Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Beautiful Shanghai

If I could compare Shanghai and Beijing as if they were in French language, personally I would have said that Shanghai is “féminin” and Beijing is “masculin”.

As you might know, French language differentiates everything in the world in two categories which are “féminin” and “masculin”. It is such a difficult language however it is a romantic one, again it is my personal opinion.

There are two airports in Shanghai; Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao Airport. Pudong is the primary international airport. Meanwhile Hongqiao is main domestic airport. They are at different location and distance between both is quite far. Please pay attention to which airport you need to go to, otherwise you might miss your flight.

By using other comparison, I would say that Shanghai in the southern part of China is perhaps similar to Ho Chi Minh City-Vietnam –  the centre  of business and commercial activities. Beijing in the northern part of China is the capital city where the central government is based, just like Hanoi-Vietnam.

When I arrived in Shanghai in one Friday afternoon in May 2012, the weather was around 27 degree Celcius. Pretty much the same weather like when I was Beiing a few days before.

Friday Night

As to cool down, I spent my Friday night with my loved one going to a restaurant which was recommended by my friend. Rency lives in Germany but visits Shanghai often. Other than that, this restaurant is also listed in TripAdvisor and has good review.

I cannot recall the information source, it is either Rency or internet, this restaurant is Michael Schumacher’s favourite restaurant -:)

Appetizer: capresse (left), beef &..? (right)

Da Marco Italian restaurant is situated around 1.7 km from our hotel. There is an outdoor sitting area in their two storey building. It would have been nice sitting outside, however the wind was strong that evening… Alternatively, we sat indoor at the second floor with the street view and that outdoor area…

Main course: fish (left), risotto (right)

That evening, restaurant was packed with assuming most visitors were Italians -J since we were in the Italian restaurant anyway.  Most tables were occupied. In overall, the food is good. I like risotto, so ordering “prawn and asparagus risotto” was a good idea! It is yummy, even though the portion is too big for petite lady -J

Old Town Shanghai

Saturday Morning

@ Old Town Shanghai

Wrong costume! It was sunny in the previous day, however that Saturday morning the weather dropped to 16 degree Celcius – plus the rain and wind. Blame it on the rain… So walking around the city in shorts and open sandals was not a brilliant idea. Even though my toes were freezing, the show must go on, hello Old Town Shanghai…!

This area is around 9 km from our hotel. Thanks to Google map that is written in local language, the taxi driver took us at the right place…

In 1553 this area was built in circular shape and surrounded by a defensive wall in order to protect the town from raids by Japanese pirates. Shanghai Old Town displays the richness of Ming and Qing architecture and traditional Shanghai street life. Those who like watching Kungfu series must be able to imagine how this old town looks like…

Shop selling traditional musical instruments

This old town area is the centre of commercial activity whereby shops selling everything; daily needs, kids toys, books, souvenirs, traditional medicine, food, drink, etc. There are hotels, restaurants, tea houses, etc… It is a favourite tourist destination in Shanghai. What a beautiful and exotic old town!

Brushes for painting

First thing to do as soon as we arrived there was to purchase an umbrella! It was not only the rain, but also the wind… Second thing in our agenda was to find Starbucks Coffee for breakfast! Good location, it was just in front of the pond and bridge across Yu Yuan Garden.

A cup of cappuccino and warm muffin, sitting in a small table for two at the corner of the coffee shop, facing the beautiful view of the bridge and Yu Yuan Garden,… Life is beautiful!

Between Starbucks Coffee & the bridge across Yu Yuan Garden

As the place was full, I could hear visitor conversation and from their language I could tell where they are coming from. Next to us, there is a small table occupied by four Americans squeezing in such a small table. When they left, a couple of Japanese tourists sat there and we greeted each other “moshi moshi”. That’s the spirit of traveling.

@ Yu Yuan Garden

Old Town Shanghai is known as Yuyuan.  It offers unforgettable sights and one of them is Yu Yuan Garden. No wonder, it literally means ‘garden of happiness’ or ‘garden of peace’. It is big, gorgeous and attracts lots of visitors.

This garden was initially conceived in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty, by Pan Yunduan who was the Governor of Sinchuan from Shanghai. He dedicated this garden for his father, Ministry Pan en, for his old age. When he died, this garden was inherited by Zhang Zhaolin, Pan Yunduan's granddaughter's husband. At the end it was then passed to different owners.

In the 19th century, the garden suffered damage a number of times due to the first Opium War and Taiping Rebellion. This garden was also damaged by the Japanese in 1942. After being repaired by the government in 1956-1961, it was opened in 1961 to the public and declared a national monument in 1982.

See this stone, put both of your hands and try to see whether they can meet?

@ The City God Temple

Entering this temple seemed like going into the past of Chinese civilization. Gorgeous place! Good spot for photo shoots.

City God Temple

It is located at the Old Town Shanghai and is known as “Old City God Temple” or in reference to a later “New City God Temple” which no longer exists.

Inside the City God Temple

Can you see the coins in this bell?
The temple is dedicated to three city gods:
  1. Huo Guang (? - 68 BC), a famous Chancellor during Han Dynasty
  2. Qin Yubo (1295 - 1373) lived in Shanghai and served in the late Yuan Dynasty civil services.
  3. Chen Huacheng (1776-1842), a general during Qing Dynasty. He was responsible for the defense of Shanghai during the first Opium War.

Drizzling Saturday afternoon, cold wind blew, visitors came as couples in their colourful umbrellas and raincoats – all created more exotic and romantic feeling in this temple…

Shanghai became more “féminin”.

.... to be continued...

Let's jump.... @ Shanghai

* There is another story about Shanghai,
** Plus stories about Cambodia, northern parts of Vietnam (Hanoi and Sapa) and the Azzurri team....


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