We felt we should do Shanghai as a modern contrast. We caught the fast train from Beijing for a bit of excitement, and it was certainly different from the sleeper of a week before. It's so smooth you’re hardly aware of how fast you’re travelling.
The modern glitz across the river from the colonial Bund is so striking. We stayed at the Panorama on the Bund – great location, even river views – good facilities but getting a bit tired. It was a short walk across the little bridge over the Suzhou Creek and we were on the Bund, a lovely spot, always lots of people promenading, wedding photos being taken, etc. The double decker sightseeing bus had a stop at the top of the Bund too, which was very convenient. They are always a good option.
We had half a day all together in Shanghai before Owen flew back to Lanzhou for the resumption of classes and the rest of us stayed on for a few days exploring the city.
We visited the scale model of Shanghai then went up the Oriental Pearl Tower to see the real thing from a bird’s eye view. The glass bottomed viewing platform at 259m up was just about the highlight of the trip for Izzy, who danced about happily; Max wasn’t too sure while Anna and Charlotte avoided it altogether and went to a nearby shopping mall. We managed a bit of shopping, but the prices weren’t that much cheaper than home.
Yuyuan is an old residential complex and garden which belonged to a wealthy family in the Ming Dynasty. It’s now a bazaar with teahouse, shops and eateries – and tourists – but it’s attractive nonetheless. The adjacent gardens themselves are a delight: quiet and peaceful with nooks and crannies to explore. It’s easy to lose yourself, and indeed we did get separated and lost each other for a while.
Back to Lanzhou for a couple more days in the apartment then overnight in a hotel opposite the airport bus stop for a quick getaway. Then suddenly they were gone.