Woke up today to a very good sunny morning and the temperature outside is 12C. I know it's far from the comfortable 28C (or mid-20s) that we have back in Manila, but I was told temperature today is already warm and it could get colder at this time of the year. We had our buffet breakfast this morning at MoMo Cafe inside the hotel. Again, breakfast wasn't part of the room rate we reserved but it was given to us complimentary due to my Gold Elite status. Thank you so much Marriott Rewards!
After breakfast, we were picked-up by our tour guide for a tour around the metropolitan of Shanghai. I booked this tour for USD53 each, inclusive of lunch, and were lucky to have the trip all by ourselves as if we've booked a private coach tour.
First place we went was in the Jade Buddha Temple, a Buddhist temple founded in 1882 and currently houses 2 imported jade Buddha statues coming from Burma (Myanmar).
decorations on the roof of the temple
Grand Hall and courtyard of the temple
Here are other pictures taken inside the temple complex:
We also went inside the chamber where the Jade Buddha is. However they do not allow taking of pictures inside.
Later on, my sister Julie had a Chinese inscription for souvenir.
Next, we were brought to a nearby tea house to sample varieties of tea leaves for drinking. However, I'm not much into drinking tea as majorly I find them bitter unless I blend it with other concotions so I just watched the people around enjoying their sips.
woman demonstrating how to prepare the tea
Then we went near the Orient Pearl Tower. It is one (if not the most) famous landmark in the city. We just passed by and didn't go up the tower as it costs additional and will take time, but we didn't leave until we get our pictures taken with the iconic tower.
me, Julie and mom
We then walked towards the river to see the fantastic view of The Bund on the other side. The Bund is an area where onw can find historical buildings built by British and American settlements almost a century back ago in the city. Today a number of Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque and such classical architectural buildings stand here, although the area is currently under major renovation.
And then we were hungry and lunch later at a restaurant, where they served us so much food just for the three of us!
And here are the food items we were supposed to consume:
egg fried rice
steamed fish in soy sauce
not sure what this breaded thing is. seems a mixture of chicken and breading for me
sizzling sauteed pork with onions
chinese cabbage (bok choi)
Not bad, I should say, for the price we paid for the tour!
Then we headed to Hualing Silk Exhibition Hall, where they showed us a factory producing silk and silk products.
machine separating silk from cocoons
silk from the cocoons are spooled into rolls
a demonstration of pulling of silk to see how soft and tough the material is
In the end, we didn't get to buy anything because things here were so tourist-priced and the materials is not suitable for a country so hot as the Philippines.
We were surprised that it was already raining when we went out, it wasn't too hard, but it was enough for us to run for cover. We then headed to our next stop which is this building that houses the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center.
again, another Expo 2010 countdown marker
The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center is a multi-level museum showcasing the recently implemented and planned developments for the city. Browsing through the displays, one can see the history of the city and how it transformed into a superpower infrastructure as it is now.
lobby of the building
me with the with the Shanghai Expo 2010 Mascot statue
Here are some pictures taken inside the center:
It was still raining when we went out of the building so we ran towards our van, with the assistance of our guide carrying an umbrella of course.
Then lastly we walked around Xintiandi, a high-end place for shopping, dining and entertainment. The area was redeveloped to what it is right now and the building structures used to be shikumen houses. Today it is a place of lavish lifestyle.
location of the first congress of Chinese Communist Party in 1921
Then we walked over Jing'an Park. It is a lovely place to stroll and relax and too bad it was raining that we cannot stay longer.
It was the last stop before we headed back to the hotel to take a rest as we plan in going out tonight at the suggestion of our tour guide. As we approached the lobby, I saw these treats and pastries being served to guest for they are lighting up the Christmas tree outside the hotel also tonight.
We had fun despite the unpredictable weather and our legs getting tired so we took the rest of the afternoon as we reached our room but we're just re-energizing and reserving our energy for we are still are going out later.