Shanghai--August 27, 2004--The Bund, Shanghai Museum
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Before taking off on the day's sightseeing, a few photos of Shanghai (213-218) were taken from the Marriott's 38th floor restaurant. In all directions, in this city of 17 million people, there were skyscrapers as far as the eye could see. Immediately below the hotel was the People's Park (216).
Photos 219 and 239A show the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall that contains exhibits detailing what Shanghai's urban planners expect the city to look like in a couple of decades.
Our first tour stop today was Shanghai's Bund. The Bund, or embankment, is the waterfront area running along the western shore of the Huangpu River, forming the eastern boundary of downtown Shanghai. Many of Shanghai's most historic buildings are located along the Bund. On the other side of the river is the Pudong area (220, 224-227) which is the wave of the future and consists of one dazzlingly modern building after another. To give some idea of the scale of these buildings, the tallest building on the right side of photo 224 is 88 stories tall. It houses a Hyatt Hotel on the upper floors and has a central atrium from the first to the 88th floors. At night, most of the buildings in Pudong are lit in a striking array of colors which electronically change from moment to moment.
Along the Bund, we saw the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Building (222), now the seat of the Shanghai municipal government, and the Peace (Cathay) Hotel (228), the center of Shanghai nightlife in the 1920s and 30s. Photo 229 shows the Customs House, a building important to this major port and photo 222 shows the Monument to the People's Heroes located on the Bund; below this monument is a small museum detailing the history of the Bund.
Like most tourist spots, the Bund has its vendors; one of our tour group found the Groucho glasses too good to pass up (230-231).
On the way to our next stop we passed a massive, modern sports complex and the local branch of IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings store. Soon thereafter, we arrived at a silk carpet factory where we saw carpets being made; several tour members made purchases for their homes back in America (232-238).
For the final stop of the day, we toured the Shanghai Museum, a facility that many consider the best museum in China. Its exhibits are state of the art (240-242) in terms of displays, and descriptions are in both English and Chinese, which we found to be common in China's museums. The museum features wonderful collections of bronzes, sculptures, ceramics, calligraphy, coins and furniture. Unfortunately, our time here was too short.
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