[Shanghai] Day 4: All by Myself

20 April 2011

I was going to go down to ZhuJiaJiao (朱家角) today but it ended up that CL could make it. I didn’t want to be that daring and wander off alone to the suburbs, so in the end, I decided to stay and hangout in town. I can’t believe I had so much fun walking around =P and making unexpected discoveries.

Destinations and discoveries today (I can’t actually call them destinations since it was more like I ended up there rather than headed there):

  • Wondered around Ren Min Guang Chang 人民广场/ People’s Square
  • Found Madam Tussauds Shanghai – Still wondering if I should go in. 135RMB entry tickets. I’m not keen on photographing wax figures…
  • 人民公园 Ren Min Gong Yuan
  • Shanghai Art Museum 上海美术馆
  • Found the Xia Yang Shen Jian Bao 小杨生煎包 when I randomly headed into this narrow road called Haung He Lu Mei Shi Xiu Xian Jie/ 黄河路美食休闲街 (The English translation is “Lie Fallow Road”. Awesome)
  • Found the start of the 南京路步行街 Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street that I didn’t see the other day!
  • Went to the China Pavilion 中国国家馆 of the Shanghai Expo. It was an experience. Totally. More about it later.

 Around 人民广场/ People’s Square

Alight from Metro 1 人民广场 Stop. I think Line 2 and 8 stops here as well. I exited from Exit 8, but almost anything would do since I passed by many of the exits as I walked down. Depends on where you want to go first I suppose.

The signs...

 I have a thing for taking photos of signs simply because I can look back in my camera when I get lost at one corner and wonder where the roads lead to.

Then as I was walking down the road, I saw this:

Looks intriguing...

Asked someone to help me take photo and he very nicely did it for me =) I’ve met some really nice people on this trip. Anyway, I was wondering what it was, this wasn’t the only wall with this.

五洲纪念碑 - So I came back to google. Its some sports event.

Then I went to grab the fabled Sea Salt Green Tea Milk that I’ve been hearing about from 85 Degree C Shop. It’s really quite nice.

Cinema. I went in to check the price. Movies are so expensive to watch!

Saw the sign for Madam Tussauds! Went in to check. Prices were 135 RMB. And Yao Ming looked fake at the entrance… so let’s just say it didn’t work out into my budget for today. May be another day.

Mdm Tussads at Level 10 of 新世界城/ New World Emporium

人民公园 Ren Min Gong Yuan

Next stop is nearby – 人民公园 Ren Min Gong Yuan. It was about afternoon when I went in. Slightly past 12. There were both elderly chess players and office workers alike. And of course, a couple of foreigners. Pretty crowded as a whole. Baidu says it used to be part of the old Shanghai Horse Turf. Entry is free of charge. And they even have this very interesting water container near the entrance which dispenses free chinese tea for people who top up their bottles with it.

 

人民公园 Ren Min Gong Yuan (Entrance 5)

Trees, Waters and Flowers… what more could I want? (A photograph obviously. I asked another person to help me take one more photo – which came out REALLY well!)

Near the 5th Entrance

And more trees (As you can see, i love trees):

Forgot my Geography, these are ... temperate trees right? I saw some red leaves somewhere else. So it should be correct?

And Statues

Of 张思德同志 (Zhang Si De)

I thought I read at the signs that there was supposed to be a waterfall and I spent quite a while hunting the park for it. 瀑布 is waterfall right? I didn’t find it. I found false rocks at where they directed though. May be the water dried up? Or may be I just have a bad sense of direction.

And then I saw this:

I saw that clock tower off at the distance...

I like clock towers. So I went to hunt that down.

I love the architecture!

 I moved in for a closer look to see what the building was. When I saw this, I fell even more in love… if that was possible.

Creeping vines...

And this brings me to…

Shanghai Art Museum 上海美术馆

How many times can you fall in love? Think I should have gone to do architecture and design.

And then I saw something that made me go YIPPPEEE!

Free Entry to all since 5 March 2011! That sure is recent!

So I went up:

duh.

The exhibits:

I think most of the exhibits are by the Director of the Museum or something! If I remember correctly.

Is there a typical look for an art museum or something in Asia? Cos Singapores and Shanghais Art Museums from the inside sure look the same to me.

Some close ups:

By Xu Wen Rong

 

By Xu Wen Rong

 

By... no prizes if you guess correctly. Xu Wen Rong.

He sure is prolific. And very very talented, across many media.

The metal configuration is actually made from chinese calligraphy characters!

 

Love this display!

 

ta daaaa...

 

Anyway, let’s get out of the Art Museum *yawn* I need to make an early night tonight. Have to wake up early tomorrow.

黄河路美食休闲街/ “Lie Fallow Road”

I went back out to the main street, and continued wondering. And saw this sign:

The Sign promised more than what was actually within that worn down alley.

It wasn’t impressive inside. But I saw this purple colour sign, and I went to ask her what she was selling – and she said Xiao Yang Shen Jian. (!!!) THE FAMED Xiao Yang Shen Jian! I wasn’t even intending to look for it today. But who is complaining?

Xiao Yang Shen Jian Bao!

 I didn’t know what to expect when I bit into it, so let’s just say it wasn’t a pretty sight when all the juices came out and sprayed onto my face. But it was pretty awesome. I like it!~ And this 4 pieces was my lunch. For 5.5 RMB. Pretty coool.

China Pavilion 中国国家馆

After that, I left the People’s Square area and headed off to the China Pavilion. Took Metro line 8 to 耀华路 Station (4 RMB). It was a couple of stops from the People’s Square station.

I went in to buy the tickets…

Ticket Sales... look deceptively empty.

… and the guy told me, have to wait for 3 hours. Do I really want it? I looked at the empty field, and said, Ok.

So near and yet so far...

I walked in with my ticket in hand… and boy, he wasn’t joking.

I queued.

Ah.... I start seeing the queue... but during that time, I thought it wasnt too bad.

I queued.

The queue crawled along the 800m (thereabout) distance for 2 hours. And this was only outside.

And I queued. Along with smokers whom you can’t escape because everyone is packed into your own small little place in the queue.

o.O

And then we finally went in after 2.5 hours. … I thought it’s finally over. But… I continued to queue.

The inside lobby area before the actual entrance door to the exhibits.

And queue. We watched some show at a really big theatre with 3 interactive screens (as in the screen/ scenes interact with what is shown on the other screen. not as in touch-screen interactive) and the ceiling which also showed birds flying ~

The Theatre

That was the best part I think. It was pretty impressive show. The rest… let’s just say it’s better than Singapore Discovery Centre, but after queuing for 3.5 hours thereabout, I was back in the queue to get out in less than half an hour. And yes, we still have to queue to get out.

When you are inside, you keep getting rushed from one place to another because the human flow is non-ending, and you get ushers who keep telling you to watch as you walk and not stop in one place for very long. o.O And you can’t take photo because there’s no empty place for you to take your photos properly. Someone or another is always going to cut into your frame. Unless you take it by some wall, which defeats the whole point.

In the end, yeah, I couldn’t wait to get out. But I think the 3 hour wait was intersting though. A lot of the village/ sub-urb folks are down at the China Pavilion because they’ve heard about it, and because it’s about China, and because they’ve never been there. I love listening to their conversations. It’s not as though they really know what it’s all about, but they just want to say that they’ve been there and be part of it. Which is why the street paddlers are doing a brisk business selling pavilion passports with pre-signed stamps. [you earn a stamp at each station you visit] I also learnt the skills of bargaining first hand from many different buyers and sellers. Since there wasn’t anything else to do.

And oh, apparently, at one point of time, somewhere beside me, there was this Chinese Toronto football player and his Ang-mo girlfriend and their family/ friends who were waiting in line as well – The guy apparently is from some pretty big shot family. I think they didn’t expect the people around them to understand English, so they were talking about all kinds of interesting things, which I was listening to since I was alone and I was bored. And they also talked about his butt. I think his girlfriend said he had no butt. Which he took some offence to. And the uncle said, it’s in their family tradition to have a big butt. The guy then claimed it was because of his running or something, that worked off the butt. ;P

Entertaining wait I must say.

I’ve never seen so many people in one place at one time. The one thing that I learnt from this is the Chinese have learnt the skills of crowd control really well. Singapore should learn from how they manage the crowd to prevent stampedes. Because, once or twice, when in typical chinese fashion, some random people decides to climb out/ under from the barriers and make a dash for an opening in front, I thought a riot was going to break out.

With that, I’m signing off to a very much needed sleep. Legs are mad aching because of the stand. And I honestly came back to the hotel and immediately scrubbed myself all over furiously because I keep thinking back at the amount of human contact that I had today. And threw all my clothes into the wash bag.

 

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