Thursday, May 31, 2012

Shanghai express train

Well we are not on a train anymore but we did take a train to get to Shanghai. The forewarning about Shanghai was completely accurate. Beijing (if I failed to mention it before) has a very rustic feeling about it, there are run down buildings and areas of the city that could really use some upkeep but it is very friendly. As one of our ICB (International College of Beijing if I have failed to mention that as well) pointed out Beijing people will accept anyone, it does not matter how much money they make as long as they are a good person.

The silk worm factory
& process
Photo courtesy of Amy
Well Shanghai has been describe by many as a New York City or Chicago and they are not wrong. It is very Westernized and feels like you are back in the States, except you cannot read any of the signs. There are parts of me that really enjoy this because it makes me more comfortable but at the same time, the rustic nature of Beijing was just what you think of when you think of China.

Also, apologies for the lack of a blog yesterday, we had a camera melt down.

Yesterday we went to the Pearl TV Tower which is the 3rd highest building in Asia and you are able to go up in the ball of it and look around the city. There is also a level that has a sky walk and so you can see down. It was really cool to get a view of the city but it felt again, very Western like we were at the Space Needle or something of the like. On the first level of the Pearl TV Tower there is a museum about the history of Shanghai which was really interesting. Shanghai has only been in existence for a few hundred years compared to the thousands of years of Beijing or a similar city. I think this is what has lead to the mass amounts of Western influence really. After the TV tower we took a very non-amusing cable car ride under the river. It was not amusing simply because it was slow and built for 5 year-olds.

Today we went to a different province which was another 2 hour bus ride away, it was really interesting to see some of the country-side and the amount of factories that are out there. Once we arrived we went to a garden that was amazing. It was very peaceful and serine . . . except for the mass amounts of people. They also had some of the largest koi fish I have ever seen in my life and I have seen some big ones. After the garden we got some lunch at a very Western buffet. They served all American food and looked like there was only Americans in there. I think the culture shock of that was more than any other place that we have gone to. After that incident we went to a silk factory and watched them actually take silk from silk worm phase to product phase. It was really interesting to see the entire process in work. After the silk factory we went to another Buddhist temple which was far more commercialized that any of the other ones that we have gone to. In a way it is very sad to see these once revered places of worship be dwindled down to yet another cash cow.

It was an interesting day and the contrast between Shanghai and Beijing is very interesting to see. I am looking forward to continuing to explore.

Till next time gentle readers.

1 comment:

  1. That silk worm thing sounds awesome! I love your pics btw. I don't know if I could have looked down from that building. EEK!