In May, 2012 I did the “Three-Countries-Three-Weeks-Three-Kids” tour. It was beyond unbelievable! The first stop on my once-in-a-lifetime trip was to Shanghai, to visit my daughter. I toured the grounds of the school where my daughter teaches, we went off sightseeing, I wandered through the Botanical Gardens and made friends, and we went downtown to see some truly huge skyscrapers and iconic structures.
We saw the Pearl Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center, the Jin Mao Tower, and all of the other world-class skyscrapers in a fairly small area. On the way out of the Pearl Tower they let you out of the elevator at the top of a series of arcades and souvenir shops. They may be Communists, but they still know how to separate tourists from their cash.
By the time we got out of the Pearl Tower, it was getting dark. We were supposed to meet a group of my daughter’s friends for dinner, so we went looking for a ferry that crosses the Zhongshan River to The Bund.
As night fell, The Bund began to light up like a fairy land across the river.
It was a gorgeous sight that I will never forget.
The downtown district on our side of the river also lit up, each of the skyscrapers a light show unto itself, some with graphics and animations five or six stories tall. I felt like I was in “Blade Runner.”
If this was “Blade Runner,” I was hoping to run into Rachael or Pris instead of Decker or Roy Batty.
Yeah, despite the fact that I live in Los Angeles and have traveled the world, I was gawking like an American hayseed tourist who had never been to the big city before. Sue me! It was spectacular.
The Pearl Tower all lit up at night. But we never did find the ferry, finally doubling back to the subway to get over to The Bund.
Once in The Bund, a section of the city full of high-end shopping, restaurants, and entertainment, we had a wonderful rooftop dinner.
After four days of marvelous weather, the next day dawned damp, foggy, and soggy. From my hotel, in the distance you could just see the Ferris wheel a mile or so away.
With some heavy rain cutting down on our tourist options, instead of roaming the city we went back to The Bund. There we had a foot massage, went shopping, and again ate wonderful things.
Finally my all-too-brief time in Shanghai was over. On the fifth day, my daughter escorted me to Pudong International and sent me off to see her brother. We took off just before sunset, heading along the Chinese coast toward South Korea.
I can’t wait to get back to China in general, and Shanghai in particular. I want to see Hong Kong, Beijing, the Great Wall, Harbin, and so many other places in China. But Shanghai will always be my first love there.