Sunday, December 02, 2007

Shanghai, Oriental City


NANJING ROAD, SHANGHAI CHINAYou are looking at the next star of a "Shanghai Siteseer" similar to the siteseer video that Smita and I filmed in Mumbai last year. (Click here to view that and more cities that have been filmed by other Delta employees.)

God, I love traveling!! This is just craziness! I know, I know, I just got back from Asia.....why didnt I just stay there for the 3 days in between trips??....besides missing mi Neto, I HAD TO RE-PACK! It is darn chilly here! I am set to do my second "siteseer video" ......this time in Shanghai. I came with my Lonely Planet guidebook and a video camera (supplied by Delta) Things are a little more official since the we filmed the India video last year. I even had to sign some legal papers!! yada yada yada!

Unfortunately my usual "sleep the WHOLE flight" didn't happen this trip. Since the flight left at 10am from Atlanta, I was wide awake until the last 3 hours of the 14.5 hour flight to Japan (where I had to connect) Delta does not yet service Shanghai, but will start on March 30, 2008.

My first day here was just aclimating to the TIME for one, and the map of the city...this BIG ASS city! WOW! (again)
I went alone on this trip, but fortunately I did meet up with 2 fellow employees. Kai (right)works for DL in Tokyo and Mike in Atlanta. I met them the first night for dinner. They were staying at a hotel with a revolving restaurant at the top......what a great view it was!

My first adventure was to GO SHOPPING! Mike raved about a market he visited last month while here and said "YOU MUST GO!" His wife and daughter had sent him with a list 2 pages long! I decided to meet him the next morning to SHOP!!! Outside the CHI PU LO Market at 930 am and things are just getting warmed up. It may look crowded, but this is NOTHING compared to the crowd at 3pm when I came out ....Im talking CHAOS!!

The inside of the market was chaotic as well. EVERYONE was fighting for your attention....and trust me, I stuck out like a sore thumb!! But the good thing was that somehow you have people following you and they carry your bags while you shop. Mike had been there the day before and the same people were there to "take care" of him again. (ie. carry his bags and lead him to the shops witht the "best price")

They would call you into their shop and start bargaining with the little english that they knew, and they ARE persistant. The calculator is the major facilitator of shopping here. They give you a crazy price, you slash by more than half and then theywill act shocked "no money" they say. Just back and forth with the calulator. You will always get it to at least half the original price. I wonder how many people dont bargain and pay way too much? know there are a lot!! I bought quite a bit, way more than I have ever bought on a trip....I even checked a bag on the way home, which I never do! I can't say everything I bought because x-mas is around the corner, but I bought myself an Omega watch, Gucci boots, Versace blouse, and a silk robe!

These guys carried our bags and lead us from store to store

After 5 hours of power shopping and haggling.....I WAS HUNGRY! MMMMMMM....street food....there was so much to choose from...

... chili octupus on skewers? Yes...have some.....

Yuyuan Garden is a famous classical garden in Shanghai. The name means pleasing and satisfying and I would have to say that is a perfect description. I sat there for a while just watching the 5 million koi in the water, enjoying the view.

I hope one day to see it in the spring when all the flowering trees are in bloom. Even during the winter though, it was "pleasing" ....

I liked this carved dragon head that was at the top of the garden wall.

Lots and Lots of FUR!!!! I am such a sucker for anything soft and when this man on the street walked by with fox scarves and hats....I started modeling.

I didnt buy the scarf but, I did get this hat!

Going to see an acrobatic troupe in Shanghai is one of the most popular and enduring tourist attractions. I caught one at the SHANGHAI CENTER THEATRE located in the same plaza as the Portman Ritz Carlton. The show was very very entertaining. Balencing, swinging in the air, knives, and human rubberband kind of stuff.

I do believe this next pic is one of my came out so beautifully. This is the Pudong Skyline (new area) from The Bund (old area) The tall building with the balls is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. It is 1,536 feet high and the 3rd tallest TV tower in the world.

I have heard many times that Shanghai is "not really China" mainly because it is such a modern, cosmopolitan city. But I definately got the feeling of being in China. Especially the day I spent exploring OLD TOWN (not to mention I stick out like a sore thumb) It is, as the name suggests, the oldest area in Shanghai, and also one of the biggest tourist atractions. Although many of the buildings are replicas to "create" old China, there are some that are over 100 years old.

This is Huxing Ting Teahouse, it has been there for 150 years and is Shanghai's most famous place to drink tea. I didn't actually drink tea there though, I was too busy filming out side.
I believe this building was a hotel but I can't be sure. I love all the gold!

One splurge I had to experience was a massge....anytime I go somewhere cheap, i like to treat it wasn't a "happy ending" as you might think when you hear of asian massages.
It was at a place called DRAGONFLY, and it was a true spa experience. Now when I say splurge, that means I spent more than I had to for a massage. Some other places I looked at were $6 and $8 for an hour to 90 minutes.....I paid $17. Worth every penny!

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