Sunday. Where is jet lag? Is this weak feeling of sleepiness called jet lag? Is it? So I have a jet lag at least twice per week. Each week…
Time to see real Shanghai. We decided to start from the west-most part of touristic Shanghai which is People’s Square and People’s Park. Line 2 of subway brought us here. Fast and convenient, as all of them. And air-conditioned. Over 30 degrees Celsius outside, so we start sightseeing from fountain in front of City Hall.
There is probably a lot to see in Shanghai Museum. If you can devote a month for visiting Shanghai then you should go there. We had only a week. Almost. So we skipped the museum at this time.
People’s Square and Park are surrounded by skyscrapers. This is nothing strange. Unusual sight in Shanghai is clear open space without any tall building up till horizon. Believe me, unusual sight does not exist in Shanghai.
As there will be a lot of higher and more impressive skyscrapers during our journey we decided not to waste time to admire the ones around People Square and to go on to East Nanjing Road. As intuition says there are two Nanjing Roads in Shanghai: East and, what a surprise, West. West one is normal commercial street, while East one is first in China pedestrian zone. And commercial street as well.
When you reach East Nanjing Road (or Nanjing Xi Lu) you should let the crowd to take you and simply follow it. Any attempt to escape into one of the perpendicular streets would be immediately stopped by a huge mass of scooters which is impossible to pass through.
Chinese merchants are prepared for anything. Let’s assume that you are a member of some radical Christian church, that believes that Christmas in fact should be celebrated in the beginning of September. If you wonder where to find Christmas stuff in September I have a hint:
More Chinese ads…
Suddenly cars are back to the road. This is a sign that we are close to the Bund. Official name is Zhonshan Road and I think that Chinese prefer it as they want not to remember times when buildings that line up the street were build. This was shortly after infamous Nanjing Treaty was signed forcedly opening 6 Chinese cities to westerners and giving away the rule over Hong Kong to Brits. Although the Bund is closer, the below picture shows a panorama of Pudong – a business district.
Satisfied by the weather (finally sun) we decided to change a little bit surroundings and find the Old Town. Shanghai call its old town Nanshi. So where is Nanshi? We know the approximate azimuth so we turned right, then left, then left again. We ended up in… Just look by yourself.
Although it doesn’t look too encouraging this is the real old Shanghai. The one that disappears under thousand tons of concrete and steel. These days it’s hard to find this kind of sights in places where they was common only few years ago.
If you think that it was dangerous to wander there I have to disappoint you. Even when I felt a little bit unsure, actually it was safe place.
Finally we have reached Nanshi:
It looks like entrance to china town in many western cities. Well, actually it is a China town. My first impression was that the city around me is somehow artificial. I tink that explanation of this feeling was simple: all the buildings around were renovated so they did not look old at all!
The real discovery awaits for tourist away from the main road. As it appeared that was main road that we should have taken. There I realized what „crowded” means.
If you have enough of crowded streets you can line up (of course) into the entrance to Yu Yuan Garden. This is interested place. 5 centuries ago state official bought 2 hectares of land and designed a miniature of the World. The World in this case meant variety of terrain types like mountains, hills, seas, lakes and so on. So there is a lot of small isolated places where man can rest from the noisy world outside. Just like here.
Although we felt very relaxed we decided to go back to hotel That was enough as for one day. It took only few minutes to find the nearest metro station. Air-conditioned train gave us relief and brought us to the hotel again.