October 2010
Part II


Next day, what a pity, Uli had a cold with fever and a dripping nose. He was too weak to join us on our private sight-seeing tour. Even if it didn't lead us directly to the TCM, but this is the place to describe first to find a remedy perhaps for Petra's ailing man. It would not be easy, though, to choose the right remedy from 14,000 TCM from the Stone Age to contemporary time. OK, you may know by now that TCM means Traditional Chinese Medicine and is neither Turner Classic Movies nor a Tschibo brand name nor Transcendental Meditation.

The TCM Museum is somewhere in Pudong. No address in the Lonely Planet. Maybe a secret place for the enlightened only. Though, if you look up its internet site you will find the address: 1200 Cailun Road, Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong New Area. Since only buses and a tram get close to this place we decided to take a taxi from the Metro Line 2 Zhangjiang Station. But beware: without address in Chinese you get nowhere.

Click the small picture to get it enlarged

Paying the TCM Museum a visit because it was one of Petra's wishes
Models and drawings displaying the chakras
Or acupunctures for healing Maybe it only helps if believing

Shanghai Science & Technology Museum

Actually we went to the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum first. Or better, we reached and did get off at the Metro Station of the same name. Getting up the stairs we saw the impressive museum right away.
The Technology Museum with a technical sculpture

The Fake Market

Since Uli was not with us, I was overruled by the females not go inside the Technology Museum but into the Fake Market. But where is it? While we were looking around we were encountered by a Chinese guy whom I asked. I shouldn't have asked.

He was a street vendor and he was under the impression that for his answer we are obliged to buy a fake from him. Rolex, Mont Blanc, Louis Vuiton, etc. You name it, he got it. After I told him that we are not interested, he still followed and cursed us with four letter words, not "fake you" but "fuck you".

So you know what a fake is. In China, everything can be faked. And almost everything can be bought as fake. I wonder why this market exists and openly carries this name. Ok, it is at least underground. Why are the brand name companies not telling the Chinese authorities to stop the fake market, or the fake manufacturers in the first place. Maybe all the promises by the Chinese Government are just lip service.

One Chinese comment I read said something like that: "There is so much work involved to eradicate the production of pirated goods. Going to court is a lengthy, complicated and thus expensive process. The companies must decide between the trial cost and the marketing loss." What a bullshit. If the government would threaten the perpetrators with the death penalty like they do to the corrupter by sentencing them by the hundreds then there would be no fakes anymore.

No bullshit for the customers, though. They are so happy about the cheapies. Especially Petra, who bought several Wolfskin Jackets and other stuff so cheap she hardly could believe.
The EXPO mascot puppet is no fake and this desert storm outfit looks real
I was really bored because I didn't know what to buy. I am really a poor guy, but there was no need for me to save a lot of money. Joy found at least a fashionable pair of shoes for 22 Euro. You would have paid ten times as much in Europe.
Above the underground Fake Market This guy is selling no fake kites
We went back to our hotel with the Metro Line No 2 to People's Square where we had to change just for one more stop to another line.

But what a ride. We were standing like oil sardines in a can and had problems getting out. Joy was almost caught within the closing doors, because people were pushing (real hard) to get in before passengers could get out first.

This recklessness I have experienced many times when I was in China in 1988 and still seem to be prevalent. The single Chinese is usually very kind and helpful but not as part of the masses. This may have become part of their mentality, when, in the old days, too many Chinese had to fight for the scarce resources, whether not enough food or not enough room (or seats) on a train or bus, etc.

Authorities are trying to educate their citizen to English manners, like standing in line or on the right side on the escalator. I have seen Metro employees holding signs at the base of an escalator which says "stand on the right and pass on the left". Also the Metro platforms are marked to stand at the side and not at the front of the opening doors in order to let the people get out first. Maybe they should also have some enforcing Metro employees present there.

By the way, Metro employees are around in many places also to help tourists to use the ticket machines. But it is also easy to follow the menu in English. You choose the destination and type the number of passengers and then you are asked to put the amount requested into the slots.

French Concession walking tour

Another day, another sight-seeing trip. But same Uli's flu and fever. So unfortunately we had to leave him in the hotel, again. And the others had enough energy to walk a lot. First in the direction to the French Concession. On the way we passed many parks with many flowers. What a joy for Joy, the flower lover.
Flower lover in the city More flowers because of the EXPO
Flower lover in the park EXPO signs everywhere
Crossing the Time Square, but this one is not as famous as the one in New York. More famous was the Porsche in the show room behind a modern bicycle sculpture.
The Shanghai Times Square Sculpture in front of Porsche

Huaihai Park

Then we followed the call of the birds and found hundreds of bird cages hanging in the trees in the Huaihai Park. What a nice park to relax and to do many things: listening to the birds, watching (or joining) men playing Mahjongg, doing all kinds of exercises, or just socializing.
A lot of birds chirp chirp A leisure park to relax relax
And a lot of fitness devices are dotting the park
No need to pay for a fitness studio
Every poor can afford and stay healthy and get old


