Day 16: Shanghai
First, a few words about the location of things in Shanghai (see map below). Until the 1990's almost all of Shanghai was west of the Huangpu River. The Bund was the area along the river where Europeans built lots of buildings in the 1920's and 1930's. Nanjing Road (west of the Bund) was the major shopping area. In the 1990's, the Pudong area, east of the river, was developed with lots of skyscrapers.
Our hotel in Shanghai was the Bund Hotel, which is actually located about a half a mile from the Bund itself.
|The Bund Hotel at night|
|Lobby of the Bund Hotel|
|View from our hotel room|
After breakfast, we met our guide Ellie and our driver, and headed across the river to Pudong. Shanghai, particularly Pudong is a world-class city. If it weren't for the signs in Chinese, you could easily be in New York or Chicago (if New York were 10 times bigger).
|Skyscrapers in Pudong|
We passed by Shanghai Tower, which is the second tallest building in the world, at 2,073 feet. (The tallest is in Dubai)
|Jin Mao Tower|
|In front of the bottom of Shanghai Tower|
|Reflection of Jin Mao Tower in another building|
We took an elevator to the top of the Shanghai World Financial Center, the second tallest building in Shanghai (1,614 feet). We got some spectacular views over Pudong and across the river to the main part of Shanghai.
|View from the top--Jin Mao Tower in lower left center|
|Another view, with all of Jin Mao Tower|
|View of Pudong to the southeast|
|View across the Huangpu River|
|Point of comparison--view from top of our hotel in 1987 (not the same area, but.....)|
|Oriental Pearl Radio/TV tower in the middle|
|No fear whatsoever at 1,600 feet|
|The viewing platform|
|Back on the ground in Pudong|
From Pudong, we crossed the Huangpu River and went to the French Concession area for lunch. The French Concession (which is off the left side of the map above), was the French enclave (actually owned by the French) until 1943. It features lots of buildings from the early 20th century. Today, the area contains lots of shops and restaurants.
|A street in the French Concession|
|A decidedly non-Chinese lunch|
From the French Concession, we traveled to the People's Square area, a major commercial area on the left side of the river.
|Near People's Square|
While in the area, we visited the Shanghai Urban Planning Exposition Center, which sounds dull, but contains a huge, fascinating scale model of the Shanghai area.
|Exterior of the Urban Planning Exposition Center|
|Part of the model of Shanghai|
|Another view of the model|
From there, we headed for the Bund, along the Huangpu River. From the Bund, there was a great view of Pudong. For comparison, I'm including some pictures of Pudong and the Bund (sounds like a rock band.....) that we took on our trip in 1987.
|View of Pudong (and us) from the Bund|
|Panoramic view of the river and Pudong|
|Panoramic view of the Huangpu River in 1987|
|The building with the hole at the top is the Shanghai World Financial Center, where we were in the morning|
|View of Pudong in 1987|
|Buildings from the 1930's along the Bund. Building with the green tower is the Peace Hotel|
|View of the Bund behind us in 1987|
|Peace Hotel and Bank of China|
|Another view of Pudong with a tour boat in front|
|Boats in the Huangpu River in 1987|
While we were walking along the Bund, a Chinese woman came up to me waving a camera. I assumed she wanted me to take a picture of her and her family. After much hand-waving, I determined that she wanted to take a picture of Brenda and me with her family! (I guess we looked like aliens). So, below is a picture of us with people we had never seen before and will never see again.
|Along the Bund|
|Along the Bund|
After returning to the hotel for a couple of hours, we went to dinner at a restaurant at the top of the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, which is next to (and was once part of) the "real" Peace Hotel. After dinner, we went to the hotel's terrace bar, which had great views across the river to Pudong.
|View across the river to Pudong|
|Another river view|
|American celebrities in Shanghai|
After enjoying the view, we crossed the street to the main building of the Peace Hotel (now the Fairmont Peace Hotel, for a view of the lobby.
|Lobby of the Fairmont Peace Hotel|
From there, we walked along the Bund, with what appeared to be about a half a million Chinese people.
|Along the Bund|
|Fairmont Peace Hotel and Bank of China. Swatch Art Peace Hotel on the left.|
|View of Pudong (and a boat) from the Bund promenade|
|Swatch Art Peace Hotel on right|
From there, we took a taxi back to the hotel.
Day 17: Suchow
Today, we took a bullet train to Suzhou, which is about 70 miles west of Shanghai, and known for its canals and gardens.
|Shanghai Railway Station|
|View from the front of the Shanghai railway station|
The bullet train traveled at about 300 kph (about 185 miles per hour), but you don't really get the sensation of speed.
|Inside the bullet train|
|On the outskirts of Suzhou|
|Apartment buildings in the suburbs of Suzhou|
After arriving in Suzhou, we went to (I think) the Lingering Garden, a few shots of which are below.
|At the Lingering Garden|
|Lingering at the Garden|
From there, we headed to Ruiguang Pagoda.
|A street in central Suzhou|
|Ruiguang Pagoda, built in 247 A.D.|
|Gardens at the pagoda complex|
|Another view of the complex|
|A temple in the complex|
|Pan Gate, part of the original city wall, dating from about 500 B.C.|
Next to the Pan Gate is the Wumen Bridge. The current structure was built in 1870, but the original bridge dates from the 11th century.
|View down the canal|
Next we went to a silk factory, and the obligatory silk showroom.
|A mess of silkworms|
|Extracting silk from the cocoons|
From the silk factory, we went to lunch, and had one of the better meals on the trip.
|Inside the restaurant|
After lunch we headed to the Pingjiang Road district, for a ride on a canal boat.
|Along the canal|
|Our boat "captain"|
|We were apparently a tourist attraction|
|A shop on the street paralleling the canal|
Finally, we headed to the train station for our trip back to Shanghai.
|Inside the Suzhou rail station|
|Our bullet train arrives|
When we arrived back in Shanghai, Rodger our friend and Shanghai tour guide on our 1987 trip, met us at the station. We then drove with Rodger to Pudong where we met his family for dinner (another outstanding meal).
|Pudong at night|
|View from Pudong across the river to the Bund|
|Rodger, his wife Shirley, his daughter Annie, Brenda, and Carol|
|All of us in one shot, thanks to our waiter|
|For point of comparison, Rodger and Brenda in 1987|
|More of Pudong at night|
Day 18: A Day With Rodger
|The entrance to the museum|
|The main museum building (Ohel Moshe)|
|Part of the neighborhood around the museum|
|Inside the synagogue|
Outside the museum was a wall containing the names of Jews who emigrated to China. On the list are several members of the Weinbach family, who are cousins of mine.
|Weinbachs are 6th line from the bottom|
|Rear of the synagogue/museum|
The museum exhibits are in a set of buildings behind the synagogue.
From the museum, we drove out to the suburbs.
Our destination was Zhujiajiao, one of several "water towns" in the suburbs of Shanghai. These towns are similar to the canal areas that we saw in the center of Suzchou the previous day.
|Enjoying lunch on the canal|
We didn't take a boat ride, but instead spent our time walking along the canals.
|Rodger the photographer|
At the back end of the canal were some more modern buildings.
We continued along a side street.
|Along the way, we stopped for a drink|
Eventually, we headed back to Shanghai
|We did not stop at Shanghai Disneyland|
|We need this in the United States|
We said goodbye to Rodger at the hotel, and had a quick dinner at the hotel bar. Ellie, our guide came by and took us to Shanghai Circus World to see the Shanghai Acrobats. The acrobats put on a show called "ERA: Intersection of Time", which was spectacular.
|Shanghai Circus World|
|In the lobby|
Day 19: Nanjing Road and Heading Home
Today was our departure day. Carol had a noon flight to Detroit, so she had to head out at about 9:00. Our flight was not until 5:00, so we had a free morning in Shanghai. We took the opportunity to walk from the hotel to Nanjing Road, Shanghai's main shopping street.
|Outside our hotel|
|Moore Memorial Church, smack in the middle of Shanghai|
|Inside Raffles City Mall|
|On Nanjing Road|
|Shanghai Number 1 Department Store|
Most of Nanjing Road is a pedestrian mall.
|Nanjing Road in 1987|
We dropped in to Shanghai First Food Hall, which contained 4 stories of food shops.
We then continued along Nanjing Road.
We then headed back to the hotel, along some back streets.
|Mmmm--pig foot noodles!|
|I have no idea what this is about|
|In a side alley|
After lunch we headed to the airport. Our guide Ellie accompanied us to the Longyang Metro station in Pudong, where we got on the Maglev (magnetic levitation) train to the airport. The Maglev train travels at speeds up to 267 miles an hour, although on our trip it only got up to about 180 miles per hour.
|At the Longyang Road Maglev Statoin|
|Farewell to Ellie|
|The train arrives|
|On the Maglev train|
|Out in the sticks in Pudong|
|Arriving at the airport|
|Maglev train in the airport station|
|A fleet of international airliners|
And thus, our journey ended.....
Thanks to Rick, Rodger, all of our guides (Baaska, Ben, Lhamor, and Ellie), and Echo at China Odyssey Tours for making this a great trip!