Travel: Part II, Shanghai

(This is part two of a five-city trip. This is a long post but filled with noteworthy experiences.)

Lovely Friends,
You might think China is at the top of my must see list but... the pollution scares me enough for it to remain lower on my travel list.  The World Traveler spends a lot of time in Asia and when he asked me to join him for a three-week visit I jumped at the opportunity!

We have many stories behind our Shanghai photos, most not captured on film.  Bill did get to morph into Jason Bourne in a thrilling Shanghai hour; it was quite an experience!

Temples and Ancient Ruins 
After settling into the hotel, I walked to the Jing'an Temple, built in the Three Kingdom Period (220-280ad). I was awe stuck by this stunning place.  Once you find your way behind the wall, you feel at peace in a noisy, polluted city of 24 million. You will find people practicing morning Tai-chi outside the Buddhist Temple daily.

I explored Shanghai mostly alone, while Bill was in business meetings. Not being able to communicate with anyone or read the signs made me a bit uncomfortable.  BUT I wanted to visit the Jade Buddha Temple and a taxi wasn't an option.  So like I do, I walk and drink in local life. 

I wanted Bill to see this Temple.  To walk the streets, experience a local market along the way, and steps into a Temple.  He was captivated, which I didn't expect, his first experience into the world he is forced to be surrounded by since I have been practicing Zen Buddhism for over twenty years.  It's so interesting to see the subtle differences from one Temple to another. This one is my favorite, so far...

Antique stores line the local streets. We knew we wanted to bring something home with us; we just didn't expect a three-foot tall gold plated Buddha of Protection would be joining our travels.  

Buying the Buddha:  After negotiating through language barriers, having tea with the family, and understanding the steps needed to bless and position the Buddha in our home, it was time to pay.  We didn't have cash, so the owners called a friend to walk us to a jewelry store, about a mile away from the shop.  We didn't ask why/how but we made a payment to the jeweler. The Buddha was wrapped with care, for travel, and we were on our way.

My last must see in Shanghai was to Old Shanghai Market, and Yuyuan Garden from the Ming Dynasty. It's surreal to be in a bustling outdoor market connected to such tranquility.

Nanjing Road
Equivalent to NYC Fifth Avenue, this street is tidy and filled with high-end designer shops. After a day of shopping, and learning that we were close to a 'fake market'... I had to see it.  The one we went to made me feel unsettled (dirty, noisy, so much junk to buy, the same items in each store).  A friend of mine wanted us to buy her a purse which is the ultimate FM experience.  The 'real' stuff was in the basement.  A personal shopper took us to the collection via a freight elevator. For the record, it was not real.  Just then we noticed my phone was missing and we found ourselves living a Bourne moment.

I lost my phone in China(!), sending us on a Bourne journey that including devices, taxis, and walking through an apartment complex.  It was my work phone. Find my iPhone brought us to an apartment complex, but we didn't know what to do next.  Just then Bill's phone rang.  It was a woman calling from the fake market.  She found my phone near the squatting toilet.  Whew! 

We are left wondering why the cell signal led us astray.  It was an exciting few minutes.

Other sites:
We strolled the Riverwalk, a British concession (1840 after the Opium War), and took photos of Pudong from Bund. This is a tourist destination, so many people there to see the city lights at dusk.

The Pearl Tower is a must see, the observation floor is 357 meters up.  Be sure to travel via the Shanghai 'psychedelic' sightseeing tunnel.

Pass on the German Christmas Village... it's in the middle of nowhere, but I'm told it's the place to be at night.

Part I: Singapore
Click here to view our travel log (travel with us virtually)  
Next stop, Beijing

Sun at 2PM looks like the sun is setting due to the Pollution | visiting the Fake Market | an evening view | and gas mask in the bedside table.

We stayed near the Fashion District so I could walk.  I saw so much!

Yuyuan Garden, Tea Performance with two young/friendly students eager to talk English | we have SO much luggage with three cities to go