Saturday, November 21, 2009

Leah and her 'Rents Visit - Part II: Shanghai & Suzhou

We flew to Shanghai on an early morning flight and caught a cab to our hotel.

Looking out the window, we saw a street packed with people not far from the hotel that we decided to check out. It turned out to be a shopping street that was ridiculously crowded. That's what we get for traveling during the National Holiday. We walked over to the Bund but we couldn't see anything due to construction.

I had some recommendations for restaurants from a friend, so for dinner we checked out Barbarossa. Delicious!

The next day, we took a train to Suzhou for the day.
We walked all over the place and again saw too many people everywhere. The Lion's Grove Garden would have been much more interesting if it had not been so crowded.

We went to an Arts and Crafts Museum which was nice and empty. The Temple of Mystery was very mysterious. We stopped by the Northern Pagoda on our walk back toward the train station.
About this time, we all started to get a little cranky from too much walking, taxis who didn't want to take us anywhere, places being closed, and hunger. After finding a place for dinner, we headed to the train station where we were able to change our train tickets for one an hour earlier since we had seen enough of Suzhou for the day.
Back in Shanghai, we decided to have drinks at the Radisson up the street from our hotel. At the Radisson, there is a rotating restaurant at the top and a bar one more floor up. From here, we had a great view of Shanghai's buildings all lit up.
The next day, we got up early to check out a market in the Xintiandi area of Shanghai. Since we were early, there were only a few others walking around with us and we found some great souvenirs.

We walked over to the Yu Garden next. This garden was again very crowded but managed to still be pretty peaceful. We all enjoyed our walk through the gardens.
Leaving the Yu Garden, we walked on the nine zig-zag bridge, but we didn't know it until we saw a postcard later - it was that crowded! We knew we were walking on a bridge and that we were making turns, but it was a mob of people from one side to the other. Amazing.

In the afternoon, we went to the Shanghai Museum - for free! I am not a big museum person and I have only been to a few museums that really held my attention for a long time. The Shanghai Museum wasn't one of them, but Leah's parents had a great time!

After the museum, we cabbed it over to the French Concession for tapas at Azul & Viva for dinner. I loved the French Concession area and would definitely spend more time here.

Leah and I went for foot massages after returning to our hotel.
The next morning, we got our shopping on at Uniqlo, H&M, and other random stores back in the Xindiandi and French Concession areas. While we were walking around, we ran into the cars and a float ready for a mass wedding. Usually, there are several cars which will caravan for a wedding. In this case, over 40 couples were getting married so there were a few hundred cars ready for the parade to wherever the weddings were about to take place.

We had a lovely Chinese lunch before checking out of our hotel and catching a taxi to the airport for our flight to Xi'an.

More pictures over at flickr.

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