Day 157: Shanghai with daytrip

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May 3rd 2010
Published: June 28th 2010
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Day 157: Monday, May 3rd, 2010
Shanghai, China with a day trip to the historic water town of Xitang

Per Intrepid notes, "On day 15 we enjoy a day trip to one of Shanghai's nearby water towns (approx.1.5 hours). These tranquil towns built along ancient networks of canals, whose cobblestone streets are lined with traditional buildings in village-style architecture, are a haven for keen photographers and watching locals glide along in Chinese gondolas, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time."

As the notes say, we took about a 1.5 hour drive and we arrived at the historic water town of Xitang. We take a gondola to the center of town and then we're free to wander on our own for a couple of hours. There were parts that seemed very authentic and were interesting but for the most part it felt like a concrete tourist trap. No doubt the roots are old, and the restorations were needed to keep the town alive, but it didn't really do it for me (talked to a few others and they weren't that impressed either.) About an hour in I got tired of walking and looked for a bar to crash at. I chose the one that was playing Norah Jones, cause I'm a party animal. There was a comfy couch that was overlooking the river and walkway so I had a coke (well, half a coke- they started pouring it on ice before I could stop them and no way was I drinking the ice portion) and watched the world go by. I started to fall asleep so I got up and wandered back to the meeting point. I did pass a sign that said that Mission Impossible 3 was filmed here, so watch the movie and you'll see it.

We headed back to Shanghai and that's where my pictures end, and I don't remember what we did. Tomorrow, the rest of the new group has the day to explore Shanghai and then they're hopping on an overnight train to Xi'an. Steve, Damon and myself are sticking around Shanghai one more night because we're going to Expo all day tomorrow. We'll fly into Xi'an Wednesday morning and we'll meet up with the group then. So, tomorrow, Expo.

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