Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A temple and some fish, what a day!

My first night in Shanghai was pretty uneventful. I basically surfed the internet and hung out in the lounge because the last thing I wanted was to get lost on the streets at night. I did watch 3 episodes of Prison Break with some random Asian woman on her laptop. She was sitting next to me and sniffling a lot so I offered her a kleenex and next thing I knew I was watching the show with her. I went to bed relatively early and slept in until 8. It was nice.

I bought a map of the city from the hostel and went up to my room to figure out where I wanted to go and what was the best way to get there. As I was doing this another roommate of mine asked if there were any sites that I wanted to see in particular. He basically showed me where to get off for what on the metro map and where everything was on the city map. Armed with that information I was ready to find the metro. It’s a short 2 minute walk from the hostel so that was really nice and it's rather simple to use here too, although a little more expensive. It costs 3 yuan instead of 2 yuan and to switch lines it costs 4 yuan. I decided to go to the Oriental Pearl first and ohhed at the tallness of the building before moving on towards the Aquarium! YAY for fishes and penguins. Yes, there were penguins. I watched them for a good half hour, they were so cute! I saw eels, sharks, turtles, lizards, frogs, sea horses, sea lions, alligators, manta rays and so many more aquatic animals. It was awesome. There were 2 tunnels where you walk through and there were fish swimming above you. It was really cool, especially when the manta rays would do it. Their mouths would move and it looked like they were talking to you. I'd love to work at an aquarium.
The aquarium turned out to be a whole lot cheaper than I was expecting. I got there and found the ticket booth and saw 120 yuan for an adult admission. I was like "ouch, but I really wanna see these penguins." so I handed the lady a hundred bill and started to seek out the other 20 when she started to wave frantically at me to stop. I stared at her confused when her co-worker came to the window and told me that it's Tuesday so there's 15% off admission. It ended up only costing me 70 yuan. That was really nice of her seeing as they could have easily scammed me for some more money. I also got a little ticket for a free pearl. When she gave me the pearl she tried to sell me a pendant to attach it to for 250 yuan and told me that the silver necklace would be free as well. I was like "uh… travelling on a budget but thanks for the offer". I took my pearl and left. I felt a little bad afterwards but I could really use that money for something else, like food.

Once I got out of the aquarium I took the metro to People's Square. There seriously wasn't much to see, it was rather disappointing so I bought myself what I hope was beef on a stick and went on my merry way back to the metro. That meat, whatever it was, tasted amazing. This time I was off to see Jing'an Temple. It was amazing. It was also rather small which was nice since my feet were starting to get really sore. I wandered around the temple grounds for a bit and gawked at the monks as they came out into the main square in their bright colored robes and chanted for a few minutes before heading back to where ever it is they came from. While they were chanting there was a breeze which was really nice because it made the bells in the courtyard chime so it really added to the chants. It was really neat and memorable. I didn't take any pictures of them chanting since I didn't want to risk insulting them or somehow ruining their ritual. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could take pictures inside of the temple. I still felt odd since I was pretty much one of the only tourists there. Everyone else was there for religious purposes, there was even a ceremony going on under the main temple which explained the constant chanting of monks I could hear echoing all over the temple. It was really serene and nice. I took a video of the temple with high hopes that there'll be sound to hear some of the chanting.

After the temple I found my way back to the hostel where I plan on basically doing nothing tonight. I'm exhausted and I have plans to visit another temple tomorrow and some botanical gardens. I might possibly go to the main shopping street since its on the way, sort of.

Shanghai is absolutely gorgeous. There's also proper cross walks! I was so excited to discover that. As I'm typing this there's apparently a group of naked guys fighting in the hall downstairs. It's never boring in a hostel.

I also have to mention that a Traveler's Club sandwich is awesome. It had way more than I was expecting there was a layer of bread then some ham, egg, tomato, lettuce, more bread, bacon, cheese, egg, cucumbers, lettuce, and more bread. The bread was toasted to perfection so it was awesome. It also came with some French fries. I hadn't expected that added bonus.


  1. Hi, Vama-chan!
    Yay for Randsom Asian People!!! You should've let her take a picture of you for free since she let you see the show on her laptop. Think about it for the next time, ok? XD
    I've enver been to an aquarium, but it sounds really awesome! Wanna hear something odd? Everytime I see a manta ray I can't help but thinking of pooor dear Steve Irwin. The guy survived decades of encounters with crocodiles and died 'cause a manta ray sutng him in a trip! What a world...Anyway, I'd love to walk through one of those tunnels too!
    The temple sounds very nice, it's sort of a must for a Western tourist to go a temple and hear monks chanting, it's the quitessential asian experience, isn't it? ^_^
    Hey, you, evil girl! Stop describing delicious food, can't you see I'm starving her till dinner's ready?! LOL!
    Naked guys fighting... O_o

  2. Whew! What a day you had! No wonder you ar exhausted...I love those penguins too!!!! Shanghai must be so Beautiful;Everything sounds so interesting! Including the Travellers' Club Sandwhich and dare I say it the naked boys fighting? Now I am kinda worried...everything ok? I do hope you are having a pleasant and restful sleep as I write this...what am I saying? You've probably already started your day (tomorrow for us)and hopefully you did enjoy a pleasant and restful sleep!!! Love always, Cathie xoxo

  3. Hi-dee-ho there Candace. Thanks to Cathie's instructions, I finally figured out the intricacies of writing you on this blog site. It's great to read and follow your Asian adventures. Penguins...of course. Yes, they are cute. Love your many photos and comments. Keep safe, have fun and send more pics.

    Anne-Marie XXXYYYZZZ (the library's version of xoxo)

  4. I wish I had the chance to stay longer. Shanghai seems pretty great. Those pics of West Lake remind me of Summer Palace. Great I'm gonna have to go back to China, "Le sigh".

  5. God, my typing up there really was disastrous, wasn't it? O_o That's the result of writing at that ungodly hour :P
    Oh, well, you'll have to put up with it, hahahahaha!!! XD

  6. Eni: That was my first time at an aquarium too (from what I can remember) so it was really awesome. I thought of him too when I first saw them.
    Yes, temples with monks are a must. That was an experience that I'll forever remember.

    Cathie: The Travelers Club sandwich was awesome. I took a picture of it to show people. I didn't see the guys fighting and I made sure to stay in my room just in case. I'm doing great here. Everything's gorgeous! Shanghai is an absolutely beautiful city.

    Ann-Marie: Hi! Yes, Penguins. I had to share them since I love them so much. I'll keep safe and I'll keep sending pictures. I'll have tons more to show when I get back (even better ones too since the camera I'm using to take the pictures for the blog isn't the best). XXXYYYZZZ to you too!

    Keviloo: Shanghai is awesome. It rivals Beijing's awesomeness. Actually, it's just as awesome in a different way. It's actually a little different from the Summer Palace. It's way more garden-y. It's absolutely beautiful. Yes, yes you will have to come back to China.

  7. That sandwich sounds delicious. And being in a temple with chanting is among my personal list of ultimate awesome events.

  8. That sandwich was totally awesome.
    It was definitely one of the ultimate experiences so far.