Day 15 was packed with sightseeing around Shanghai. Of course to get ready for a long day sightseeing we hit the hotel breakfast buffet first. Lots and lots of food options.
I think this was from the noodle station.
Salad and fruit
Love the donut rack!
Fresh watermelon juice
Here is what I ended up with on day 1. I tried out the blueberry yogurt and watermelon juice along with some fresh fruit and poached eggs.
Then we met our private tour guide in the lobby and headed out for the day. It was a big hazy and looked like it might storm, but we weren't going to let that deter us. Our first stop was our across the river over to the side of Shanghai known as Pudong. This is the financial center, primarily packed with international buildings for foreign businesses. At this time the foreign countries are leasing the land from China.
This is one of the most recognizable sights in Shanghai. This is the Oriental Pearl Tower.
You can go up in the tower to get a city view, but our guide told us the lines get long fast and you can wait a few hours to get your chance to go up. Instead she suggested we visit the Shanghai World Financial Center. It's the building in the back with the cut out on the top, which makes it look like a bottle opener. This is a Japanese building and from the inside you would really tell it was Japanese, right down to the Japanese heated toilet seats. It is currently the tallest (finished) building in Shanghai. The very, very tall building that isn't completed yet (you can see the crane hanging off the top) is known as the Shanghai Tower. It is planned to be finished in 2015. Once finished it will be the second tallest building in the world.
Here we are with the Oriental Pearl Tower in the background.
More buildings in Pudong.
Here is the information on the Shanghai World Financial Center being certified as the tallest building in Shanghai back in 2008.
Not the clear view we would have liked, but this works too. This is looking back over the river and the city of Shanghai beyond that. This was taken from the observatory on the 94th floor.
This building is just a little shorter and was designed to look like a pagoda.
Not super clear...but you get the idea!
View from the other side of the building.
Our tour guide suggested I use the bathroom at the end of the row. What a great suggestion! I nearly gasped when I opened the door and saw this! That is a floor to ceiling window with a view down from the 94th floor and a full on Japanese toilet seat.
Our next stop was at the City God Temple. This was the first Taoist Temple we visited.
Very colorful decorations.
For the incense.
My Chinese Zodiac sign is the monkey, so this was the set of statues for the year of the monkey. Mostly these looked the same for each of the animals.
Very intricate details and beautiful paint colors.
This temple ends up coming up at Yuyuan Gardens, which is a former private residence that is now open to public.
Here we getting ready to enter the gardens and walk around.
This is common to see on top of buildings. It's a dragon head with a fish tail.
Lots of buildings that cover a good amount of ground, so it is hard to believe it was a private residence.
This area contains a stage for performances.
As the name suggests, plenty of gardens around. In China, gardens have lots of rocks. The more holes the more beautiful, according to our guide.
The buildings/rooms had porches, or rather wrap around outdoor hallways and passages.
This is a zig zag bridge.
Beautiful colors on this tree.
This is a really relaxing and peaceful place to go to escape the busy city.
Inside one of the buildings.
One more picture of me hanging out in the gardens.
View through a famous rock sculpture that was manmade but made to look natural.
Here is the rock sculpture from the front side.
Can you tell if this is male or female? I'll give you a clue...look below the foot.
This is inside the former owner's study.
This was as we excited and made our way to the shopping area. I recognized this area right away and spotted a Starbucks that I went to back when it was one of the only locations in China.
This guy was just hanging out.
After we left the garden we made our way to the French Concession. This is a well known area that maintains the name from when this was primarily French. There was also the American and British concessions that later combined and made a larger international section. The French Concession always remained French (until communism changed that, but the name remains).
This happens to be a Thai restaurant but it gives you an idea of the architecture. A lot of the buildings are restored and the area has been redone to be a little more modern and still very European feeling.
Our tour guide took us to the Communism Museum, which was interesting and definitely not something I would have thought of seeing on my own.
Basically this whole area looked so cute and it was lunch time that Ryan and I decided it was time to part ways with the guide and head off to find some lunch.
We finally decided on Luna.
The lychee martini sounded too good to pass up.
It was definitely as good as it looked!
Ryan had tomato soup and I had mushroom soup to start.
A nice sandwich for Ryan.
And I had smoked salmon with eggs on an English muffin.
After lunch we walked around a little more.
We never found a truly local grocery store, but we did find a nice international grocer. They had many international foods but they also had traditional Asian foods as well. This is the very smelly durian. I first experienced this fruit while in Malaysia. Not kidding about the smelly part.
Still not sure what this fruit it.
Japanese salad dressings
Interesting looking building that I spotted while we were having a coffee.
Almost doesn't look like China!
We've definitely never seen a car like this before! I guess not many people have because there was quite a crowd standing around taking pictures. We actually saw the guy pull up, park, and then head into a store or restaurant.
When we returned to the hotel later that afternoon we found this box on the bed.
Cute way to give guests chocolate on their pillow.
Our hotel room was right next to the spa and gym. The only problem was that we were short on time. Thankfully we got a lot of walking in, but it would have been nice to enjoy their facilities.
Before heading to find dinner we looked around the second floor bar area. Very fun decor!
These buildings were just right around our hotel.
Not too far off was People's Square, which contains a few museums, like the Urban Planning Museum.
To find dinner we headed inside the nearest mall, which was practically across the street from our hotel. Lots of goodies to be found inside.
They even had a Cold Stone! Yeah, that's exciting because we have these in Tokyo, but not near where we live, so seeing a Cold Stone is rare for us, hence our excitement.
I saw this place in Beijing and thought it looked cute, so I wanted to make sure I took a picture of it. Happy Lemon primarily makes tea beverages.
Of course this place caught our attention...and made us seriously drool!
This is our hotel at night. Our room was so big it had 3 of those balconies, starting with the one on the corner. Not sure what the funny shaped lit up building was behind us, but it made me dizzy to look up at it, that's for sure.
Since we didn't find dinner in the mall, we headed to Nanjing Road, which is a famous Street in Shanghai and is primarily a shopping street now with lots of hotels around it. Many buildings are lit up at night which makes it a good spot to go to in the evening.
Ryan likes spicy food so a Sichuan restaurant sounded like a good idea.
Yes, this place is open 25 hours!
We weren't too hungry (yeah we totally had the Cold Stone) so we stuck primarily with vegetable dishes.
Sesame balls filled with red bean paste.
Ryan ordered some noodles. The only problem with the noodles dishes in China was that they were pretty oily. At least they came with some veggies!
That wraps it up for our fun filled, jam-packed first day in Shanghai!
QUESTIONS: Have you ever been to Shanghai? What is the tallest building you have ever visited? Have you heard of Taoism? Do you like spicy food?