I love to travel to distant places. I learn about different cultures, meet people, try new types of food, explore historic sights and (try) to learn new languages.
Recently, I spent one week (combined) in Shanghai and Singapore.
Our hotel was right near the Jing’an Temple. Our flight to Shanghai arrived late at night, so we went straight to bed. During our first day, we visited the temple:
As you can see, Shanghai has morphed and grown around it — notice how it’s engulfed by skyscrapers.
Right near our hotel is the Salvador Dali sculpture, “Nobility of Time.” It’s made of bronze and was constructed by Dali in 1977. It’s one of two in the world — the other is in London:
I visited the Shanghai History Museum, located in the basement of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. They re-created scenes to show what life was like years ago in Shanghai, complete with life-like wax figures. Here are two photos from the museum:
Nanjing Road is one of the main East-West thoroughfares in the city. Walking along that road, I found this. I swear it’s a Google Doodle!
In People’s Park, I came across the Shanghai Marriage Market, where parents convene to find spouses for their unmarried children. They put out umbrellas with information about their child.
According to my guidebook, the information they pin to the umbrella includes the child’s age, weight, height, zodiac sign and career details.
We visited the Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar. The gardens took 18 years to build, from 1559 to 1577. This cat is part of the security detail:
Shanghai is famous for its dumplings, including two varieties called Sheng Jian Bao (pan fried) and Xiao Long Bao (steamed). Yang’s is a popular chain:
The best dumplings I had were when I ventured off the beaten path and found mom-and-pop stands. Check it out:
After eating the plate of dumplings (above) I found a man making these in front of his shop.
The outside was like a crepe. The inside had fried dough (“youtiao”), an egg, scallions, cilantro, pickled vegetables and bean paste. It cost less than US$1. Even though I was full, I ate it all:
It wasn’t all dumplings, though. Here’s a bowl of noodles I had. It was served with boneless spare ribs in a spicy broth:
Hangzhou (West Lake)
We took a day trip to Hangzhou. We rode a high-speed bullet train and got there in 1 hour. We grabbed lunch at the Shanghai train station before boarding:
When we arrived in West Lake, we purchased tickets for a boat tour. The boat took us out onto a small island in the middle of the lake. Here are two photos taken on that island:
After lunch, I was walking along the lake when I came across this food stand. Darn! Why did I eat so much at lunch?
While in Hangzhou, we visited the Apple Store. It’s the largest Apple Store in all of Asia!
After Shanghai, we flew to Singapore, with a short layover in Malaysia. Our hotel was in Chinatown and located conveniently close to the subway (“MRT”):
One of my favorite sights was the Chinatown Heritage Centre. Located a block from my hotel, the museum showed us what life was like in 1950’s Chinatown, taking us inside the living spaces of tailors, rickshaw drivers, physicians and many other types of workers.
I was given a smartphone-like device, which provided a multimedia experience: audio narration, along with photos on the device. Here are two photos from my visit:
Singapore’s Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle is known as the cheapest Michelin-star meal (it was awarded a single star). It started life as a food (“hawker”) stand.
Here’s a photo of the roast pork from that stand — I did try the chicken. It was good!
Singapore has abundant “hawker stands,” a food court with assorted dining options. You order a few items, then find an open seat. Here’s a photo where I’m taking in an afternoon snack:
We got a chance to visit the Little India neighborhood of Singapore. This was one of the best meals I had in Singapore— chicken biryani. It was shared among 4–5 people: