We’ve spent the past couple days sightseeing and exploring Shanghai. We’ve spent the last two nights at The Bund, the riverfront promenade where taking in Pudong’s skyline is trumped only by people watching the throngs of domestic and tourists. Yesterday we checked out the Shanghai Gallery of Art, before heading back to our hotel as Joylani was feeling sick. This morning, we visited the excellent Shanghai Museum. It was a really really nice museum, which has recently been made free (for the Olympics) as well as housing a temporary exhibit, from The British Museum, on the Ancient Greek games. Of course, being in financial center, I also had to visit the stock exchange. While in Pudong, we also visited Shanghai’s largest mall and saw the iconic Pearl Tower up close. Overall, Shanghai is about what I expected: modern, huge, polluted, without too many sights.
Despite the lack of sights, its been a good place to chill out for more than 2 days (for the first time since we were in Lige at Lugu Lake). Joylani and I had a lot of time to talk and stuff and seeing Shanghai really got me thinking about China’s development and where it stands in the world. On a final note, although it doesn’t seem that China has a whole lot to see (relative to its size), I’m really glad that we’re visiting here. So many of my preconceptions have been proven incorrect. The American media is pretty anti-Chinese for a range of justifiable and unjustifiable reasons, but seeing a place firsthand is an irreplaceable experience. Additionally, China is changing so quickly and is becoming more and more relevant in the world. More than anywhere else we have or will visit on this trip, China is relevant to the US. I’m glad to be here.