Visiting Shanghai

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October 25th 2010
Published: October 26th 2010
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I had quite a few different chances to go into Shanghai while taking my TESL course this past summer. Here are some of the things I did and saw. (This is another quick photo blog!)

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Nanjing LuNanjing Lu
Nanjing Lu

Disneyland meets Las Vegas meets a giant shopping mall
Shanghai AcrobatsShanghai Acrobats
Shanghai Acrobats

One evening our whole group went into the city to see a Shanghai acrobat performance. (For those of you in the know, no it was not the one with motorcycles). One of the best acts was a tightrope walker.
Shanghai Acrobats 2Shanghai Acrobats 2
Shanghai Acrobats 2

The tightrope walking was cool enough, but the unicycle made it even better, and when he started using his hands ... let's just say that I will never master such a cool party trick.
Shanghai Acrobats 3Shanghai Acrobats 3
Shanghai Acrobats 3

The glass balancer was also very impressive ... especially when you see what she does next ...
Shanghai Acrobats 4Shanghai Acrobats 4
Shanghai Acrobats 4

... talk about balancing ...
Shanghai Acrobats 5Shanghai Acrobats 5
Shanghai Acrobats 5

... in stilettos no less!
Shanghai Acrobats 6Shanghai Acrobats 6
Shanghai Acrobats 6

Not as impressive, but highly entertaining were the hat jugglers.
Shanghai World Financial CenterShanghai World Financial Center
Shanghai World Financial Center

Another day we visited the tallest building in China. Known affectionately as "the giant battle opener" (go look at the the picture on its wikipedia page and you'll understand) it is located on the Pudong side of Shanghai - an area that less than two decades ago was a swamp.
Shanghai World Financial Center 2Shanghai World Financial Center 2
Shanghai World Financial Center 2

The building tops out at 492 m (over 1600 ft!) and the elevator waiting room shows you the hight of the elevator. The hight is less impressive (it's still hard to think im meters sometimes) than the speed at which the numbers change - those elevators go really fast!
Shanghai World Financial Center 4Shanghai World Financial Center 4
Shanghai World Financial Center 4

Besides the view from the sides of the observation deck the floor also had windows in it. The size of the roads and cars down below definitely makes you feel like you are in a plane.
Shanghai World Financial Center 5Shanghai World Financial Center 5
Shanghai World Financial Center 5

Peter and Greg were kind enough to pose for me. Greg was having a great time, but it took a lot of convincing to get Peter (who very was bravely facing down his deathly fear of heights) to stand on the glass floor window
Shanghai World Financial Center 6Shanghai World Financial Center 6
Shanghai World Financial Center 6

Brian, Leela, and Peter take in the view.
toilet with a viewtoilet with a view
toilet with a view

I didn't actually need to use the restroom, but I had to check out what must be one of the most spectacular pit-stops in Shanghai.
Jade Buddha TempleJade Buddha Temple
Jade Buddha Temple

After the financial center we visited the Jade Buddha Temple. I love how prevalent lions are in Chinese culture. These ones are tied with red ribbons for wishes of luck or prayers.
Dragon Dragon

atop a massive bell
woodcarving 1woodcarving 1
woodcarving 1

A man carved into a tree.
woodcarving 2woodcarving 2
woodcarving 2

This second wooden sculpture was again carved from a single tree trunk, but in the immage of many tiny monks instead of just one. Worshipers had left money tucked into the monks arms, under their feet, and behind their heads. I really enjoyed these wooden sculptures, and I was surprised to find a couple weeks later that this style of carving (from massive trunks/roots of trees) is done in shops all around my school in Fuzhou! (More photos to come.)
City god templeCity god temple
City god temple

Another trip into the city was full of crowds. Without realizing it we had chosen the Chinese equivalent of Valentines Day to go wandering around the city for the evening. It also happened to be one of those lovely, clear, and relatively un-humid days that follows big thunderstorms, so it felt like the whole city was out wandering up and down the streets. I especially like this photo because of the girl with the pigtails.
The BundThe Bund
The Bund

Next we headed down to the waterfront to walk along "the bund" - a promenade on the west side of the river. The views are beautiful, with the towering modern skyscrapers of Pudong across the water to the east, and the old European architecture of the impressive buildings on the west side of the river.

The beautiful Pearl Tower (with the giant ball) is on the left, and in the distance you can see the blue outline of the Shanghai World Financial Center on the right (it is further away, which makes it look smaller). Such a pretty skyline!

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