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    Thursday 15 September 2011

    Day Nine – Exploring Shanghai

    Our first full day in Shanghai, and boy was it warm, around 36 degrees. Our hotel/apartment is located right in the heart of everything, so very handy. We were very tired walking around due to the heat! We took in the peoples park first before an exploration of the French Concession Area.
    Peoples Park area of Shanghai
    Patrick in The Peoples Park
    Vinnie in The Peoples Park
    Shanghai is a city of amazing buildings likes this Radisson Hotel!
    Locals playing games in the park
    The buildings in this area are very European in styling. We wandered around to an area called Xintiandi which is a pedestrian only shopping area made up of re-build tenement style houses.

    After a lot more walking we found our way to a rather impressive vegetarian mock-meat restaurant called Godly. Vinnie and I were treated to traditional Chinese food including spring chicken and shredded pork, all meat free! It was amazing. We left there stuffed to take a bus tour of the city.
    Lots of Western Labels here in China, moreso than South Korea
    Another Sky Scraper in Shanghai, 1 of 3000.....
    An Apple Store at what Vinnie and I called Shibuya crossing due to the pattern of the zebra crossings
    Another beautiful building. There are so many here.
    It gets dark here around 5pm, so we thought an open-top bus tour would be best taken a night. The bus operates over two lines, with your €3 ticket covering both over a 24 hour period. We took one route this evening and plan on taking the second tomorrow.
    Vinnie and I at the Xintiandi shopping area
    Marriott gets some attention!
    Incredible top to this building!
    After the bus tour, we ventured around the crazy Nanjing area where 1000’s of people milled about. It’s a very futuristic shopping area, in fact 1.2km long with skyscrapers and bright lights fighting to grab your attention. The only downside to this area and most tourist areas in Shanghai are the touts trying to flog their wears. We’ve learned the best way to deal with them is to just ignore. Trying to engage is useless. They don’t speak English so they see any contact as you showing interest. It is hard at first, but ignoring works. It’s also fun talking in another language other then English, as they totally get confused and walk away quicker. Vinnie and I just short doing rounds of the Hail Mary in Irish if required.
    27 degrees at night!
    Just after our Sightseeing tour. Notice the brand, it's a copy of the Sightseeing company in other countries!
    The Nanjing Shopping Street at Night
    We stumbled across a night time parade and an outdoor dance/light show by Canon to grab peoples attention. It’s all very commercial. All very futuristic!
    A night time parade of advertising, this one for Air China
    The very impressive Canon Stage, where dancers came out and danced in each window. This was set up on the Nanjing Shopping Street.
    All stores close at 10pm sharp. It’s mental, when they say ten, they mean it. They start the shutting down before, so at 10pm, like a line of ants, all the workers march out and rush home. It’s like rush hour only at the end of the night as the last trains and subways leave at 10:30pm. The city is closed for business. We can’t understand this; Shanghai is rather cosmopolitan city, yet everything closes early. Weird!

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