The last and final stop on our tour of China, was the amazing city of Shanghai. With a population of about 24 million people, it is roughly three times the size of New York City. China is massive! Our first order of business was to head down to the Bund area, which is a wide pedestrian walkway next to the Huangpu River. The views were incredible!
The sun was bright, even despite the pollution! Air quality in China was not the greatest, I'm afraid.
The Bund was a fantastic area to stroll, people watch and take in the scenery.
On one side, was the river and great views of the financial district. Also, since the Huangpu River is an active shipping lane, there were lots of boats to watch.
And on the opposite side of the financial district were fabulous, old colonial style buildings. I loved the dichotomy of old and new!
I was so impressed by all of the flowers everywhere. Shanghai was a much more beautiful city than I was expecting. This wall had individual flower pots implanted right inside of the wall.
A close up.
The flowers and greenery made such a beautiful pattern along the wall.
And still, more flowers!
After walking along the Bund, we headed to an adjacent pedestrian area that was mostly closed to street traffic, and housed some very high end stores.
We noticed the busy Cheese Tart stand right away and decided to take a closer look. A line out front is usually a good indication of the quality of the establishment!
We have fallen in love with egg tarts as a result of our Asian travels, but had never tried a cheese tart.
Mmmm, where has this been all my life?! We ordered a regular and a mango tart. It was warm, gooey, cream cheesy goodness. We had intended to share them, but I should have ordered my own (and may have eaten most of one of them). I definitely preferred the 'regular' flavor.
I loved the old European colonial style buildings, and there were so many in this area. Shanghai was one of the most important trade centers for China during the 19th century, with the win of the Brittish in the Opium War. Commerce flourished until the take over of the Communists in 1949, then everything tanked. Go Figure.
But I loved the architecture.
Another busy egg tart stand. (An egg tart is a small pie with custard filling). Yes, please!
These were great, but now I have been forever ruined by the cheese tart.
We loved the window displays of the high end shopping area. These little fairies flew around and around. The girls enjoyed watching them.
Back to the Bund, for dusk. We had heard that the best photo ops are at sunset.
The lights were just starting to come on as we arrived.
Shanghai at dusk, was a beautiful sight indeed!
They even lit the colonial buildings. I LOVED this!
We had to stop for a family photo op,
on both sides!
At night, the buildings looked like little English cottages, just like something that would be in a Christmas village.
I had no idea that Shangahi was this awesome, or this beautiful. Yes, I heart SH!
And, still, more flowers.
We had a late afternoon flight, which left most of the morning to sight see. We went to the 'Old Town' part of Shanghai, to the Yu Garden.
I loved the traditional Chinese architecture here, too. You just don't see buildings like this everyday. SO ornate.
On our way to the garden, we passed the Huxingting Tea house. Built in 1784, this tea house is also Shanghai's oldest. Many dignitaries visit this house and the place was packed!
It took some work to find the garden because the district was cramped and covered several blocks, but we made it. Finally.
The Yu Garden was first built in 1559, and is a walled enclosure of gardens, homes and different structures. It was a great glimpse into what traditional Chinese life might have been like hundreds of years ago.
Living space in one of the houses.
The garden area was nice, but still not the caliber of Japanese gardens, in my opinion. I'm biased!
We always love a koi pond.
The rocks on the walkways had these beautiful inlaid designs.
Dragons are always a must!
On our walk back to catch the cab, we decided to try this apple-on-a-stick treat. We had seen this item for sale in many places over the course of the week and I was curious.
It was some sort of small and very sour apple, covered in a hardened sugar, like Karo syrup.
Eva's face says it all. We didn't like it. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
We traveled Beijing, to Xi'an, to Shanghai on this trip and each city had a different vibe. I had heard mixed reports about visiting China, but I was pleasantly surprised by all of it! I loved learning more about the history and culture of China and can't wait to return!