Shanghai--August 26, 2004--Jade Buddha Temple, Acrobatic Show
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Before departing Beijing for the flight to Shanghai, picture 198 was taken from the hotel room window. It shows the plaza in front of the Peninsula Palace Hotel and one of the two gold Rolls Royces available to pick guests up from the airport or ferry them around town. The amenities, food and service in this hotel were all top notch; included among our experiences there was a kitchen tour after dinner one evening led by their Chinese Executive Chef, Alvin Chan.
Upon arrival in Shanghai, after the 675 mile flight and before checking into the hotel, we visited the Jade Buddha Temple, a building dating from the 20th Century (200-210). It is an active Buddhist monastery and its principal attraction is the reclining White Jade Buddha (203). It was carved in Burma and brought to Shanghai in 1881 by a Chinese pilgrim.
One of the major religions of China, Buddhism was imported from India beginning in the third century A.D. and today has acquired a distinctive character in China leading to nirvana, a transcendent state of freedom.
Later we checked into the J.W. Marriott Hotel (211) in Tomorrow Square in Shanghai and from there we acquired a full appreciation of the modernity of Shanghai. Much of Shanghai seems like something not from the 21st Century but the 22nd. The hotel featured condominiums on the lower floors, topped by the lobby and restaurants on the 38th floor, above which were the hotel rooms. Our room on the 45th floor was spectacularly appointed in ultra-modern fixtures with electronic switches to control anything in the room.
That evening we left for a restaurant in a building with an atrium shown in photo 212 and followed dinner with a visit to an acrobatic show. Unfortunately, pictures weren't permitted during the show so only the closing is shown (212A). The performance featured spectacular acrobatics, magic and comedy and was very entertaining.
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