Today was our first full day in Shanghai. The seven of us (the people who got sick) arrived in the city the night beforehand. Everybody else arrived in Shanghai today via bullet train in the afternoon. This gave us seven some free time before we had to meet up with the main group, so Gabi and Liliana took us to a street market and Shanghai center.
The street market was a great introduction for me to what a street market is like. The market wasn’t far from the hotel, only two subway stops away, and it was in a nice area. There is next to no room to barter, as many of the shops had listed prices. A variety of products are sold, including chopsticks, fans, jewelry, and pop culture items, although after a while, it became obvious that many of the street vendors were selling the exact same products at different prices. We also ate lunch in one of the restaurants in China, and it reminded me of how much I miss western food. We had pizza and French fries, and it was the first time that I have had western food since we’ve gotten here. Having the same type of food everyday was starting to make me year for the food from back home, so lunch was a good change of pace for me.
After we finished lunch, we started to make our way towards Shanghai center, the second tallest building in the world. The tower has its 118th and 119th floors dedicated as a tourist destination. People can visit those floors and get an amazing view of the Bund and the surrounding area. One can easily see two to three miles around the tower. Unfortunately, the smog limits seeing out any further than that. We were able to get a group photo there and I was able to take some awesome photos of Shanghai from up there.
We made our way to the TV tower after we came back down from Shanghai center. The tower requires one to go through a security checkpoint to get in, but oddly enough, we found a Xiaomi store on the other side. It perplexes me why anybody would want to buy a cellphone or some other electronics after going through a security gate to get to a tourist attraction. Its like signing up for a cellphone contract at Disney world, nobody would want to do that. This is also where we met up with the main group after three and a half days. It was great finally being able to back on track with the trip and to be able to see everybody again. We then went into the base of the TV tower to visit a museum about the history of Shanghai. The museum put in perspective for me all of the history of the city pre-1980’s. The group then had dinner at a nice restaurant and make our way to a pier for a river on the cruise. The views from the river were absolutely beautiful. I was able to snap some amazing photos of the Bund. After the cruise, we went back to the hotel and I called it a night.