We’re proud to present the first contribution to our blog from Emma, one of our destination specialists working from China for Nimbus Travel. She’s going to be a regular contributor providing a local perspective on Chinese cities and sites.
Today with her first column, she’s been out with her team exploring China’s economic megacity Shanghai. They visit a selection of sites that shows the contrast between the old, traditional China and the modern skyscrapers that’s visible in this city.
Recently, our team went for a trip to Shanghai to see some of the famous sights and to soak in some of the atmosphere.
We started the day by visiting the beautiful classical Ming Dynasty garden Yuyuan (sometimes just called Yu Garden). The story of the Yuyuan is well known in China; it was originally started as a passion project by Pan Yunduan as a gift for his father to enjoy in his old age but was delayed for decades after he was elevated to the post of Sichuan governor. When it was finally completed, it was the largest and most impressive garden in the city, however the expense of creating it nearly destroyed the family. Eventually the garden was opened to the general public in 1780 and was made a national monument in 1982. Despite the passing of centuries, I can assure you that Pan’s vision is still intact and the garden is truly an amazing place to visit. One of the more beautiful parts of the park is the Dianchun Hall that is pictured below.
Next we headed to Jade Buddha Temple which houses original sitting Buddha’s originally brought to Shanghai from Burma (present day Myanmar) by sea. There is also a reclining marble Buddha from Singapore that is meant to represent the peaceful, tranquil and enlightened death of the Buddha. The Grand Hall also contains many more sculptures for visitors to see, however the real stars of the show are the two original crystal-clear white Jade Buddha’s. The sparkling jade gives the Buddha’s the feeling of life and energy; they seem to be more than mere sculptures which goes someway to explaining their fame.
Our final destination was a heart stopping one. The 468 meter high Oriental Pearl TV Tower (making it the third largest in the world) and its glass floor. From this height, we were able to see the entire length of the famous Bund. Yes, this is a picture of me sitting on the glass! You can’t see it in the picture, but my heart was pounding… somehow a glass floor just isn’t natural… I look calm like the Buddha, but I couldn’t wait for the photo to be taken!
All in all, it was a great day but there was just so much more to see in the city that we left unexplored, so we save it for another day and another report from China!