Shanghai's Old & New

21:19 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

Where do I start with Shanghai? Like Beijing, the city is stock full of people, but in Shanghai, you are also surrounded by the skyscrapers and lights of a modern city. And, while it seemed to be the city that embraced everything new, bigger and better, you could be walking down a street and stumble upon something old, like with the Jade Buddha Temple, reminding you of the countries history.

View of Pudong from the Bund - you can see the Bottle
Opener, the tallest building in Shanghai in the back

View of the highway from our hotel

Another example of new meets old was the Yu Gardens. It is modern shopping set in old buildings, and not just modern knick knacks like shot glasses and magnets. Within a few blocks, we found a Starbucks and Dairy Queen. I felt a little silly visiting the DQ, but was happy to give in to a Blizzard craving with a Mississippi Mud Pie blizzard. We shopped for jade, abacuses, local art and walked away empty handed. Too many people, too much haggling for my taste.

See the Texas stop sign (aka DQ) in the back?
There was another one just outside the shopping area

Then, after all the commercialism and craziness in the shopping centre, you escape into the gardens themselves and tranquility descends. It was originally built during the Ming Dynasty for a government official in his retirement. While it wasn't kept up over the ages, it was restored in the 1950's and has been opened to the public to enjoy their own type of retirement - an escape from the bustle of Shanghai - for a small fee. Perfect for us to relax after a typical night out Shanghai style karaoke-ing at K-TV.

Tea house in the middle of Yu Gardens

While we wandered among the gardens, you did not hear the sounds of Shanghai. You did not see the crowds of people (minus the tourists, which may be more substantial in the summer). You did not see technology. Just lakes, koi, rockeries and pagodas. So we wandered, sat, then wandered some more until it was time to find our way back out into the city for one last night of Shanghai debauchery til we headed back to London.

Inside Yu Gardens

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