And then we reached one of the main tourist spots and entertainment complex as part of the French Concession called Xintiandi, whatever it means. It is a rather a new development but based on traditional design and historic architecture.
And this is Xintiandi a nice place to stroll around
It is a nice place to stroll around and have a drink or a meal. We decided to settle down at the Paulaner, a famous Bavarian beer restaurant, where I had an original half a liter wheat beer (7.40 Euro) and a pair of White Sausage (5,20) and Joy had a Goulash (12.50 Euro). Ok, it may have been cheaper in Munich.
And to eat Bavarian in the Paulaner surrounded by old and new architecture
Then we continued our stroll along some stalls. One of them were selling chess boards. One of the chessmen struck my eye and I was wondering why the Chinese were so fond of the Germans that they even carved one of the most terrible Germans (or Austrians) as a king. Now they even made him a Swiss guy, because he commanded an army under the Swiss flag. His opponent "king" was president Roosevelt but with a correct American flag. And believe it or not, when we came by the other day it was just being sold to a Chinese boy.

After that we came by a pharmacy, where I was looking for a remedy against this incredibility. But pharmacies in China are also selling medicine expensively like in Germany, so they also can afford to look so fancy.
Take a close look at the right king Now get some tranquilizer at the pharmacy

Fuxing Park

Better than buying tranquilizer is to visit another tranquil park and take some rest while watching other people having a dancing lesson. The name of this park is Fuxing and was created by the French in 1909 and later used by the Japanese as a parade ground in 1930.

Today mostly and supposedly old people are parading in slow motion Tai Chi or are walking backwards while clapping their hands in front and behind their backs. These meditative easy going exercises are still better for your health (and also suit me more) than the exhaustive and exaggerated practice of body building or jogging in the Western world (I did not see one jogger in Shanghai).
Another tranquil park Where people were dancing
Marx and Engels are watching So did we

Orthodox St. Nicholas Church

This is a walking tour as described in my guide book. So we had to stop at the old Orthodox St. Nicholas Church, built in 1933 by White Russians who fled the communists between 1920 and 1930 to finally settle down in Shanghai. They had to flee again after China became communistic. So the church is not used anymore. I expected that also the interior is still preserved because it has been declared as a heritage building. But when I opened the door I was shouted at that the discotheque is closed. What a blasphemy.
Next comes an Orthodox church which became heritage architecture
No real mosaic glas but paper Old Spanish style house in the French Concession

French Concession history

Now, why is this district called French Concession? In the beginning of the last century foreigners established exclusive communities on land which were conceded to them, thus the name concession.

Look up history books if you want to know more about this period. But it weren't only the French who took possession but more so British, Americans, White Russians and other Europeans. But the French architecture and avenues were "en vogue" at that time and thus prevalent. That was also the reason, why Shanghai was once called "Paris of the East".

But, of course, also Chinese settled down or were here: some rich business men, some famous gangsters, some political figures, like Moa Zedong, Zhou Enlai (lived in a Spanish villa) and Chiang Kaishek and before all of them: Sun Yat-sen (also look up my Taiwan travel report).
Here lived , Sun Yat-sen

Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar

This is the best place to stroll around during the day: the Yuyuan Gardens in the Old Town. The best place to stroll around in the evening: the Yuyuan Bazaar. The latter comes first and the first is described at the end. I do not know why it is called Yuyuan. Maybe you can spend a lot of Yuan. Yes, you can. You can buy everything, cheap fakes and expensive makes. So, also beware of the Rolex and Louis Vuiton fake touts. Though, we bought a nice Samsonite trolley-flightcase-rucksack, all in one, for 22 Euro.
Gate to the Yuyuan Bazaar A favorite spot with lot of shops
From Fast Food restaurants to Jewelry outlets
Princess Dragon
Part of the bazaar is the most famous teahouse in China. The Queen of England, Elizabeth, and the president of the United States, Bill Clinton, were here. But not together. It was neither a long palace nor an oval teahouse but a square one in the middle of a little lake. Maybe we were mistaken as some celebrity by a Chinese couple who wanted to clear and leave the best table for us for the famous tea ceremony.
The most famous tea house Visited also by Queen Elizabeth and President Clinton
Surrounded by other beautiful buildings

Trip to Pudong

Today we want to visit Pudong on the other side of the river Huangpu. Today also Uli has remarkably recovered (though not by TCM), so we could embark on a most extraordinary endeavor together. First of all enduring a Metro ride. Unfortunately, we couldn't test the recovered robustness of Uli, because the train was not too much crowded.
Illuminations and Expo mascot everywhere The underground takes you almost everywhere
Then we had to strain our necks to look up to the tops of all those skyscrapers. This part of Shanghai can really flaunt with a lot of superlatives. Number one: this is the most powerful financial district with the largest stock market. Superlative number two: This part of Shanghai has been built from scratch (farmland) in less than twenty years and is now one and a half times larger than urban Shanghai.
To the financial district in Pudong on the other side of the river

Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC)

