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    Saturday 17 September 2011

    Day Eleven - Bazaar and The Worlds Highest Bar

    The Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar where the main destinations today. Surprisingly Shanghai is a very walkable city. The metro, whilst very cheap at 30 cent a ride, doesn't really connect the city. Sometimes it's just quicker to just walk or alternatively take a taxi. Taxis here are very cheap. They start at €1.80 for the first 2km and don't really increase much more after that.
    A local postbox
    Our walk today took us from the French Concession into the Old Town area. The contrast between the both were strong. The old town is still relatively flat and much more local. Here women hang their washing in the streets, kids play on the pavements and old folk gather in the parks to play board games or just catch up on some gossip.
    Food seller along the street
    Old Town area
    Some washing out on public view
    The Bazaar or tourist market area is well worth a visit. It's Disney in the fact its all fake, or at least felt that way. We had seen a similar area being constructed in Beijing a few years back. Its a tourist trap of old streets in traditional Chinese stylings. It is beautiful architecture, but it's really is out of character with the surrounding old town.

    Patrick at the Bazaar

    Vinnie at the Bazaar
    The temple to the city god sits at the centre including original gardens. A tea house sits dead centre where Bill Clinton and the UKs Queen drank tea! Adding to the Disney element are the numerous American outlets from Dairy Queen to Starbucks. Not a single photo could be taken without some corporate logo getting into shot.
    Vinnie with some decorative Chinese buildings behind
    A must application for vegetarian travellers is the vegout guide to worldwide vegetarian restaurants. Covering ever city and updated daily, it allows you to pinpoint your nearest restaurant using Google Maps. We noticed a veggie place was located in the area! Like the others we have found here, it specialised in mock meat Chinese food. Truly delicious. The place is a little bit of a sham as downstairs is all Chinese, and cheaper. A single sign in English directs foreigners upstairs for table service, which is more expensive. That said a main course was still only sets back around €2. Just as we were tucking into some mock chicken the chefs came up and set on the table beside us and started smoking. Numerous no smoking signs were displayed around the walls. We were not impressed and made quite a fuss about it. The waitress communicated this and they stopped. It put us right off.
    Our mock meat Chinese Food
    Patrick enjoying the noodles
    After our local experience we opted to have some desert at the Dairy Queen. It was both our first times to ever eat at this place. It's American and only sells iced cream based items. We had green tea and cheesecake blizzards, which are similar to a McDonalds McFlurry.
    Vinnie having a Dairy Queen
    We walked back to the hotel via some of the local food and fake goods streets. We have read that Chinese like to eat in groups in public. All of the stores along these back streets sold the strangest of food and all were packed. We have learnt these food streets days are numbered, the land is going to be used to build more skyscrapers. This is the story of Shanghai, displace people and build higher and bigger. I can expect this city to be totally different if we return in a few years time.
    Patrick outside the Bazaar at night
    Some fake iPod Shuffles on sale
    As its Saturday evening, we heading out to the Park Hyatt's 100 Century Avenue bar, located on the 92th floor of the Shanghai Financial World Centre. As its across the river on the other side of town we had to take a taxi over. This is the worlds highest bar and club. Dress code was smart, all we had was shorts. It didn't stop us. We just tried to blend in. Arriving at the hotel we could tell this was a classy place. Our cab doors were opened for us and we were welcomed. We tried to look as if we knew were we where going and eventually found the elevator to the hotel.
    Heading up to the 92nd floor
    Patrick and Vinnie at the 100 Century Avenue Bar
    The Park Hyatt only occupy floors 81 to 93 of this 101 floor building. At 492 metres the building holds the title of the worlds highest observation deck. Rather then pay for ticket to the deck, we rode the elevator for free to floor 92 the location of the club. Cocktails set you back a reasonable €8. Surprisingly the place was not full. The DJ was great. All pop music mixed with the videos in time. If the setting and views were not enough, the loos here feature Japanese automatic toilets with built in controls for water and drying the behind. The bar closed at 2, so we took a cab over to the Cool Docks area to round off the evening.

    1 comment:

    1. China covered ! now next holiday in India :-)