Welcome back to my China series! We are still in Shanghai.
After visiting Yu Garden and Yuyuan Market, Shelby and I walked to the People’s Park. We sat down for a brief moment while we looked at our map and gushed over some adorable toddlers in brightly colored coats. That’s one thing I noticed about both Shanghai and Beijing – there are babies EVERYWHERE. You almost never see babies in Los Angeles. It’s just interesting how those cities are so much more family-friendly.
Next, we decided to head to The Bund and Pudong via Nanjing Road. Nanjing Road is the biggest shopping area in Shanghai, and certainly one of the craziest places I’ve ever been. Take The Grove and multiply by at least like 23. They have everything there! Nike, Adidas, Zara, Forever 21, H&M, Lululemon…basically all the stores you have at any major shopping destination. Plus, there were all these weird stores I’ve never seen before. They had really cute, trendy things that were for some reason all inspired by Southern California. We saw a cool jacket with “Manhattan Beach” and a hat that said “Pacific Palisades.” I mean, I guess we have stuff like that in the States too. But then there were other strange things, like a t-shirt that said “Florida Rules.” It was just like a strange take on American fashion and culture through a Chinese filter.When we finally reached The Bund and saw the skyline of Pudong, we were SHOOK! I mean, just look at it. I’ve really never seen anything like it.
The Bund is a waterfront area along the Huangpu River in Central Shanghai. The main feature of the area is a large promenade next to the river. The buildings that line the street have a heavy European influence. The juxtaposition between the modern skyline of Pudong across the river and these old European-style buildings was pretty strange.
Next, we wanted to go to Pudong across the river for lunch. There’s no bridges across the Huangpu River in this area, so we had to take a tunnel to get to the other side. We took the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, which was basically like that scene in Willy Wonka (the old one) where they take the boat and there’s all those scary lights and colors, except we were in a tiny glass pod with a Chinese family going under a river.
Once we were on the Pudong side, we started looking for a place to eat lunch. At his point we were completely exhausted and HANGRY. Honestly, the most difficult thing about being in China was trying to find a restaurant when we were hungry and tired. We couldn’t ask anyone for recommendations because no one spoke English, so we were stuck looking at a guidebook and a map. And you don’t really think about this before you go, but just as how your city has many different cultural cuisines, so does Shanghai. So how do you make sure you’re not going to an Italian restaurant when all you want is authentic Chinese food? I didn’t come to China to eat American-style gastropub food, ya know?
We finally did find a place for lunch at The Hyatt in Pudong where were could enjoy SPECTACULAR views of Shanghai. We had enjoyed the skyline from the other side, then we WERE the skyline.
Well, we were all wrong about that! It was impossible to find a bar. We walked all the way back to Yuyuan Market and didn’t find one. Like I said, it’s a very family-friendly city. I think it may have been helpful to get in touch with some ex-pats to find out where the Americans in Shanghai go to get lit, but we didn’t have the foresight to do that. Then our “quick nap” at the hotel ended being us sleeping for a whole night. Whoops! You win this time, jet lag!
Next time I’m gonna tell you all about the French Concession district of Shanghai, and then we are on to BEIJING!!!