Off to Shanghai

Today we had another early day, leaving Xi’An by high speed train to Shanghai. I really liked my stay in Xi’An, since it offered very uniquely Chinese sites, but was looking forward to Shanghai as well, since it is the largest city in the world.  After a long train ride, we arrived at the hotel. The rooms were large, luxurious, but most importantly, there was wifi. After settling down in the hotel, we left for the Shanghai History Museum. This museum was in the Pearl Tower, in the center of downtown Shanghai. We got the opportunity to walk through the city, seeing the towering skyscrapers and the busy sidewalks. I was very overwhelmed with what I saw and I’m hoping the next few days here will be enough to explore Shanghai well. The museum gave a detailed description of the history of Shanghai through wax figurines set up in different scenes. After this, we went to dinner in a mall, and then headed to the cruise. The cruise lasted about 40 minutes. We were able to see the flashing Shanghai skyline, which was great to witness during my first night in the city. There were whole buildings displaying changing lights, advertisements, and videos of animals on their walls. It was a very different than travelling down the Allegheny on the Gateway Clipper. One thing I was surprised to learn about this city, are the car regulations. To get a license plate allowing you to drive on the highway, you must either drive a hybrid car, or pay $15,000. Even then, you would only be able to purchase one based on a lottery system. It shows how China understands their negative impact on the environment, and is working to reduce their emissions, whereas in the United States, politicians must argue whether climate change is even a reality. I think the autocratic government is the reason they are able to efficiently streamline regulations like this, without having to waste time arguing over useless opinions. While nondemocratic governments have the potential to negatively affect the population due to disparity in power, China shows how through proper management, the majority of citizens can trust, and rely on their government even better than we can back home in the States. This is something I have noticed a lot during my stay in China, and I am curious to learn more about how their government works and what the major benefits and losses the citizens have faced due to this.IMG_4260

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