Superlative number three: The Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) building is the highest skyscraper in China and boasts with the highest observation platform in the world.
We did not to climb the Oriental Pearl TV Tower but the "bottle opener" Shanghai World Financial Center
We were not allowed to walk up, so we had to pay the 16.20 Euro to get to the highest platform, which is on the 100th floor. But first we took the elevator/escalator to floor number 97 in order to have our first view from the Sky Walk at the bottom of the "bottle opener" opening, or better trapezoid.
Now looking down to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower from the Sky Walk underneath the "bottle opener" opening
Looking south along Century Avenue Looking north to the Jinmao Tower and behind
The Jinmao Tower is the next impressive skyscraper but with 421m not as high as the SWFC. But it has an interesting design, a little like a Chinese pagoda (similar to the Taipei 101 tower, which is with 509m even higher than the SWFC). Traveling to the 88th floor observation deck will cost you 9.50 Euro. But there is another way to save the money by staying at the Grand Hyatt between the 53rd and 87th floor or just have a drink on Cloud 9 on the 87th floor, which may be more expensive than the ticket, though.
I am getting dizzy looking down Already see double as shown
Standing with Haibao Standing with High-Uli
After taking the obligatory photo shot with the EXPO mascot we took the escalator to the upper Sky Walk on the 100th floor. As you can see we are 474m high in the sky.
Getting higher Looking deeper
From the upper part of the "bottle opener" I looked straight down through a glass window in the floor (hoping the glass will not break while standing on it) to the middle of the Jinmao Tower. But if you look to the south again you see not only skyscrapers but also rows of apartment or condominium buildings. And this stretches along down south for miles and miles. So you can imagine what was done on 350sqkm in less than 20 years.
Even looking through the floor and far out to the south
Final glimpse to the north through the raising mist. Unfortunately it was not so clear and sunny as on our first day on the Bund looking to Pudong.
Looking to the north left and to the north right

The MagLev Train

And now we come from the highest platform in the world to the fastest train in the world, the next and final superlative for today. No superlative was, however, the "cockpit" of that train, as you can see for yourself.

This train is a Magnetic Levitation (MagLev) train and is the first train of such kind in commercial operation. However, this "Magnetschwebebahn" has been run on a testing trail in Germany many years ago for many years but nobody dared to invest much more in that futuristic transportation system. China did dare and does not care that much about profitability right away. Also, they are trying to soak up all know-how in the world, no matter at what cost, and think later about implementation.

At the moment, this train does not seem to be profitable at all. It only runs between Pudong International Airport and the Longyang Road Station, less than half way to central Shanghai, with no direct change over to the Metro Station. Since the Metro now connects to the Pudong International Airport, there is no advantage for passengers to use the more expensive MagLev for 5.40 Euro. We paid 8.70 Euro for the return ticket.
From the highest platform to the fastest train Oh my God, the "cockpit" is a shame
Yes, there were only few passengers on the train. Mostly tourists, like us, or Chinese visitors and families who want to experience the thrill of travelling up to 430km/h during the 8 minutes journey, which is so smooth, that kids may rather prefer to ride a roller coaster instead.
Inside the passenger coach it looks much better
Believe it or not The train just hits 431km/h
Landscape passing by too fast and the memory of that ride will last

The Yuyuan Gardens

Our last day in Shanghai. Last chance to see the Yuyuan Gardens. My Flower lover was disappointed, though. "Where have all the flowers gone?". We should have known. Generally, Chinese gardens have no lawns and no flowers, but rocks, rocks, rocks, around some ponds surrounded by some trees and few plants (with some "inevitable" blossoms). All arranged according to Chinese Philosophy like Toaism.

No wonder that it took 18 years to collect and move all the rocks around to finally finish that garden. That was from 1559 to 1577 during the Ming Dynasty. Since then it had a varied history with up and downs. But not much harm could have been done to the stones.

Since the stones all looked gray so did the sky and because of no colorful flower array also my photos are looking gray. Nevertheless, it was interesting to walk around between the rocks until we did get lost. Eventually we found the exit and went back to our Phoenix by taxi.
The gate to the Yuyuan Gardens where there are more stones than plants
Also some covered walks and sculptures and a stage for musical performances
But also some ponds and temples and beautiful pagodas to rest
The interior shows a meeting place with nice decoration and art
But we love more the landscape and the trees and plants
But also some animals like fish in a pond
We had no bread for feeding the fish but a coin to throw for a free wish
Bye bye stone garden and the biggest Ginkgo tree in the world
Last view of our street in the late afternoon and evening before we said Good Bye. We would have liked to stay a little bit longer and maybe become a Shanghaier to be shanghaied some day, i.e. in our case: extradited because of our expired visa.

In the old days being "shanghaied" was the expression for kidnapping drunken or being drugged people from the street in Shanghai to be woken up on a ship already under sail where they had no choice but to work hard the whole trip.
Bye bye happy Shanghainese Bye bye our Shanghai street
At 9 p.m. we went to the airport by van to finally go up in the air at 12:30 a.m. It was a smooth flight again without any incident with the black-listed Cebu Pacific Airline until we arrived in Manila at 4:00 a.m.

Ok, that was Shanghai the way we have seen it. There is a lot more to be seen and to experience. Look up any guidebook or the internet to learn more and more.

© WEW Tours