Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Travels in China: Shanghai Day 3 (Part 1)

My Travels in China: Shanghai Day 3 (Part 1)

Dr. Arnold Plotnick of Manhattan Cat Specialists, loves to travel and loves cats.  So off he went... East... way way East... to China.  Over the course of the next few weeks, we will share the cultural and kitty cat highlights of Dr. Plotnick's trip.

(Continued from Day 2)


Lots of very interesting things on tap for today.  Our hotel is in a part of town called the Old City, and so far we’ve explored many other neighborhoods, but not our own just yet.  The Old City is rich with history.  It’s bound to be a very interesting  day. We start with the Confucius temple.


Also known  as Wen Miao Temple, it is dedicated  to the worship  of Confucius and his texts.
The Confucian Temple was moved to different locations four times before it was reconstructed on its current site in 1855. Most of the present buildings were reconstructed  or restored in 1999 to celebrate the 2550th birthday of Confucius.  The temple complex consists of three parallel paths running south to north. The first (westernmost) path is for public worship and sacrifice; the center path is for scholars and studying; the third path is dominated by nature.  It was a nice peaceful oasis, and was pretty empty this early in the morning, although we did see a group of young school kids being given a tour.


At the far northern end of the courtyard is the main hall, Da Chang Hall, with a nice  statue of the dude himself, standing  in the courtyard 


This next part of the itinerary turned out to be the most memorable of the  entire trip to Shanghai.  It was a walking tour of the Old City, as suggested in my Frommer’s guide book.  This walk took us through the old back alleys of Shanghai to see what life is really like for ordinary folks, the working class residents of Shanghai. 

It started with a stroll through some of the alleys not far from the Confucius temple.  Lots of hanging laundry, and people going about their business.


Some people raised pigeons in coops attached to the side of their apartment.

I came upon this cute kitty in one of the doorways, just hanging out.


The alleyways have lots of character.


Some of the doorways were amazing,


and the streets were fascinating.


We came upon a very authentic street market.


I saw some chickens and pigeons in cages, which I found disturbing, I must say.


Overall, it was an amazing glimpse into Shanghai culture.

                                         
We continued our walk through the Old City by stopping by a few more temples (I’m not posting photos, because they pretty much have the same stuff as the other temples), and then onto the Dajing Lu market.   On the way to the market, however, right around the  corner from the temple we just visited, there was a woman feeding some stray cats in the grass adjacent to the temple


The cats were cute, but were pretty feral.



We then hit the Daijing Lu market, where they were selling, all sorts of goodies

and, um… not-so-goodies.


It was basically the kind of markets we have here in Chinatown NYC, but with a lot of stuff I’d never seen  before.  A lot of people were just sitting around, eating the street food, like these ladies eating watermelon


Across the street from the market, at the very northern end, is a well-known street called Fangbang Zhong Lu, although it is better known as “Old Street”.  You walk through the typical Chinese gate


You walk through, and you’re on a big pedestrian street loaded with shops and stores.


Some of the stores sold typical touristy crap, but a few stores were very hip.  I found this cool t-shirt store called Lushanghai. It had very cool, original t-shirt designs.  I saw a pretty slick t-shirt that I knew my friend Brad would love, way up in the corner on the wall, so I snagged it for him.

As you continue down this street, you can see the gables of the Yu Yuan Bazaar up ahead.

CHECK BACK SOON, Dr. Plotnick's China Travelog continues.

Previous Posts
Beijing - Day 1, Day 2 Part 1, Day 2 Part 2, Day 3, Day 4 Part 1Day 4 Part 2, Day 5, Day 6
Shanghai - Day 1 part 1, Day 1 part 2, Day 2

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