges so although there is a lot of tourists and locals, if you see behind the mass of people, you see beautiful architecture and very well kept gardens.


One of the places I loved the most about this area, was this grand hall of food! It was kind of like a big food hall but all connected with tons of food and all different kinds. Finding a spot to sit is difficult but just being in this place was so fun and thrilling. I also ate some stuff that I am really not sure what it was but it was delicious. Food was pretty affordable in China and although I thought Shanghia was going to be much more expensive then Beijing and Xian, we found some great places where locals were eating that were quite affordable and so yummy.



This was extremely random but I am a big fan of Orange Theory. I just got word that they opened a new studio in Shanghai. My aunt, what a sweetheart, entertained my idea of taking a class in Shanghai. As this was NOT part of the tour, we went on our own. We took the underground train, which was extremely easy to use and very organized. This was exciting because we really didn’t know how to get to the studio but getting lost was the best part. We ended up seeing a lot more than we bargained for. After about an hour and half we found the studio and I was so excited. Yes, I was excited to workout in China. The coach was thrilled that I came and they ended up even giving me a Shanghai orange theory shirt which was so cool! Ok back to regular programming.


On the following day, we headed to visit Suzhou. This is known as the Venice of the Orient. Before we boarded our canal tour, we stopped to visit the Master of Nest Garden. It was a typical residence in the Qing Dynasty. Our tour guide explained to us that these were family homes all connected by a courtyard and garden pond. Typically there were 3 generations living in this home and also he noted some rooms were only for men ( no woman allowed). It was all very fascinating and very pretty!



We boarded a boat with the rest of the group and we went through all the channels. We saw beautiful stone bridges, pagodas and classical gardens that lined up the canals. The canals actually cover about 42% of the city.


After exploring the historic sites of Shanghai, we set off to the modern side of the bund. Picture the Jetsons.

( if you do not know what that is, sorry, but it's an old futurist cartoon ) In this area, you will find buildings such as the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, The Shanghai World Financial Center, Jin Mao Tower, and the Shanghai Tower. One of the cool things to note about this area is there walking system. They have created bridge walkways to not interfere with the flow of traffic, so you can cross city blocks above the cars. Very effective and safe.



I was so impressed by the heights of these buildings and all the lights they had. It really felt as if I was in the future. I love heights, which is a random fun fact about me and I really wanted to go up the Oriental Pearl as it has a glass walkway all the way to the top. We missed the last opportunity to go that night, but got tickets to come back first thing in the morning. Now that I was an expert on the transit system, I convinced a few people from our tour to join us.


This was the last day, and my aunt and I had everything ready to go before we went out for our last adventure which was to walk on glass 1,152 ft up in the air. We arrived with perfect timing, and headed up to the glass floor. I had never been so high in my life, and I walked onto that floor like no big deal. I clearly do not have any fear but when I looked back, my aunt could not even place one foot on the glass! And so couldn’t a lot of other people. I get it, it's scary. I am just a thrill seeker.


I did cart wheels, moon walked, hand stand and even did some pushups. This was an epic moment and so glad we had the time to go back and see all of Shanghai from the top of the Oriental Pearl.


This trip was way more than I had expected, and even though China had not been on the top of my travel list, it definitely became one of the best trips I have ever taken.

 

Here are some Chine Travel Tips that are very useful.


1. Get a VPN

2. Change money there. If you are changing money at the hotel or in a bank, your bills have to be crisp and new. They cannot have any rips, writing or be wrinkled.

3. Your credit card probably wont work anywhere! ATMs in the hotels do work.

4. Try the food, it is all good

5. Do not drink the water. The bottles of water in the bathroom are for you to brush your teeth with and drink.

download a translator app. This is VERY useful.

6. Put a smile on or a peace sign when Chinese people ask to take photos of you. It’s totally normal. 15 minutes of fame!


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