The past few days have been so hectic, it’s been a blur. I have lost count of all the places and sites I ‘ve seen, some of the visits organized by Absolute and others just amongst the interns. During the second weekend of my stay here in Shanghai we travelled to Suzhou by bus. Even though, my work involves travelling to Suzhou, the places we visited over the weekend were absolutely stunning! We started of by visiting the museum, which had ancient artwork, calligraphy and pottery. We then had lunch in The Bookworm Restaurant, which was quaint, and the food was delicious. The rest of the afternoon was spent at the Liu Lingering Garden, followed by shopping on Shantang Street. There is a reason why, I realized, Suzhou is dubbed the Venice of the East. The canals and stone bridges (Shantang street) is a site one must see when traveling to Shanghai, especially at night when all the lanterns are lit up. On Sunday, the Absolute team organized an amazing race. The point of the game was to team up and complete the activities on a list handed to us, which would take us all over the city. At the beginning I wasn’t expecting to get much out of the game other than a competitive team spirit with some fun and laughs along the way. I was surprised that by the end of the day I had a long list in my head of the places I wanted to re-visit and explore.
The next weekend my spent most of time shopping both in the fabric market and also visiting the Propaganda museum and the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. Both museums were so vastly different yet equally interesting. The propaganda museum had a vast number of original posters from the Mao Era. The Science and Technology Museum on the other hand had interactive exhibitions from archery to making your own music video. I had the opportunity to practice my negotiating skills some more in the fabric market and taste some amazing street food. The weekend ended nicely for the group with a sponsored dinner at South Beauty.
Some of the highlights so far have come from some unexpected places. For example, a stroll down Taikang road (close to the metro) will lead you into a secret alleyway also known as Tianzifang where tiny boutique stores and charming restaurants and café’s await. For an unsuspecting foreigner, such as my self, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the galleries and the fancy stores within these winding alleyways blew me away! The area is so picturesque and so unlike the most of Shanghai you’ll never want to leave. If I had to recommend any place here in Shanghai for a peaceful retreat away from the busy streets and shopping malls, Tianzifang is the place to go.
At this point, I am really looking forward to our trip to Nanjing. Whilst my knowledge of the historical significance of the sites we will visit is very limited, I am keen on spending my last weekend here in Shanghai doing something worthwhile.