2010 K-12 Study Trip to China
Day 2 (8?1?, ???)
At the view dock of Shanghai World Financial Center
Surprisingly, everyone was energized and awake when we got on the bus at 8:30AM. On the bus, we listened to our tour guide, Jack, give us a brief history about our first destination, the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC). The SWFC is the tallest building in Shanghai and in the People's Republic of China, It is also the third tallest building in the world. Although there are shopping stores, restaurants, offices, and hotels in the building, we were there to go to the observation deck on the 100th floor and see the surrounding city of Shanghai. It was a great day to go because, once again, there were blue skies over our heads, which would make visibility clear and enable us to see for miles into the horizon
When we got off the bus, we waited in a few lines to get into an elevator and ascend to the 97th floor. This took a while as there were many tour groups, but we were herded like cattle into different rooms. The last room before we squeezed into the elevator was dark and had a large, digital countdown on the ceiling that represented which floors the elevator was on as it came down. The elevator itself was also pretty "trippin.'" It had strange, hypnotic music, as well as pulsating, colored lights that synchronized with the music. When we got to the 97th floor, we walked across a lobby of lit up tiles. I thought that all of this technology well-represented the rest of Shanghai's modern technological advances. This basically just proves that Shanghai is a lot cooler than other cities. From the 97th floor, we could see a lot of the surrounding landscape, but we had no time to take pictures because we were hurried into another elevator that would take us to the observation platform on the 100th floor. This observation platform was the more crowded than the one on the 97th floor, but it was well worth the view. In addition, this floor was built out of metal supports and glass walls, floors, and ceilings. Below this floor was a large gap, at the base of which was the ceiling of the 97th floor. From this place, you could see the winding river, the pagoda-like Jin Mao Tower, the TV tower, apartment buildings, hotels, other skyscrapers, the Shanghai suburbs, and some of the World Expo. We stayed there for 20 minutes, taking pictures and just enjoying the view. Outside, we took a group picture in front of the TV Tower, a major landmark of the city, and then climbed onto the nice, air-conditioned bus.
| SWFC seen from the ground
|| The 97th floor in the SWFC
We next toured a poorer neighborhood near the Yuyuan Garden. Jack wanted to show us how the lower-class lived before their homes are taken by the government to clear and build modern apartment buildings. It was definitely eye-opening because their style of living was very different than ours. The alleyways we walked through were narrow and were lined with hanging laundry overhead. There were mysterious puddles and dripping liquids from the upper-story windows that we tried to avoid, while we passed residents who stared from their doorless entrances. Many bikes were propped against the walls of the houses and many more were being used by residents who were trying not to run us over. After we left the neighborhood we entered a richer world. It was the shopping area outside the actual Yuyuan Garden. There were so many people! (Welcome to China.) We pushed our way through the crowd to get to our restaurant. Somehow we made it there as a group.
Lunch was great! Today's specialty dish was xiao long bao, or soup bun. But we were ready to go after a filling lunch. Stepping outside into the hot sun again, we made our way to the garden, again pushing through hordes of people. The garden was beautiful -- there was ancient Chinese architecture, gorgeous scenery, and all the natural elements placed in one area. Although we wanted to stay in the beautiful area for a while, we could not stand the heat, so we were allowed 45 min of free time to shop, rest, or wander the crowded shopping area outside the garden.
Having Xiao Long Bao for lunch Pavilion in Yu Garden
Our next destination was the Fabric market where one could purchase specially made clothes. Many of the teachers made purchases rather than the students, however, it was still fun to wander the market and look at all of the possible clothes that the tailors could make. Sometimes it was amazing to see that the tailors could make such items of clothing.
Afterwards, we returned to the hotel to freshen up and get ready for dinner. The group took a ten-minute walk to dinner where we ate fresh Shanghai food. On the way back to the hotel, some of the group members wanted to explore a nearby shopping center. This mall was mostly made up of department stores and had a supermarket in its basement. We wandered around it and bought quite a few goodies.
By the time everyone settled into their rooms for the night, we were all dead tired. However, tomorrow will be a BIG day, spending time at the Expo, so sleep is necessary to function. Although we are all excited to see the Expo, we are preparing ourselves for lots of walking, sun, heat, and exhaustion. Good night! by Emily Yang, NYU '14 to the top back to China Study Trip page