Early this morning, we headed to the Xi’an train station and caught a train to Shanghai for our final destination before heading back home. Once we arrived, I was absolutely blown away; we saw the 2nd tallest building in the world on the ride to the hotel!
Our tour guide also explained a very interesting system to deal with traffic. People enter a lottery with about a 4% success rate to earn the right to acquire a license plate that allows you to use the main highways during rush hour. If you don’t have the plate, you can’t use them. If you win the lottery, you then must pay $15,000 per year to keep a license plate! Even with all of this in place, the roads are still crowded, but not unbearable.
After paying a visit to a muesumm in downtown filled with lifelike figures depicting different parts of China’s colorful history, we headed to dinner on the river. The food had some heat behind it; one of the Asia Institute workers explained that the restaurant was famous for their spicy dishes.
The evening was capped with a cruise tour of the city. We rode on a 3 story boat that rode along the skyline and gave people the chance to capture some amazing pictures. The view was unlike anything that I have ever seen in America; the city looked vibrant and endless. It is hard to wrap my head around the idea of living in a city with over 23 million people. The cruise tour reminded me that I have been exploring an area of the world very different from the United States. Overall, it was an unbelievable first day!