Monday, November 26, 2007

上海! (Shanghai!)

ChHappy Thanksgiving all! 10 of my friends and I went to Shanghai for our Thanksgiving break, and I had a fantastic time! Shanghai is a fantastic city - very cosmopolitan and Western. It's already gone on my list of cities I'd like to live in.

Here's a picture of the skyline - the pink building on the left side is the Oriental Pearl Tower - it's a very famous icon of the city.

We ate Western food pretty much over meal except Thanksgiving, oddly enough. This was our Thanksgiving dinner pretty standard Chinese fare, actually. No turkey, or even poultry to speak of. (And definitely no pie, which was the saddest of all.) It was delicious and cheap though, and we enjoyed ourselves.

I actually have some pictures of myself that I thought I would include this time. Here I am enjoying a steaming dish of rice and soy-braised beef. Yum!

We did some serious shopping while in Shanghai. There was an incredible range of options, from the Western brand name knock-offs, to very Chinese jade and pearls, to 9 story malls filled with familiar stores from home. This picture is from one part of a giant street of shops we spent the day at.

Gingerbread lattes at Starbucks are lovely, but we couldn't resist picking up some street food for breakfast on our way to the metro. Shanghai has a great metro system, actually. It was extremely convenient, clean, cheap and easy to understand. I had it figured out by the second day, and the well-translated English signs everywhere were a big help.

As you might expect a city of 17 million to be, Shanghai was extremely crowded. It was also filled with Western ex-pats. It was an off role reversal - normally when we travel in China, we Westerners are stared at by the Chinese people. Here in Shanghai though, we Westerners marveled at the huge amount of other Westerners, while all the natives didn't even bat an eyelash.

Shanghai at night is also quite a sight - lots of gorgeous architecture.

The Oriental Pearl at night - much less gaudy, in my opinion.

One last picture of me, with some of my friends. We're staring at the Oriental Pearl, actually, having just crossed under the Huangpu river via an underwater tunnel.

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