CHINA – Shanghai (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)

China - Shanghai - the Bund
China - Shanghai - the Bund

Summary: Part of a 24 day China tour. Start in Hangzhou, followed by Shanghai and Suzhou. From there to Tunxi (Huangshan) by plane continued by train to Wuyishan. From here by plane to Xiamen with a three day trip to the Tulou Clusters and back to Xiamen. Everywhere spend around 2-4 days to see all UNESCO Sights and all other most important sights.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited: none (see all UNESCO sites here)

Day 1 trough 5 – Hangzhou, Arrival

See here: CHINA – Hangzhou (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)
We arrived to the hotel in the afternoon and went to bed early. The location of the Intercontinental Hotel Ruijin is just great. In the old French part of Shanghai in the middle of a park like area. In the old days it was property of an English family which started one of the first newspapers in China.

Day 6 – Longhua Temple, Jade Buddha Temple and Jing’an Temple

Today we went to see three temples in Shanghai. First stop the Buddhist Longhua Temple which is not that much visited by tourist. First build in the 3rd century most buildings are of later date but original planning is kept. In the front of the temple there is a seven stories high pagoda, the temple itself consist of several buildings like Maitreya Hall, Heavenly King Hall, Grand Hall of the Great Sage, on the left and right one finds the bell and drum towers. Next to the temple is the Martyr’s graveyard where we had a quick look.

Next temple stop Yufo Temple, or so called Jade Buddha Temple. It’s a recent temple where you will find two Buddha statues made of Jade. They are in a separate area and require a second ticket to get in. No photo’s allowed but you will see a photo in this blog 🙂 They were taken in the 19th century from Burma to Shanghai. The first building is the chamber of four heavenly kings. Then a courtyard and the grand hall with three golden Buddhas. Twelve gods of heaven on both sides and the 18 arhats. On the back you find Guanyin, Shen Cai and the 53 teachers a great sculpture. From there you can enter the building with he Jade Buddha and some other relics on display. The temple is still in use today and very lively.

Then off to the last temple: Jing’an Temple. First build in the 3rd century AD during the Wu Kingdom at another place as it’s located now. Only in the 13rd century moved to its current location. The current constructions all date from the early 1980’s as before it was converted into a factory. This Buddha temple consists of several halls with relics dating back hundreds of years. Then a nice very late lunch to have only a few snacks in the evening on the street.

Day 7 –  Sun Yat-sen House, Yu Yuen Garden & Old Shanghai

Today we start the morning with a walk from our hotel a few blocks from the Sun Yat-sen House in the French Concession area. Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese Revolutionary lived here from 1918 till his dead with his wife Soong Ching Ling. We visited in an earlier trip to Hong Hong the Hung Lau house where Dr. Sun Yat-sen planned to overthrown the Qing dynasty. In the house in Shanghai one can see a museum and the living area’s where he lived.

We then walked back to the hotel and checked out to move to the Holiday Inn Downtown hotel which is a 5 minute walk from the strain station we have to take the day after tomorrow. In the afternoon we went to explore the Yu Yuen garden in the old Chinese Shanghai. This Ming Dynasty garden went from owner to owner and had a lot of damage in several wars and most in the Opium wars. Finally it was opened to the public and declared a national monument.  The garden is designed as per Suzhou style (see also the next days for our visits to gardens in Suzhou).

From here we took the metro back to one station from our hotel to walk the remaining to find a nice restaurant to have some dinner.

Day 8 – Pearl Tower & the Bund

First stop today the Oriental Pearl Tower located in the Pudong district. This TV Tower is 468 meter high and was the tallest building in China until the nearby WTC surpassed it. Build between 1991 and 1994. Total of 11 spheres, various observation decks, a hotel, shopping malls and restaurants make the tower as it is. At 263 meter there is a sightseeing flower, made out of glass and you can walk over the glass. We took the full ticket, including the top sphere (Space Station), the glass flower and the lower sphere at 90m. We visited the two highest as the queues were so long and hot inside that we did not go to the lowest sphere. All-in a great experience.

Last in Shanghai: the Bund. It is the waterfront area in central Shanghai which was the former international settlement. You will find here various traditional western buildings and you will have a great view of Pudong area with the new skyscraper buildings.  A great end of our visit to Shanghai.

Day 9 – Check out and to Suzhou

Today we had the bullet train to Suzhou from Shanghai. See related post:
CHINA – Suzhou & Tongli (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)
CHINA – Huangshan Tunxi (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)
CHINA – Wuyishan (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)
CHINA – Xiamen & Tulou (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)