Monday, 4 August 2008

Shanghai and the Purr!

When we were in Shanghai we went on several tours. Our first tour was of the city – a full day tour which took us around the amazing Shanghai. I always like to do this sort of tour early on a visit to a different place. It is far more interesting than trying to find everything by oneself, and with a good tour guide, there is much more extra information.

I had been to Shanghai before – a short two day visit with two of my fellow teachers from the college and we walked for miles. Somehow I think I might have preferred to do a tour, even though I enjoyed most of the long walk we did that weekend!

Naturally on the day tour we went to places that I’d not seen before. One that was most fascinating was Old China Town, which we could actually see from the window of our apartment. But seeing it close up was amazing. The old Chinese architecture - and the wonderful gardens inside.

Much of the area is retail – and you could have an amazing day of retail therapy here. Our tour guide whisked us through the complex giving us little time to part with our money but it was well worth seeing, and we did go back again later to experience some of this retail heaven.

Inside Old China Town is a wonderful garden – with an amazing history. How well the Chinese planned these gardens, and how wonderful it is to have a tour guide explain things. Our tour guide was very good, but one part of her spiel confused us. She pointed out some of the amazing stone carvings that were on the walls of this ancient garden, and spoke of the “Purr in the mouth of the dragon.” The English teacher in me came out and I asked for more information. I did not understand.

I asked her how to spell the word “purr”. She said “P E A R” - then we understood. She meant ‘PEARL’ as Pearls are grown around Shanghai. It was so funny as we explained it to her, and had her practice the correct pronunciation. PEARL. Each time afterwards that she had to say the word she looked at MM and myself and carefully spoke the word emphasising the “L” .

It was a full on day. As well as old China Town and the gardens, we visited Pearl City where they tried to sell us wonderful pearl jewelry, we saw the Bund, details of our tour are here. though we did not visit the Silk Factory in Shanghai. Details of a tour are

In Old China Town we visit the Jade Buddha Temple, and enjoyed a simple tea ceremony in the Tea House. It was very interesting and there was efforts to get us to purchase tea which had therapeutic benefits. We resistedWe had lunch with our fellow vistors in a huge Chinese restaurant. The food was good and the company great. We met two travellers from New Zealand – Wanda and Adam – who were on their way to the UK and Canada. We met up with them again a few days later on another tour.

Int he afternoon we visited the Shanghai Museum - how amazing. We could spend hours and hours there, but being on a tour we had limited timeIt was an amazing day – and exhausting. But it gave us good insight into Shanghai.


easy uk said...

Do you love Modern Shanghai or old Shanghai?

Di Hill said...

I love both - would not like to have to choose. The modern Shanghai is amazing - and I marvel at the spending power of the "new" Chinese - those with money! Old Shanghai gives you some clues about life way back then - but I love the combination of new Shanghai and old Shanghai