The Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai is a good place to go. In the temples is always a nice and calm atmosphere which sometimes is a needed contrast to the busy life in the city. The temple holds two jade Buddha statues. They are made of porcelain, one is a Sitting Buddha and the other is a recumbent Buddha.
The Lama Temple in Beijing is the largest Buddhist temple in China. There are five large halls and you should spend at least an hour in the temple. In the hall of Ten Thousand Happinesses you can find an amazingly tall (18m) statue of the Maitreya Buddha. It is carved from a single piece of White Sandalwood. This statue is one of three artworks in the temple that were included into the Guinness Book of Records in 1993.
Pudong is a fast growing district of Shanghai. From The Bund you have a good view of the skyline of Pudong with the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Word Financial Center with the glas-bridge on the top and the Jin Mao Building.
We went to the top of the World Financial Center to visit the glas-bridge and take some pictures. There is also a nice cafe up there from where you have an amazing view.
A few random pictures from life in the city.
You see a lot of people who collect cardboards, plastic etc. to earn some money. This is why, despite the dense population, you can’t find much clutter on the main streets.
Shanghai has a population of about 13 million people and is a relative young city (about 700 years) compared to the long history of China. It is also a booming financial center of China, especially the Pudong area. There you can find the Shanghai World Financial Center or the Jin Mao Tower.
The architecture is very modern and sometimes it was hard to find the traditional chinese characteristics. The Jade Buddha Temple or the Yu Yuan Garden are famous examples of these traditional places, but be prepared for a lot of pushing and shoving.
Peking was in my opinion far more traditional and less modern.
Most of the pictures were made from “The Bund” from where you have an excellent view of the Pudong skyline.
A even better view of the whole skyline, the river and “The Bund” area is from the Hyatt Hotel Skybar. It’s an amazing bar and a perfect spot for taking pictures.
The Yu Garden is a pleasant private garden with many small lakes, ponds and bridges. It is a very nice place to visit, however it is very very crowded. Actually I never saw so many people on a small bridge like the Jiu Qu Qiao Bridge (Watch the video). It is a famous zig-zag bridge and a so called ‘Bridge of Nine Turnings’. A zig-zag bridge may have three, five or more zig-zags.
Although the lake is only about thirty metres wide, the bridge winds more than a hundred meters because of its nine twists. In the middle of the lake is a pavilion in which visitors may have a cup of tea or enjoy the view all around.
Shanghai offers a lot of different kinds of markets.
You can find anything from clothing, electronics, souvenirs or antiques. It is also known for the Fake Markets where you can get copies of famous brands in electronics, watches or clothing.
However walking through these markets is very stressful because every meter someone wants you to come with him and have a look at his products. It’s nearly impossible to just look at the things without people dragging you into their shops, but I guess the cheap products have their price
We spent one of our ten day trip to Shanghai at the Expo. The area was huge and for the bigger and interesting Pavilions, like the German or the UK Pavilion, the waiting time was between 4 and 5 hours! Nobody wants to stand that long in a line on a very hot summer day.
It was so hot, that some places had installed water steams coming out of the ground. That was a nice cooling and made the walking easier.
The Forbidden City is in the heart of Beijing. In ancient times, the emperor was said to be a son of Heaven. The emperors’ residence on earth was built as a replica of the Purple Palace where God was thought to live in Heaven.
Such a divine place was certainly forbidden to ordinary people and that is why the Forbidden City is so named.
“Beijing Forbidden City, also named Palace Museum, is the most magnificent and splendid palace complex in China and one of the five world-famous palaces with the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in England, the White House in the U.S. and the Kremlin in Russia.”
The wall was built for over 1700 years. Many emperor’s worked on this project to protect the people from the Mongol invaders. The workers were not paid for their work, it was slave labor and many lost their lives. All in all the wall is about 5900km long! It’s impressive to see this monument.
The Ming Tombs are located about 50km from Beijing. It is a burial site of 13 out of 17 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. We booked a day-tour to see the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs.