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Shanghai Tour of Scenic & Historic Sights


Museum of Ancient Artworks, People's Square, & People's Park

Huangpu River, Night Lights, Yu Gardens, & Tea House

Oriental Pearl Tower & Jin Mao Tower

Silk Museum & Maglev Train

Escorted Tour & Wendy Wu

Historic boats seen in the Shangai Museum.

Historic boats seen in the Shanghai Museum.

Tours

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Tour Beijing to Shanghai with Yangtze River Cruise

We were on a Wendy Wu escorted tour of China which is reviewed in the China Intro Page. The tour started in Beijing, where there were three nights on the tour including the Great Wall. From Beijing we flew to Xian where we stayed for two nights and saw the Terracotta Warriors. From Xian we flew to Wuhan where we were taken by motor coach to the Yangtze River at Yichang. There we boarded the Victoria Katarina river cruise ship and stayed for four nights. Both the ship and amazing crew shows are reviewed. For a description of the daily shore excursions see the Yangtze River Excursions. We left the cruise ship in Chongqing. From there we flew to Guilin where we spent one night. From Guilin we took a river cruise boat on the Li River to Yangshuo where we stayed two nights in the presence of gorgeous scenery. The tour ended with two nights in Shanghai, which is described here. Contact Us for more information.

Shanghai Museum

Mask seen in the Shangai Museum.Mask seen in the Shangai Museum.

Mask seen in the Shanghai Museum.

After breakfast we were taken by motor coach back to the Guilin airport, a drive of about one hour. From there we took the flight of a little more than two hours to Shanghai. Lunch was served on the plane. In China the airlines feed you. The service is also excellent.

Upon arrival in Shanghai we were taken to the Shanghai Museum, which is located on the People's Square. The museum dates from 1952, with construction at its present location beginning in 1993. The building was completed in 1996 and was built in the shape of a ding, which is an ancient bronze cooking vessel. The top of the building is round whereas the the base is square. This follows the Ancient Chinese conception of the world with a round sky and square Earth. The museum is regarded as one of China's finest museums.

The museum's collection exceeds 129,000 pieces. We saw many examples of Ancient Chinese artworks including paintings, ceramic figures and bowls, bronze figures and pots, masks, silk, calligraphy, coins, and much more displayed on five floors. At the top of this page are boats in front of a painting of the ocean. Above is a very interesting mask, and below are two sets of bells.

Bells seen in the Shangai Museum.

Bells seen in the Shanghai Museum.

Peoples Park

Beautiful flowers seen in the People's Park in Shanghai.

Beautiful flowers seen in the People's Park in Shanghai.

We then went walking in People’s Park, which is located north of People's Square. The park was built in 1952, and is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit in Shanghai. Within the park is an English Corner where the locals can meet on Sunday to practice English with each other, teachers, and foreigners. It came into existence in 1978. The park also has an interesting Matchmaker’s Corner, or Marriage Market, where parents advertise and search for acceptable mates for their children. Listings are posted on weekends. The Matchmaker's Corner was created in 2004. Beautiful flowers in the park are seen in the above picture.

Huangpu River

Rebecca and tour director Addison with the Huangpu River in the background in Shanghai.

Rebecca and tour director Addison with the Huangpu River in the background in Shanghai.

We also went to the Huangpu River, which is a tributary of the Yangtze River. It flows through the center of shanghai dividing the city into two regions referred to as Pudong (East Bank) and Puxi (West Bank). On one side of the river is found the historical Bund architecture and on the other side modern buildings. In the picture above of Rebecca and our tour director Addison, the modern buildings are seen on the other side of the river. Below the Oriental Pearl Tower can be seen behind us.

Rebecca and Sunny with the Huangpu River and the Oriental Pearl Tower in the background in Shanghai.

Rebecca and Sunny with the Huangpu River and the Oriental Pearl Tower in the background in Shanghai.

Shanghai Night Lights

Oriental Pearl Tower at night seen from river cruise ship.

Oriental Pearl Tower at night seen from river cruise ship.

After dinner at a restaurant we took a boat ride in the river to see the buildings lit up with colorful lights at night. Examples are seen in the pictures above and below. It was a nice relaxing boat ride. The Oriental Pearl Tower, seen in the above picture, is especially interesting. The tower was built in three years and was finished in 1994. It has a height of 1,535 feet (468 meters) including the TV/Radio antennas at the top. The tower has two large and nine smaller spheres. Of the two large spheres the lower one has a diameter of 164 feet (50 meters) and the higher one a diameter of 148 feet (45 meters). These big spheres are connected by three 30 feet (9 meter) diameter columns. The highest sphere has a diameter of 46 feet (14 meters). Between the two large spheres there is a 20-room hotel called the Space Hotel. Along the tower there are fifteen observatory levels. The one nearest the top is called the Space Module, and it is at 1,148 feet (350 meters). At a height of 876 feet (267 meters) in the tower you find a revolving restaurant. At nighttime the tower is lit with LED lights that change in time creating an attractive display.

Building lights seen from river cruise ship at night.

Building lights seen from river cruise ship at night.

Silk Museum

Our host in the Silk Museum describing the making of silk.

Our host in the Silk Museum describing the making of silk.

Breakfast at the hotel was followed by a visit to the fascinating Silk Museum. We learned about silkworms and the process of producing silk. Silk has been one of the main luxury products produced and exported by China for many years. The production of silk dates from Ancient China several thousand years ago. Silk is produced by the silkworm, which is really the caterpillar of the silk moth. The adult silk moth lays several hundred eggs. The silkworms hatch from the eggs and eat leaves from mulberry trees. The silkworms also spin cocoons around themselves to protect the chrysalis, which they turn into. Left undisturbed the chrysalis breaks through the cocoon becoming a silk moth. In the picture above our host is explaining how cocoons are made by silkworms.

