Day 8: Shanghai

Today marked out arrival in Shanghai. Again, we traveled at over 200 miles per hour by bullet train. This time though, I spent most of it catching up on sleep. However, in the last hour or so of the ride, I woke up, and Dr. Li shared some loose-leaf tea with me. I had never had loose-leaf tea before, but I really enjoyed it. Seeing as my dad and I are big fans of tea, I think I’ll find some in Shanghai that I can bring back home.

Shortly after arriving in Shanghai, it became clear that it was a very different city than Beijing or Xi’an. There was much more western influence, which manifested itself in the wide food selection, the contemporary architecture, and the diversity of the city.

The first thing we did in the new city was visit the Shanghai History Museum. We learned about the effect of the opium wars on the city of Shanghai, and how international trade transformed the once small fishing town to the booming metropolitan hub it is today.

Next, we went on a cruise to tour the Shanghai skyline. Going away from the pier, we faced the French Concession, a part of the skyline that stands out for its historical buildings. The French Concession is a great reminder of the history of Shanghai, and the important historical role it played as a gatekeeper to one of China’s most important lifelines – the Yangtze River. As we circled back towards the pier, we could see the modern Shanghai skyline, replete with striking architecture and multi-billion dollar corporate headquarters. One of the most vibrant, teeming cities in the world, but also full of history, Shanghai will be a great last stop.

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