China Day 14 – Shanghai

There was a wake-up call at 08:25, and we were out of the hotel by 10:00. It would have been nice for a later start after the previous day, but apparently there was no further flexibility to the schedule other than missing out the museum. I would assume these stops and times are agreed between the CITS and the tour company beforehand and must be kept to.

Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai

Our first stop of the day was at the Jade Buddha Temple. In the courtyard they were burning something that was spewing a lot of ash so had to try my best to protect my camera from it.

There are several Buddha statues there you can take photographs of, but not of the ones made of Jade. They believe that Jade is the only non-living thing that can hold a soul, and that taking a photo of it steals some of the soul. Peculiar beliefs, but it’s their prerogative to believe what they want and impose what restrictions they want. We are only guests after all.

Jade Buddha

Every now and then we also caught a glimpse of Buddhist monks wandering around the temple, but never really had an opportunity to photograph one of them. At this point I thought it would have been nice for there to have been an opportunity to see martial art demonstrations as well.

There was then the compulsory visit to a workshop – this one was to a silk “museum”. They demonstrated the process starting with the life cycle of the silkworm and ending in the usual shop. What I did notice is that those that were busy working had stopped when they thought no tour groups were looking indicating that in reality it’s all for show. Joking about this to our tour manager she did mention that apparently their actual production is done elsewhere in the city and that these workshops are set up purely for tourism.

Yu Garden, Shanghai

Lunch was then not far away in a restaurant that has a candle for every night it has been open. This was followed by a visit to the Yu garden. Inside the garden the path zig-zags all over the place; the reason for this layout is that it gives the impression of it being bigger than it really is. For good fengshui, as the Chinese like to say, it has a stream inside it, and a wall to block the view out at each exit. We had quite a while to look around this place and met up with the others in the Starbucks just outside the exit afterwards.

The Bund

We were back at hotel just after 16:00, and then picked up at 17:45 for the Shanghai Acrobatic show. The show contained many acts; not all were acrobatic as some were for humorous purposes only. On the whole I’d have described it more as another variety show. They did request that people did not record or photograph any of the performance. To be honest though, we copied what the Chinese tourists were doing and took photos as well and they didn’t seem to mind anyway.

Shanghai Acrobatics Show

After the show we took some photographs of the city lights at night, and was in bed by 23:00.

Shanghai at Night

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