This weekend was full of explorations!
Saturday, Chris & I met up with our boss’s niece. She showed us around popular spots in Shanghai & was very knowledgeable.
We first went to the Yu Garden, which is a very historical site located in the “Old City” of Shanghai. It stretches over 5 acres & is considered the most famous garden in Shanghai for it’s design. This is where you’ll find all of the oriental architecture – so beautiful!
This is known as the Lotus Pool. The entrance to the Zigzag Bridge is to the left & leads you across the water. The building on the left in this picture is a Tea House where you can sit, drink some tea, enjoy the atmosphere & maybe feed the fish!
At the end of the Zigzag Bridge is the entrance to the Inner Garden. We decided to take a tour of it, which is full of ponds, pavilions, & rockeries. It was such a serene, peaceful place with the most amazing designs.
Since I couldn’t spend all day in there, we roamed around the Yu Garden & decided to wait in the ever so long line to try these famous traditional Chinese dumplings. They are called Xiao Long Bao – steamed dumplings – unlike anything I’ve ever had. They are filled with pork & a souplike juice…well worth the wait!
Afterwards, we toured the City God Temple, also located in the Yu Garden. I find myself very interested in this part of the Chinese culture. This particular temple places a strong emphasis on the Taoist spirituality & still have clergymen/monks living within [I saw a few!]. I really enjoyed learning about Taoism in a class I had in college, but to see & learn more about it while in it’s origin was just awesome.
If you’re familiar with the Chinese Zodiac, like I am, you may know that each year is represented by a different animal. If I understood correctly, each year also has a guardian god & there is one room within the temple that has all of these guardians on display. This year happens to be the year of the dragon, which is the year I was born, & I asked if she could point out which god represented my year – sure enough there he was holding the magnificent dragon! I was told that the dragon is considered the greatest of all & much luck will come my way this year 🙂
Once we were done touring the Yu Garden, we walked to The Bund – a large pathway that follows along the Huangpu River [which divides Pudong & Puxi]. The variety in architecture is crazy! It’s like someone took a bunch of different country’s cities & placed them into one: Shanghai. One side is all of the Chinese buildings which are very sleek & modern, then another side that is lined with buildings made by the British, & then another area that is built by Americans. So, I felt like I was in London, New York & Shanghai all at once.
We ended our day by visiting Nanjing Road, very famous for it’s shopping. It reminded me a lot of New York City.
Today, Chris & I decided to brave the city on our own. We walked around the area near our work & found a shopping mall. Then we took the metro to the Science & Technology Museum where there was an underground shopping plaza – aka bargain shopping. I think I’ll do all my shopping there from now on! Chris & I spent hours walking around & haggling prices with people for the best looking designer knock-off stuff I’ve ever seen. I decided to wait on the designer stuff, & went for some souvenirs to decorate my room. I got two small figurines of a Buddha & a dragon – to bring good luck of course!
I am loving this city, so far. All of the potential shopping is killing me! I found so many stores I like, I just have to figure out how I’ll get it all back home at the end of six months!