Saturday, 18 January 2020

Shanghai Stories: Old City

The next day, we visited the Old City of Shanghai. The first attraction we visited was Yuyuan Garden. Yuyuan Garden is a classical Chinese garden. The garden has beautiful greenery with many grand stone sculptures, and classic Chinese architecture. There is a beautiful pond with koi fish in the middle of the garden. Koi fish attract good luck and fortune, which is why the Chinese hold such a high regard for these fishes. At the time of our entrance, the admission fee was 10 RMB. The garden is inside the bazaar. The bazaar is a maze but the garden is not hard to find as there are signs that lead you there.



One thing we missed at the Old City was afternoon tea at the Huxinting Teahouse. It is Shanghai's oldest teahouse, located by the Yuyuan Garden. If you plan to visit, I suggest making reservations ahead of time!

We also walked around the bazaar surrounding the temple and garden. The marketplace sold local souvenirs and snacks. We stopped by a well known dumpling store, Nanxiang Mantou Dian, to try out their xiaolongbaos. Shanghai's best known snack food is the xiaolongbao, or quite simply XLBs. These little dumplings are filled with hot soup and a pork filling; they are traditionally steamed in a bamboo basket. We also visited the City God Temple, with the admission price of 10 RMB.



After spending the whole day in the Old City, we decided to head to the Oriental Pearl Tower next. The Oriental Pearl Tower is located across from the Bund, on the other side of the Huangpu river. The tower had a revolving restaurant and an observation deck with a glass-bottomed skywalk for visitors. You can purchase different tour packages to visit the tower online or in person. We opted not to go inside as we didn't have much time. The tower is brightly lit in different LED sequences at night, so we spent some time watching the light show.


There are also several malls in the area, and Shanghai's flagship Disney store. We walked around the area and visited the Disney store, but soon found ourselves hungry. There weren't a whole lot of good food choices, and the restaurant (Din Tai Fung) we had wanted to go in the area had unfortunately closed down. We ended up grabbing something mediocre in the mall to fill our tummies.

Next up: a 7-day cruise to Japan!

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