Sunday, April 30, 2017

Shanghai Day 6: Silk Factories, Jin Mao Tower, The Bund, Yu Yuan Markets and Gardens & The French Concession

Today is our last full tour day of the trip as tomorrow we have a free day. We started the day with a tour of the silk factory. China and specifically Shanghai is known for its silk and Suzhou is most famous place for silk producing. We learned the entire lifespan of the silkworm followed by watching them make silk products. 

 After the silk factory we arrived at The Jin Mao Tower which is 420.5 m high, with altogether 88 stories and total construction area of 290,000 square meters. It is a perfect combination between the Chinese Traditional Architecture Style and the advanced technologies of the world. Some of us decided to try the Sky Walk - which is an adrenaline rush walking on the outside of this tower on the 88th floor attached to a bungee rope. Here you hang off the tower (don’t look down) 

After exploring the views at The Jin Mao Tower we arrived at The Bund which we had seen on the boat tour the evening before, but it was a beautiful day walking, exploring and seeing that it is boulevard lined with impressive neo-classical buildings. 

    The Bund is the classic image of Shanghai and the city’s main attraction. Sweeping along the western side of the Huangpu River, the majestic building dates back to Shanghai’s grandest days.Many banks and financial companies built impressive offices here in the early 20th century when Shanghai was the financial capital of Asia.

  After The Bund we decided to head to what they call the “Shanghai Bazaar”  which is the Yu Yuan Markets, it was packed as it just so happens to be a National holiday in China called Labour Day”, Here we were able to purchase a mish-mash of items including traditional Chinese arts and crafts and souvenirs, ornate chopsticks, Chinese medicine, walking sticks, fans, silk umbrellas, bamboo and rattan furniture, goldfish, pottery and much much more.

 We did some shopping, had lunch on our own and then met up with everyone to go check out the Yu Yuan Gardens which was a stunning lay out of  beautiful pavilions, miniature lakes, bridges and rock formations. 

 After exploring the Yu Yuan Gardens we had time left over so our tour guide’s brought us to what is called The Shanghai French Concession.  The French Concession is the area of Shanghai once designated for the French, consisting of today's Luwan and Xuhui Districts. Luwan's Huaihai Road is a busy shopping street and is also home to both Xintiandi and Tian Zi Fang, extremely popular shopping and dining spots for tourists. Xuhui is also ever popular for tourists and is home to Shanghai Stadium. The tree-lined avenues and their many Tudor mansions in the area still retain an air of the "Paris of the East”. This place was a little bit of home to us as it had classic western food, draft beer and a lot of people spoke english. 

  It was bitter sweet arriving at dinner that night knowing it was the last dinner together as the little family we had created. 

- xxx an apple a day 

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