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.