Leaving Tampa, FL at 6:00am on Friday, June 10th and arriving into China at 2:00pm the following day, Shanghai was the first city we visited. Shanghai is compared to New York City in the sense that it’s the business epicenter of the country.
One fact about Shanghai that’s tough to imagine is that there are over 3,000 buildings taller than 18 stories. I’m not sure how many buildings there are in NYC over 18 stories but I’d guess around 500 – 1,000 which is still less than one-third the amount in Shanghai.
After arriving we were met by our first tour guide, Tony, and he took us to the hotel. We didn’t have anything planned for the night so we all went out to dinner at a restaurant near the hotel. After dinner a few of us went out to a few bars across the street which ended up being nothing less than whore houses. The girls out front were really aggressive, especially since we were a group of five guys. Personally, I didn’t like the fact that they’d grab a hold of you so I’d tell them to not touch. Also, along with the aggressive whores there were nagging beggers and one of the begger’s child lached a hold of my friend’s arm and was hanging all over him beyond anything I’d be comfortable with.
The next morning we started our trip with a long day of touring. Our tour guide took us to the British Concession, called The Bund, which is similar to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. It’s a few mile stretch of wide sidewalk along the water where people walk, run, and otherwise be leisurely. The buildings directly next to the sidewalk along the water are British influenced due to their occupancy of the area in the past. Eventually the land was given back to China but the architecture remains. After the British Concession we visited the French Concession which is a much smaller area a few miles away.
Next we visited the Buddha Jade Temple which is a very famous temple in China, and then we had lunch in the same area. After lunch we headed to a large market in Shanghai which has a very large, beautiful garden next to it. We headed to the garden first but to get there we had to walk through part of the very crowded market. This was out first sight of a crazy Chinese market and everyone was very excited to have time to shop.
After the shopping we had dinner at a local Chinese restaurant and then we went to an Acrobatic show. I thought the acrobatic show was a little hyped up because our tour guide told us it’s a really great show and if some of the actors mess anything up then they can potentially die. The only part of the show which could’ve been life threatening was the end where five guys on dirt bikes got into the steel globe and rode around. It was definitely impressive but I still didn’t feel like they’d die if they messed up. The show was pretty cool I thought, even though most of our group feel asleep because we were really exhausted from the day.
This building, which was built in 1994 and called the Oriental Pearl Tower, is 1,535 feet tall.
Hard to tell from the photo and even standing there it didn’t feel like it, but most of those buildings are around 1,000 feet or taller.
Jade Buddha Temple
First market we visited