I had spent only 1,5 days extra after finishing my decorating workshops in Shanghai but boy, the pictures I have been able to take are amazing. I visited the older and more traditional Shanghai. The modern and more luxurious part of the town I had the occasion to get a glimpse the previous days during my trainings.
In the mornings I would visit a nearby park or a Buddhist temple to kick start the day with a somehow local feeling trying whenever I can to avoid the typical business trips organized going from the airport > hotel > working spot > hotel > airport.
You have a bit the feeling of staying in a real oases. The Jing’an Temple (Temple of Peace and Tranquility) was built in 247AD, relocated to its current site in 1246 and has been renovated several times. I liked the misty mood that morning I took the pictures.
You find quite often these contrasts in larger cities in Asia where temples are surrounded by skyscrapers. The park in the morning was a true island of peace and lush nature.
I have loved every single minute I spent there observing Chinese people at their morning exercise (see here).
At the end of the week, I had almost a couple of really exciting days off before heading back home and visited the Yu Garden, downtown and the Tiangzifan area. The Yu Garden has totally impressed me. I have never seen anything similar and was strolling around there lost in thought way more than 3 hours.
The garden was the largest and most prestigious of its era in Shanghai but suffered damage numerous times during the 19th century and were opened to the public in 1961 and declared a national monument in 1982.
You can have a tea ceremony in one of the pavilions where I bought the most beautiful tea mug ever. Even it is really touristic, all the souvenirs they had, were so pretty.
The last ones are a couple of images from downtown. The typical place were you spend hours strolling and observing on only 2 short streets! It is colorful, really traditional and not too much influenced by occidental presence. You just have to make a point when you don’t want to buy anything. And yes, bargain a lot! It is never the part I like best but I am already so used to it, I tend to walk out being happy with my price (and the guy on the other side even much happier:-)
And to finish up, those images are from Tianzifang, an area with legacy residential architectures and factories turned into an artsy spot housing bars, cafes, crafts shops, design studios, galleries and boutiques.
It is said to be supported by crowds of trend setters, designers and expatriates, who fall for temptation of old Shikumen houses (stone-framed-door houses) and lanes with infinite novelties. I had a really good time and found this beauty over here. Actually there are four of them!
I hope you have enjoyed that little visual journey with me. If you even happen to travel to Shanghai, please do visit the Yu Gardens! You won’t regret it!