Today started with another early morning as we had to be in the lobby at 6:30 AM to take a bus to the train station. We had another 6-hour train ride ahead of us, this time to Shanghai. During the ride, I was wide awake so I decided to catch up on blogging, listen to music, and look out the window. To my surprise, I saw a Sam’s Club when we were about 30 minutes from the Shanghai Station. After arriving, we met our new Asia Institute guide, Young, who was extremely excited to finally meet us all. She led us to our bus and we headed to the heart of the city to reunite with Liliana, Gabi, and our 7 friends who were too sick to travel with us to Xi’an. On our bus ride over, we learned that the cost of a license plate in Shanghai is $10,000 USD. This is due to the fact that it the most populated city in the world with 25 million people and the government knows they can’t have 25 million cars on the streets. Due to the cost of the license plates, there are only 3 million cars with a Shanghai license plate. We finally met up with everyone outside the Shanghai History Museum and headed inside. We learned that Shanghai has really only been a powerhouse of a city for 30 years. All of its skyscrapers and buildings have only been built within the last 30 years and during that time it has become a top global city. To me, this is extremely impressive and hard to believe, but fortunately, they had before and after pictures of the city to show this transition.
After the museum, we went to a restaurant near the Huangpu River to have another family style meal. The river flows through the middle of the city and we were fortunate enough to get to go on a river cruise after dinner. Following dinner, we walked to the river to go on our cruise. This was one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done. There’s no way I could forget Shanghai’s skyscrapers and buildings lit up at night, it was so beautiful. I took many pictures, but I don’t think any of them do enough justice for the view. It’s something I can’t compare anything to and I would absolutely love to be able to see it again in person later in my life. One of the most noticeable buildings was the Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower. It’s a gorgeous building and we have nothing that looks like it in the US. I actually learned from our tour guide that there is a restaurant at the top of it that rotates while you eat to give you a full rooftop view of the city. Alex did let me know that he had heard the food wasn’t so good and that the view is what you pay for, but if I ever come back here it’s something I’d like to do. After our cruise, we finally got to go to our new hotel for the first time all day so it was much needed. Tomorrow we have plans to visit the East China University of Science and Technology which should be exciting!