We woke up, ate breakfast and loaded our bus. We had our final goodbyes and hugs, and some tears. The local students who had accompanied us for the past six days all showed up to see us off. We made some good friends, learned about their culture while sharing ours, and all the while we were able to be ourselves around them. Without them, the second half of our trip wouldn’t have been as delightful. There were a lot of shared memories between us, and we were just as sad as they were to be leaving. We will stay in touch with them and hope to have lifelong friendships.
We left for Shanghai, which took us around four hours to get there. There are so many tall buildings in and around the large cities of China. As we entered the outskirts of Shanghai, traffic increased and we spent quite a bit of time sitting in it for the last few miles. Once in the city, we checked into our hotel and quickly gathered in the lobby to depart for our much-awaited final shopping trip. We went to Yu Garden, which is a shopping area full of souvenir stalls for both locals and tourists. The first purchases were suitcases so that we could fill them up with gifts for our family and friends. All of us were also trying to finish off the Yuan (RNB) we had left so that we would not have to exchange any money at the airport.
After shopping, we headed to the “Bund” which means riverbank. It overlooked the impressive Shanghai skyline and was filled with tourists squeezing in to get that perfect image. Two of the ten tallest structures in the world are in Shanghai. The Shanghai Center is the second tallest building in the world after the Burj Kalifa in Dubai, and the Oriental Pearl Tower is the second tallest tower in the world. Between them are several skyscrapers. Both cargo boats and tourist boats crisscross the river that separates the Bund and the Shanghai skyline. We took several pictures before we headed back to our bus.
Our next destination was the Oriental Pearl Tower. We headed up to the viewing deck with the glass floor. It is not for the faint of heart. You can easily feel that nothing is under your feet. After spending some memorable moments at the top of the tower, we headed down a few levels to the revolving buffet restaurant. We absolutely loved the food. The restaurant spins in one full circle each one hour, but it’s barely noticeable. Following our meal, we visited the base of the tower for a tour of the Shanghai Urban Museum, which took us through a tour of how Shanghai developed over the past two centuries. After the tour, we headed back to the bus and the hotel rooms to finish packing and getting ready for tomorrow.
We absolutely loved Shanghai. We wish we had at least one more day to spend in this magnificent city. We have a noon flight to catch tomorrow so we retired to our rooms to prepare for our departure.