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Day 22. Last day in Shanghai

Friday, October 2, 2009 permalink [Permalink]

What you quickly realize about Shanghai is the immense mass of people on every walkway and street, it was hard work trying to push our way whilst walking our bikes.



At last the weather broke and the sun was beating down on us, with the whole of Shanghai's massive skyline visible in all its glory.  We took the bikes out for a spin and could now explore the whole city. The weather was much better, even for photos :)

We rode along the canal all the way to the main river where we could see the outline of the massive structures lining the edge of the bank.

Billy with his PRC Flag
[Billy with his Red PRC Flag]

Unfortunately due to new construction ahead of the World Expo in 2010, some of the walkways and parklands along the bank were closed, pity, because Dave said that they were worth the experience and tranquillity.

What you quickly realize about Shanghai is the immense mass of people on every walkway and street, it was hard work trying to push our way whilst walking our bikes.

Masses of people
[Masses of people]

Beijing was big, but it didn't feel as congested with people as Shanghai.  Shanghai also felt more Western and less foreign, obviously due in part to the many colonial factions which were stationed here over the years.

In order to make it to the other side of the river, or in truth the island, we took a ferry across with hundreds of locals - all clamouring past the metal gates and grates.

Look officer, I didn't see any sign!
[Look officer, I didn't see any sign!]

It was only from the centre of the river that the true panorama of this modern metropolis came into full focus.  Both sides representing a bustling, powerful and rich China - and I'm sure many tourists who only see the big cities carry this very message home.

Shanghai skyline
[Shanghai skyline]

When the ferry docked on the other side we started to see the true victims of progress.  An old neighbourhood, colonial homes and roads being demolished - to me, something of a huge mistake, a historical gem extinguished for the sake of a progressive image.

Buildings being demolished
[Buildings being demolished]

Sadder still, the fact that many, if not all of the old homesteads are inhabited by the elderly.  What's to become of them?  As we ride through the streets, an excavator stands still in intimidation just meters away of an old woman washing her hair on a balcony.

Woman washing her hair on the balcony
[Woman washing her hair on the balcony]

I gather these people will be politely asked to vacate the homes, just like those in Beijing before the 2008 Olympic game venues were built.  The three days were enough to get an overall impression of Shanghai and its people.  More so, it gave us an opportunity to see Shanghai before the developers move in with their modern buildings.

Once the sun set, we decided to check out the shopping district, get some gifts for family and friends, have dinner and bid farewell to our final Chinese city - tomorrow we fly home.


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