what a difference. the city was a lot cleaner. it was brighter (probably because there was no smog blocking the sun) and people seemed friendlier.
well that was once we got into the city. the train station was still not super friendly. but conveniently our nice holiday inn express was only a five minute walk from the train station rather than the two hour long trek it took to get to our beijing hotel. (side note: in beijing we stayed in a traditional hotel in the hutong district of beijing. it is the old part of town with small little side streets, so staying at a holiday inn wasn't cheating..we did the culture part in beijing) actually i think a holiday inn fits better with shanghai. it is modernized city. the holiday inn let us check in early. we promptly took showers. (take that last pic and times it by 13 hrs on a train, actually it might have been more because we were late by a couple of hrs..anyway..gross).
after our showers we took off to the metro. we ended up at people's park. once out of the metro some young chinese girls who wanted to practice their english began chatting with us after asking us to take a picture. they were really nice and wanted us to go to a tea showing with them and then to lunch. so we went. i think we got had. ha. the tea show was like the one we went to before but we actually had to pay for the tasting. and it was not cheap. everyone paid. and one girl bought us tea as a gift. but i am still skeptical. mainly because the next day we got off at the same metro stop and some english speaking young chinese asked us to take a picture. and if we had stopped they might have asked us to go to the tea showing too. but i am cynical. so who knows. i guess i can choose to believe that they were just being nice. (lunch after consisted of street dumplings which were great). after that we went to yu gardens and bazaar. really it looks like china town. a huge one. the bazaar is actually in old town shanghai. it is complete with red pagodas and chinese gardens.
after wandering around and looking at the gardens, we headed to the business district of shanghai. we had to cross the river on a ferry to get to the other side of shanghai. after getting off the ferry we took our first rickshaw to the pearl tower. i think it is a tv tower. anyway. it is really interesting looking. and looks very science fiction. a complete contrast to old town.
we then took the metro back across the river to the bund. the bund is the old financial district and has very european looking buildings. it is also on nanjing rd which is where all of the major shopping takes place. they are getting a forever 21. fyi. ha. cori and i bought some chopstick sets on sale. we are excited to have a chinese food party. or i might just make some sushi. and have a sushi party. after doing some shopping, we decided to head back. we only make it to 8o'clock before we get super tired. especially since train sleeping isn't the best sleep.