17.12.2011 - 20.12.2011 5 °C
What a lovely city Shanghai is! After taking a nice walk around the Yoyuan Garden, we went to a Chinese fast food restaurant. We all ate way too much, the food really is so good, and you don’t seem to get bored of it as there’s so much variety. We took a walk up to the waterfront and gazed at the sky scrapers and the famous bottle opener building across the water – quite a view! We spent the evening watching the Shanghai Acrobats – Oh my god they are out of this world. Seriously what they are able to do with their bodies just doesn’t seem possible. We spent the entire performance thinking they were going to dislocate something, or that the stack of people balancing precariously on the stage was going to collapse in a heap on the floor. But they are so precise and just faultless.
The following day it made quite a nice change to have a lazy day. We visited a Propaganda museum and headed down to the waterfront again. Seeing the river from a different side gave such a different view. On one side of the river the architecture was old, and the other was a sea of skyscrapers.
We then took a bus ride to a water town called Nanxun, but we didn’t really start the journey on the right foot with the locals. When we got on the bus people were in our seats. Our tour leader Jerry asked politely for people to allow us to have our seats, and this resulted in a slanging match with the bus driver and some people on the bus. Jerry told us to ‘show no mercy’ and to take our allocated seats no matter what, which we did, and then continued the journey with a whole load of Chinese people hating us, fab! Nanxun was quite a step away from the hustle and bustle of the cities we have seen so far throughout China. The old town section was like a step back in time, the buildings were the kind that would be listed if they were in England. It was very cute, though quite a mission to get there considering we didn’t have much time there overall. We had some local food in a little restaurant which dated back 100yrs. We tried a local vegetable which only grows in this town… and we have lived to tell the tale! We took a walk down the canal and saw local artists, various types of street food, and lots of small museums and historical houses all scattered along the waterfront.
With our next destination, Yangshuo, on the horizon, we made our way back to Shanghai to board a daunting 20hr sleeper train. Jerry gave us all the Chinese version of our own names. Mine was Xi Xi (pronounced She She). Lee asked what the Chinese version of his name would be… which we found hilarious… as he was then told that his name is in fact number 4 of the top 100 family names within China – haha! The journey was actually pretty relaxing until we got woken by the locals getting up and talking at the top of their voices at 6:30am… followed by the radio being put on in our cabin full blast. Once we found the off button, the locals weren’t impressed and then played music full blast on their phones instead… at 7:25am I might add. I’m not really a morning person to be honest… and especially not after that wake up call!!!