My previous article got too beastly to manage so here is the second part, this time focusing on attractions in Shanghai!
**** Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre
This museum shows you the recent history of China through a rare collection of otherwise destroyed government propaganda posters, some with a fervent anti-British theme. Lovers of communist style posters will enjoy this artistically as well as get a political flavour of the times. Who knew the Chinese cared about Black equality in the US!? I thoroughly enjoyed this visit plus its small so very manageable. It's located in a basement in a residential compound on 868 Huashan Road, take the Jiangsu Road or Shanghai Library subway and stick to the main roads so you don’t get lost. At the gate the security guard will hand you a paper telling you to which building to go to.
**** Yuyuan Garden
This garden is set in the busiest of bazaars but once you are inside you feel like you've stepped into an oasis. It is busy and a little bit touristy but there are some little quiet areas where you can sit down and relax. It is fun to get lost among all the weaving paths and stone caves as well as enjoy the architecture. My favourite part was seeing the fish and turtles swimming in the pond (can you tell I like animals?).
**** Huangpu River Cruise
Worth it to get some nice views of the city and to watch the ships of sand and other wares go by. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the breeze and seeing what other shiny buildings there were round the corner. Its 120RMB which is quite a lot compared to other attractions but is a pleasant way to while away 50 minutes of your time. Note it’s an extra 30RMB to sit down on the top deck but they throw in a drink and packet of crisps.
*** Jade Buddha Temple
I usually say when you've visited one temple you've seen them all but this temple actually did look slightly different to the ones in Beijing - it had a more delicate artwork on the beams, monks wandering around and more impressive silks. The sitting Buddha is kept in a luxurious peaceful room that filled me with calm. However, the reclining Buddha was kept in a shabbier chamber which inexplicably had people selling souvenirs either side. On the day I visited it was free for some reason but normally it would cost you 20RMB.
*** Shanghai Museum
There are a few different rooms which are small but some do drag on: bronze, calligraphy, minority dress, painting, porcelain, money, sculptures. I was most interested by the beauty of some of the artifacts such as porcelain vases, paintings and the ethnic clothes collection of Chinese minority groups. We had to queue in the boiling heat but entrance was free so I didn't feel under pressure to stay long.
*** Pudong / World Financial Centre Observatory
It's basically just a soulless shopping mall and financial district, there’s really not much to do apart from go up to the Observatory (a very steep 180RMB) and see what you can of Shanghai through the pollution. I had never been in a skyscraper before, but still, it wasn't mind blowing. Pudong is super clean, shiny, modern and capitalist looking here and reminded me of those 360 virtual tours of what places will look like after the million pound investment.
** Century Park
This is a sweet place to go to if you want to get away from the bustle, bright lights and skyscrapers of Shanghai. My harsh rating isn't a sign of the park being bad, just that it is by no means a "must visit" if you are a fleeting visitor. We just took a stroll around, not exploring all of the zones and saw it had a river with bridges, lakes with fish (you can go fishing or hire a pedalo). My favourite part was seeing two goats on an island! If you do want some action there was a fairground with rides at one part of the park but it was quite dead. The entrance costs 10RMB.
All this blogging is exhausting, so I hope it comes it handy to someone, somewhere :)
- REVIEW: Predatory Thinking by Dave Trott