It was a very busy weekend for us. We decided to take advantage of the great weather and venture out of the city to the Zhouzhaung Water Village. Said to be one of the oldest water villages around it is a little over an hour from Shanghai by bus. We planned on taking the Metro to the Shanghai Stadium, where you pick up the bus, since it is a lot cheaper than a taxi, but the train was delayed for some reason. We ended up in a taxi anyway and spending 50RMB. Twenty minutes later (don't get me started on the lack of signs) we find the office and Lucas gets us tickets for the next bus leaving.
The bus ride was a little over an hour and very easy once we got out of the city traffic. The kids were great and seemed to enjoy the ride out of the city.
The village itself was a short "golf cart" and boat ride away from where the bus dropped us off. Looking back I should have done a guided tour but I thought we would be fine wandering on our own. We had a map, how hard could it be? That was my first mistake. There were plenty of signs but they were a bit vague in directions and we went in circles a lot before we finally figured things out. The so called map, didn't have street names on it, not that I saw street signs in the village so I guess it wouldn't have mattered. We wandered along rows of shops and restaurants always being asked to come look or to come have lunch, English menu they say. They have boats that will take you around the village, but I wasn't willing to risk that with the kids.
The kids and I are sitting in front of the Double Bridge, also called the Key Bridge. You can't see it from this side but there is a corner bridge that attaches to the one you see behind us making it a double bridge.
We saw the Hall of Zhang's Residence a 500 year old residence typical of the Ming Dynasty. The Hall of Shen's Residence, built in 1742 and a museum of fishing. There were several other things I would have loved to see, maybe next time...
We were already aware that Lily and Charlie attracted attention wherever they went but it was crazy at the village. People would surround us and ask to take pictures of the kids or if they could have a picture with the kids. Both were amused by the attention and posed with countless people. At the end Lily said to me, I think they like me. This picture is of one of the smaller crowds they attracted.
I ended up bringing home a small tea set made of a very hard clay typical of the water villages. Lucas got some bamboo artwork shaped like a dragon and Lily got a ink sketch of the water village. All in all it was a good day, but by the end I had a migraine and couldn't find my bed fast enough.
Today we went to the Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck. The Jin Mao Tower is the one in front. The bottle opener building or the Shanghai World Financial Center is behind it. The SWFC is the tallest building in China and the world's second tallest. We paid 360 RMB for the four of us to take an express elevator up 88 floors where they have the world's highest post office. There were some great views of the city even with the haze and the kids had fun looking out the windows.
This is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and in the river you can see the a Princess Cruise Line ship. We met several folks that were from England and taking a cruise of Asia. They were spending one day in Shanghai before they moved on.
Lily has perfected the Asian pose. We were literally mobbed by the Asian tour groups who wanted pictures of the kids or pictures with the kids. I finally had to tell them no when Lily seemed to tire of it. They can be pretty forward, but I have no problem being forward right back if the kids don't want to play cute American kid anymore.
Here Lily poses in front of the replica and while I take her picture a crowd surrounds us to take her picture too. With each person she turns and smiles at them, such a ham when it suits her.