21 days away
10 km / 6 miles since last post
15,857 km / 9,853 miles total
This morning we awoke to the sound of banging pipes upstairs around 7:30am. It turns out they are doing some renovation work in the hotel.
We met everyone in the lobby at 9am and grabbed a quick breakfast at the local bakery before heading off on a walking tour of Shanghai with Ricky. He took us past some shopping areas, more big skyscrapers and giant shopping malls. We walked past the Museum of Shanghai and other notable buildings.
After a short while we stopped briefly for a coffee in a rather trendy looking cafe area of Shanghai, then Ricky continued leading us on our walk. (Stu note: that'll be the French quarter).
We eventually came to come great market stalls. They had some some great souvenirs, clothes and trinkets. Some of the guys in our group decided to get some clothes for their family and began to haggle the price down. They managed to get one t-shirt down from 800 to 120 yuan.
After this market, Ricky took us to a very different kind of market. Here they sold birds, rabbits, dogs, cats, hamsters and fish. I felt a bit uncomfortable seeing some of the animals that were crammed into small cages - particularly the dogs. Some cages had up to twenty birds in each one (designed for maybe one small bird) and they sometimes had a bird outside the cage which had a collar round it's neck and it was tied to a perch. Not pleasant to see. There were also lots of little containers which contained large crickets. Ricky told us that the Chinese would buy these crickets and then fight them against each other while gambling on the outcome.
It was an interesting experience walking around the market, but it was also a bit sad to see some of the animals in such cramped conditions.
After this market we were taken around a few more shops, eventually arriving at an area where we could get some lunch. Jo, Stu, Tegan and I went into one place which served Dim Sum. Ricky came in to help identify what all the food was. We picked a few dishes and sat down to eat. Most of them were mainly pork dumplings, some had crab meat, some had vegetables, there was also sushi - all quite tasty.
After lunch, Tegan joined Tyson and continued to walk around a bit more, while Jo joined Stu and I and we went back to the hotel via the subway - only a couple of stops away.
Jo stayed with us for a while and we played some games on the iPad and some cards - just relaxing before we headed out in the evening. We got our dinner from the supermarket tonight as we wouldn't have time to go to a restaurant because we had to meet up for our river cruise at 6pm. Louise, Greg and Nick were a bit late meeting us. They had visited the observation deck at the financial building - third tallest building in the world. I think they hoped they would be able to stay up there until the night lights came on, but they had to leave just before due to meeting up with us. Unfortunately they underestimated how long it would take to get back to the hotel, and had to run most of the way back. They looked pretty tired when they got to the hotel.
We took the bus for about twenty minutes, then walked a further ten minutes or so to get to the riverfront to catch our boat. It was a fairly large boat with three levels. The top level had the best view, so that's where we went.
The cruise didn't last quite as long as I had expected, but it was around an hour and took you past the buildings along the Bund and the magnificent skyscrapers, all lit up for the evening. They looked quite spectacular.
Once we got back to the hotel again, Jo, Tyson and Tegan joined us in our room to play some cards and have a couple of beers, which was good fun to round off the evening. This is our last night in Shanghai, and tomorrow we get another overnight train bound for Xi'an.