A Travellerspoint blog

Alex gets excited by pottery

Dancing, queuing and some Faberge eggs

Our second visit to Shanghai has proven to be much more pleasant. We arrived after a fairly rubbish nights sleep on the trains and so, after we'd braved the crazy taxi driving on the way to the hotel, we had to have a quick nap to recover. After our beauty sleep we headed off to see some of the sights of Shanghai with the group.

We first went to the Yuyuan Gardens, something that we had not seen on our first visit. The gardens were absolutely stunning and gave some insight into the splendour that China once had, at least amongst the rich since these were where they went to relax. There are several different halls throughout and some stunning rock gardens and pools. It was a really interesting walk and the alleyways surrounding it are full of shops and stalls that sell any kind of souvenir you could possibly wish for and many that you wouldn’t. We had a great time wandering through and even managed to find some dice so that we can teach our fellow tourers the three man game (Awkward Auckland).


After our tour of the gardens we set off for the Bund a sight that we had seen on our previous visit to Shanghai (Stranded in Shanghai) but a sight well worth seeing again. Another reason for going along was to do the Gangnam style dance that our tour leader has got us doing in different locations around China. We proved quite the spectacle and there were quite a few Chinese with their phones and cameras out taking videos of the ridiculous Westerners doing a funny dance. Sadly the day had to come to an end and so we dragged ourselves to our beds for a good nights sleep that wasn’t disturbed by snorers!

Our last two days in Shanghai were taken up almost exclusively by the Shanghai Museum located in the Peoples Park. There were some great permanent exhibitions there on Chinese pottery that Alex absolutely loved. Our joint fav however was an odd one to find in China, an exhibition covering Russian jewellery over the last two centuries. It was astounding the richness of some of the pieces especially the royal creations and perhaps the highlight was the Faberge eggs which were amazing. There were quite a few guards around telling people off for using their cameras, but lucky for you guys we’re quite subtle and so we managed a sneaky few. The best of the eggs is below!


In betwixt the two days of museum sight-seeing we also managed to squeeze in a real Chinese restaurant experience. We picked one out at random and strolled on in. After sitting down we had to spend about half an hour looking over the menu as there was so much to choose from. We are not joking when we say that there was every possible kind of meat on the menu either; Noah’s ark would have been a good starting point for these guys. We had a nice enough meal although it was very fatty and poor Alex had very little meat. The sauces were terrific to make up for this though and we left with our taste buds satisfied if not our stomachs.

All-in-all our second visit to Shanghai was better, although whether this is because the city suddenly improved in our four days absence is debatable. Far more likely is that we have simply gotten used to navigating and being on our own in China, and are generally enjoying China more for what it is as opposed to what we expected it to be.

Rex’s Rules of the Road

  • If you do go to any stall in China haggle and haggle hard. And remember if the price isn’t right just walk away. Chances are you can buy something almost exactly the same for the price you want two stalls along.
  • Check out Shanghai museum if you get the chance, although beware of the queues at the weekend. We had a half an hour wait on the Saturday.
  • Speaking of queues, the museum queue was the best we’ve yet seen. The Chinese don’t queue well at all and you’ll often be waiting in line patiently and some guy will push past you to the front. If you’ve got your rucksack on you can usually block them.

Posted by rexontheroad 13:54 Archived in China

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