Day 8: Another Train Ride, a Museum, and a Cruise

Today is our longest day by far: 6AM to 10PM. We left Xi’an very early this morning and took another bullet train to Shanghai, the last city in our grand tour of China. I was exhausted from the last couple of long days, but I managed to stay awake the whole way there, which surprised me a lot. Because we got to the train station so early, Sabrina and I had time to wander around and buy ourselves some food for the afternoon. I bought myself what is essentially cup ramen, but with actual food as add-ins instead of a sketchy flavor packet that has enough sodium to kill you. I used the hot water dispenser on the train to make my soup, and at only 7 RMB (~$1), I’d say it was a pretty quality meal.

After we arrived at the hotel in Shanghai, which is a magnificent complex in the French Concession, we had a short amount of time to change into nicer clothes, shower, or take a quick nap. I chose to change clothes, because my jeans were getting uncomfortable and I wanted to wear a dress for some reason. After we picked up our passports, we were bussed to the Shanghai History Museum, which exhibited the development of the city, along with some of its history. There were many wax figures in the museum that caught us off guard the first time we saw them. Being the teenagers we are, we tried to pose with some of the mannequins and scare our friends behind us, but we stood out like sore thumbs and quickly abandoned that plan.

For dinner, we ate at another restaurant in a mall. This one was different because it had a stunning view of the Bund, or the opulent waterfront portion of Shanghai. The food was incredibly spicy, although they did serve us a delicious, if a bit sketchy, lime drink that helped calm the burning sensations.

Finally, we took a river cruise along the Huangpu River. We were able to see the Bund illuminated with all the lights from the buildings, which made for some stunning pictures. I was also able to see (and fangirl over for an embarrassingly long time) the Shanghai Tower, the second tallest building in the world, which is shorter than only the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It was exciting to see, and my parents can both verify that they got an excited text from me ranting about the Tower. Although today was a horrendously long day, it was awesome to see the Shanghai Tower and the Pearl Tower lit up.

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