A machine to unwind silk filaments from silk cocoons.

A machine to unwind silk filaments from silk cocoons.

For breeding purposes it is necessary for the natural process to be allowed to take place. At the same time, a silk factory selectes many cocoons and destroys the chrysalis in each one by applying heat or soaking them in hot water. As a result, the cocoon is not broken and the silk filament is protected. The end of the filament in a cocoon is found and threaded through an eyelet so that the silk can be wound onto a wheel. A machine for reeling the silk filaments is shown in the above picture. Note that many cocoons are dealt with at the same time.

Our host at the Silk Museum illustrating a silk product.

Our host at the Silk Museum illustrating a silk product.

Each cocoon can yield between 1,000 (305) and 2,000 (610) feet (meters) of silk filament. To produce one yard of silk cloth can require the filaments of several thousand cocoons. In the above picture our host is showing us examples of silk products.

Yu Gardens

There was also a walk through the Yu Gardens in Old Town. The Yu Gardens were first built in 1559 by Pan Yunduan during the Ming Dynasty. The gardens were a gift to his aging father. Due to wars and rebellion the gardens suffered damage and had to be rebuilt a number of times. The Shanghai government directed repairs of the gardens from 1956 to 1961, and they were opened to the public in 1961. In 1982 they were declared a national monument. In the gardens you see jade rock, ponds with goldfish, and attractive pavilions. Unfortunately, during our time there we encountered heavy rain.

Tea House

Learning about and sampling Chinese teas in the Tea House in Shanghai.

Learning about and sampling Chinese teas in the Tea House in Shanghai.

We then sampled Chinese tea in the Tea House, a very nice thing to do on a rainy day. Fortunately, the vast majority of our tour days in China were free of rain. In the above picture our host is explaining the different kinds of tea that we were served.

Jin Mao Tower

Jin Mao Tower: Looking down inside the building from the Observation Deck.

Jin Mao Tower: Looking down inside the building from the Observation Deck.

After lunch at a restaurant we did the optional excursion which includes both the Jin Mao Tower and the Maglev Train. The Jin Mao tower contains a shopping mall, offices, and from the 53rd to the 87th floors the Grand Hyatt Shanghai Hotel. The building's proportions were designed based on the number 8, because in Chinese culture the number 8 signifies prosperity. For example, there are 88 floors that are divided into 16 segments. The tower has an octagon-shaped concrete shear wall core. Further, the building was dedicated on August 28, 1998 (8/28/98). The tower is 1,380 feet (420.5 meters) tall. We were taken to the Skywalk, which is an observation deck on the 88th floor. To get there you take an elevator from the basement that rises at a speed of 29.9 feet/second (9.1 meters/second). The trip takes 45 seconds. From the observation deck you can look down through the hotel's atrium, which starts on the 56th floor. It has a diameter of 89 feet (27 meters) and a vertical viewing distance of 377 feet (115 meters). The view is both interesting and attractive as seen in the above illustration. On the day that we were there the top of the building was mostly in the clouds, with only brief views of the surrounding area. It was possible for a short time to get the picture of the bottom of the Oriental Pearl Tower seen below.

Sunny and Rebecca in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

View of the Oriental Pearl Tower from the Observation Deck of the Jin Mao Tower on a poor viewing day due to the weather in Shanghai. The Huangpu River is in the background.

Maglev Train

High speed maglev train in Shanghai.

High speed maglev train in Shanghai.

The Shanghai Meglev Train is powered by magnetic levitation. The maglev comes from magnetic levitation. The train has no wheels. It travels along a guideway being lifted and propelled by magnets. The gap created by levitation between the train magnets and the guideway is normally between about .31 and .47 inches (8 and 12 millimeters). Because the train does not touch the ground the friction of travel is greatly reduced resulting in very high speeds and a smoother ride than on a conventional train with wheels.

Maglev train cars.

Maglev train cars.

The train travels a distance of 19 miles (30.5 Kilometers) between the Shanghai Pudong International Airport and the outskirts of Pudong, Shanghai. It makes the trip in 8 minutes. Above is a picture of the train cars. It is a very comfortable train ride even at its top speed.

The maximum speed reached on the train ride: 431 kilometers/hour (268 miles/hour)

The maximum speed reached on the train ride: 431 kilometers/hour (268 miles/hour)

The Shanghai Maglev Train is the fastest commercial train in operation. On our ride it reached its maximum speed of 268 miles/hour (431 kilometers/hour). The train speed is posted in the cars as seen above. Looking out the window as things fly by you definitely sense the high speed of this train. It was an exciting ride.

Farewell Dinner

That evening we had our farewell dinner in another very nice restaurant, as our amazing tour of China was coming to an end. Everyone in our tour group had a great time. We definitely want to go back.

Tour Beijing to Shanghai with Yangtze River Cruise

We were on a Wendy Wu escorted tour of China which is reviewed in the China Intro Page. The tour started in Beijing, where there were three nights on the tour including the Great Wall. From Beijing we flew to Xian where we stayed for two nights and saw the Terracotta Warriors. From Xian we flew to Wuhan where we were taken by motor coach to the Yangtze River at Yichang. There we boarded the Victoria Katarina river cruise ship and stayed for four nights. Both the ship and amazing crew shows are reviewed. For a description of the daily shore excursions see the Yangtze River Excursions. We left the cruise ship in Chongqing. From there we flew to Guilin where we spent one night. From Guilin we took a river cruise boat on the Li River to Yangshuo where we stayed two nights in the presence of gorgeous scenery. The tour ended with two nights in Shanghai, which is described here. Contact Us for more information.

Photos by Sunny Breeding. We sell images and prints.