Shanghai - Oriental Paris
03 October, 2013
Our Reporter in China

Here we go again. This is Shanghai, the hottest city of China in all senses of this word, and of course the most ultramodern one. Frankly speaking, if one had asked me before what I was that I would be most interested to discover in China, I would not have had a ready-made answer – Shanghai. Shanghai – can you believe that I was there?! I myself can hardly believe it. It was in Shanghai, the
city of marvels. And my friend was with me taking a lot of photos, being as productive as she could possibly be.
After the provincial town of Changchun, we longed to visit this marvelous city because, to be frank, the former was a little bit too tranquil. However, we could not escape a dramatic feeling of contrast in rhythm, tempo and sightseeing. The only thing that really matters is that here a lot of locals tend to move by bike and this is not only the transport for the youth as it is in most of the European countries, but it is available for everybody. You will see a lot of elderly women riding them, men, as well as a whole family – male, female and a child – it is something really typical of the Chinese lifestyle.
Shanghai never lets down its visitors. As our guide Charlie (Chinese have European names besides their own) told us, 23 million people live there and it is often referred to as an “Oriental Paris” and New York too. This is its duality – I think, the older part is compared to the city of love and the newer one – to the American megacity. However, these completely different styles of architecture are so tastefully living in cohabitation that one will never guess the matter goes about the same city. They are not overshadowing but enriching one another.
We also saw the National Museum – a really gorgeous one – full of pearls. This is a place for women – a nice place full of white, black and cream-color pearls in the shape of earrings, necklaces, bracelets. Here the attendants will teach you how to distinguish the fake one from the genuine one. If you ever happen to be in Shanghai, never risk to buy pearls anywhere but at the National Museum, as quality and price is the best here and you have a 100% guarantee that you get the most precious pearls. I also bought a pair of black earrings! The best purchase in China!
The next thing we saw was a TV station. We ascended it via the elevator at nine meters per second to find ourselves on the 265th floor! The whole city was in front of us. Gorgeous! Looking at the multicolored skyscrapers from the height of 600 meters and realizing that you are here, in one of the key economic hubs and top tourist destinations.
One more detail: Shanghai is huge, is not it? But thanks to its really wise design, you will never encounter any traffic jams, can you believe that? This is also thanks to its numerous Estacada.
In Shanghai we saw three main export objects of China: tea, silk and china. We were shown the ritual of tea brewing and tested several kinds of tea that were really nice – my favorite is fruit tea. We, the delegation from 10 different countries, mainly, African republics, as well as Ecuador, Pakistan, Palestine and Georgia, were acquainted in detail with the process of silk processing from the very beginning to the very end. China (porcelain) vessels were really nice. I wanted to buy some but they were of huge size. Later on, I bought some tiny china set with Panda – a symbol of China.
The infrastructure is very good. If you want shopping, this is not the best place – provincial towns are much cheaper. As for the restaurants, especially, when they invite you (as we were), there is a huge variety. Arabic restaurants are popular; they offer mysterious and romantic interior and delicious dishes, as if you are in an oriental tale. The hotels are nice too. We stopped at the Holiday Inn, though we hardly had any time to enjoy its comfort. However, after long and exhaustive days, it proved to be a nice night shelter for us.
In the downtown (the old part of Shanghai), we sailed on Chinese gondola – it is an incomparable feeling to be in the Far East and feel being in Asia and Europe (Venice) in one place. Everything modern is connected with civilization and high-tech and in this respect Shanghai does look more or less western. The temperature was rather high, as was the humidity, but it cannot harm you when you are in rapture as a tourist. Personally, I was so excited that I hardly felt any heat. Though, if we judge objectively, the climate is not very good in Shanghai. We also saw a lot of fish of different colors and lots of turtles swimming among lotus flowers.
Our next stop is Beijing. See you soon.