At lunch, we we tried a mix of Shanghai and Szechuan dishes, where we learned that Shanghai dishes were traditionally sweet and Szechuan dishes are spicy. We tried lotus root, a spicy fish dish, a sweet soup that had balls in it sort of like gnocchi, a beef dish, greens, 100 year eggs, and several other things. It was all really good, but the fish was excellent.
After lunch, Qianqian took us on a wonderful adventure into the city of Shanghai. First, we went to Nanjing Road with all kinds of shops, because we needed to stop at Apple for an adapter we had forgotten. It was fun to walk through the shops and see the mix of people. Many of the shops were the same as you would find in the US or in Europe, but the feel was definitely different. It was a representation of the modern part of Shanghai. After we finished at Nanjing Road, we walked over to the Yuyuan garden. The area outside the actual garden is a series of tourist shops and restaurants where the buildings on the outside look old, but they are selling more modern things or here they are selling all the different traditional tourist items. We saw many fans, chopsticks, tea, scarves, cat and Buddha statutes, jewelry with old coins, and purses and books with traditional fabric. After a little shopping, we went into the actual garden. It was very peaceful and beautiful. There were several halls that you can look at and some that you can go in. There are also many water features throughout. We also tried tea at a tea ceremony there. We forgot to take pictures of that tea ceremony, but I will post pictures in the next post about the tea ceremony we did the next day.
We finished in the garden and got in a taxi to go to a different area of Shanghai where the buildings on the outside look old in a different style, but inside are very nice and expensive restaurants and stores. This area was called Xintaindi and means “New Heaven and Earth.” I thought it had a somewhat old European look, like France or Italy.
From there we walked to a noodle shop nearby. Qianqian asked us whether we wanted wet or dry noodles and meat or veggies or both. After ordering something that sounded good, we were very pleased with our dishes. They were wonderful and so much food for such a small price. Zhen joined us for dinner and then she took us on our last adventure of the day, trip to see the Bund where you can see all the colorful lights and animated lights at night.
After taking a taxi there, we walked around for awhile and took pictures and then we took a boat ride on the Huangpu River at about 9pm. It was so beautiful and all that walking kept me awake all those hours.
The whole day was fantastic thanks to our wonderful student guides, Qianqian and Zhen, and we also thank Dr. Yang for his generous support while we were there. Not only did we so a lot of Shanghai and cross off many of the top items in one day on our sightseeing list, but we learned so much about taxis and key places and other important ideas so that the next few days we were able to explore more on our own safely and easily. They also continued to all provide us support all week and helped us with the Chinese characters for where we wanted to go for the taxi and what items to order for food on our own. I am so happy we could have both the guided and the exploring experiences.