Saturday, February 26, 2011

The problem with going to bed early is that you wake up early - 4.00 am to be precise. Good excuse to keep reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Catherine woke up early too. We decided to get a head start on the day and went for an early breakfast. Still love those hot chocolate croissants!

Today we arranged to go on a tour of the city with one of the drivers from the hotel. First stop was the Yuyuan Bazaar in old Shanghai. Great place. Teeming with locals on a Saturday morning. Lots of strange looking and strange smelling delicacies which we decided not to sample. After a walk through the bazaar, we visited the Yuyuan Gardens - a classical Chinese garden of Ming Dynasty design in the heart of Shanghai. We were surprised how big the gardens were - all the nooks and crannies would have made hide and seek a nightmare.

After visiting the gardens, we set off to try some Chinese tea at the Hong Hong Tea Shop. We were impressed with the show that went in to preparing the different teas - we tried oolong tea, jasmine tea, Long Jing green tea and lychee flavoured black tea. They were all good. After the tea tasting ceremony, we were led off to the shop where we ended up buying a miniature tea set along with some oolong and jasmine teas. Not sure we can make it like they do here, but we’ll try.

Next stop was the trendy Xintiandi district - a fashionable area with trendy shops, restaurants and bars. This seemed to be the place where most westerners hung out. Our driver left us here for lunch.

After lunch, we visited the site where the Communist Party of China was essentially formed. Mao Zedong, who later became Chairman of the Communist Party, was here at the Party’s first meeting. Seems ironic that almost 100 years later, this site is now in one of the most trendy and fashionable in all of Shanghai. 

We headed back to our hotel after a full day of sightseeing by walking back along Huaihai Road, the renowned fashion area of Shanghai. We grabbed some Starbucks coffee and dessert along the way. After a quick rest at the hotel, we decided to try some Chinese massages at a spa just down the road. An interesting experience and a relaxing one too! 

We finished the day by packing up for our flight which leaves first thing in the morning. We fly to Bangkok and then to Yangon in Myanmar. Hopefully, we can post all our of stories and photos to our travel website when we get to Bangkok. Our site seems to be censored here in China.

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