Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Shanghai: City Views. Night Lights.

(For your listening pleasure! :) )
Ink by Coldplay on Grooveshark
After our wonderful couple days in Beijing, it was time to continue our journey in Shanghai. When we first left Beijing, I was kind of bummed. I felt like there was so much more of Beijing to see and it was already time to leave. However, when I woke up in Shanghai, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved it there. Shanghai is a coastal city, whereas Beijing is considered the imperial city. Therefore, Shanghai gives off more of a modern, big city vibe. And with good reason! Shanghai is the largest city by population in China, tallying in at about 24 million people. Just take a minute and wrap your head around that number. For comparison purposes, South Dakota only has about 844,877 people living in it. Even after being in Shanghai, that number is hard for me to imagine! While Shanghai is the largest in terms of population, Beijing actually has more land.

While we were in Shanghai, the first day we visited the world’s highest observatory. It was pretty impressive how quickly we ascended to the top floor, where we were able to look over the city. Across from the building we were in stood the future site of the second tallest building in the world. Much of the building was already constructed and it seemed like a unique design.

The sci-fi elevator ride to the top!

The building being constructed

Afterwards, we went to the Shanghai Museum where we were able to take a leap back in history and observe pottery, art, furniture, and fashion from the different Chinese dynasties. My favorite part was the furniture. It was interesting seeing the intricate details of the eras.

Next Stop: The silk museum. Without ever setting foot in China, most people can probably tell you that China is known for its silk. We were able to take a closer look at how the silk is made, starting from the silk worm to the final product. Afterwards, we perused the racks upon racks of item for sale. There were a number of scarves that I found beautiful, but I wasn’t willing to open my wallet to dish out any additional funds. I am a broke college student after all!

After the silk museum, it was time for “take two” of the governor’s banquet. Located in a building downtown, we had a beautiful view overlooking the city. Shanghai is known for the lights on the buildings, so the party location was a perfect way to display the beauty of the city. The tone of the party was more upbeat than the one we attended in Beijing and I think we all had a fun time.

My favorite part of Shanghai came right after we left the reception and boarded our evening boat tour. The duration of the ride we spent on outer deck, snapping pictures and taking in the beauty of the city. I have always wanted to go on a boat tour when I have visited cities within the US, but have never done it. What better time than in Shanghai to experience my first evening boat tour?

The remainder of our time in Shanghai was spent visiting Daktronics and seeing an acrobat show. While I have never toured the Daktronics building in Brookings, I did find it pretty fascinating that it is also located in Shanghai. I loved hearing from the interns. We had an opportunity after they presented about their experiences to sit and chat with them. My favorite part about traveling is hearing about people’s daily lives in another location. We asked about each other’s favorite foods, hobbies, and schools.

Later, in the evening, we went to the acrobat show called, Era: The Intersection of Time. I had never been to anything like it before. It was incredible how those little women could contort their bodies the way they did. I don’t think those women had an ounce of fat to spare on their bodies. Nothing makes you feel more inflexible or a bit hefty like watching the acrobats and contortionists. Truly amazing!

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