We woke up at 5 am for the second time on this trip to catch our high-speed train to Shanghai. The train was identical to the one we took from Beijing to Xi’an. A lot of the students in our group were excited to leave the heat of Xi’an in favor of the cooler temperature and the bustling city of Shanghai. The train ride was a total of six hours, which I barely noticed as slept almost the entire way. After reaching Shanghai, we caught a glimpse of the beautiful skyline on our bus ride back to the hotel.
After unpacking in our five-star hotel, including a view of Shanghai Tower, the second tallest building in the world, our first stop in Shanghai was the Shanghai History Museum. This museum captures Shanghai’s growth from a fishing village, through its rapid urban development into the metropolis it is today. Most of the development occurred during the settlement of Europeans in China in the 19th century when portions of China were ceded by European nations was well as the United States. The museum used life-like wax figures to depict scenes that would be common in the stages of Shanghai’s growth.
We had dinner in a restaurant high within a skyscraper, which provided an incredible view of the city’s skyline. The dinner was also one of the best we’ve had thus far on the trip as every dish that was brought out was delicious. During the meal, we could also see ships covered in bright lights as they traveled through the river that cut through the city center.
After dinner was the highlight of the day, a riverboat cruise through the center of the city which provided a 360-degree view of one of the most beautiful skylines in the world. I think I took almost as many pictures on the cruise alone that I did in the entirety of the time I’ve had my phone before this trip. After this first exciting first day in Shanghai, we are all already optimistic that Shanghai will be the most exciting city of the three that make up our trip.