Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tour of Shanghai


Shanghai Today

On entering a taxi at the massive airport in Shanghai the first thing one notices is the video screen inside your taxicab.  These immediately instruct passengers in English to "buckle your safety belt";  you turn around in the cab but there is no safety belt!  Welcome to Shanghai!

Shanghai has a permanent resident population of over 23 million -- it is more than 3 times bigger than London.  It is a bustling modern city with new construction going up continuously.  I had a drink with some colleagues on the 89th floor of one building near the financial center of town.

Shanghai, a port city, is the commercial heart of China.  Shanghai is to Beijing very roughly as New York is to Washington DC.

Shanghai was also a colonial city during the 19th century.  The British and French both had a strong presence in the city including extraterritorial rights which rankled Chinese sensibilities.

Shanghai is an old city with all of charm of ancient China.  Walking the streets of the old French concession you can find SunYat Sen's house or, perhaps more accurately, his wife's house.  Sun Yat Sen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Yat-sen) was the founder of the Nationalist Party who became the and the first President of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty.

Sun Yat Sen, 1866 - 1925, "Father of the Nation"
You can see the birdhouse that adorns his garden...

Birdhouse, Sun Yat Sen's Garden
I found a lively produce and seafood marker in the former French concession...

Shanghai Market

I discovered a small urban park in the former French Concession called Fuxing park where many locals gathered for Tai Chi exercises and group singing...

Fuxing Park

It had a beautifully landscaped waterfall...

Waterfall, Fuxing Park
It also had statues of Marx and Engels...

Marx / Engels, Fuxing Park
On another day I wandered through the old city of Shanghai...

Commander K. in Old Shanghai

I had lunch in a restaurant that Chairman Castro and the Clintons had also visited...

Castro in Shanghai
On the way to the Bund I passed through another park...

Commander K., Pudong in background
From the Bund you can see Pudong...

Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Pudong
A vibrant modern city co-exists with the old...

Commander K. and Pudong

On the Bund you will also find the Worker's monument...

Monument to the People's Heroes
Here you can see statues that show how Chinese revolutionaries used bayonets and machine pistols to build their socialist worker's paradise...

Art of the Revolution
"Political Power grows out the barrel of a gun", Mao told us.

Commander Kelly says "Visit Shanghai today and you will find an intriguing mix of ancient and modern, communism and capitalism, Confucianism and Maoism, pollution and hopefulness, tea houses and Starbucks, yin and yang."

Shanghai by Night





1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.