We had an excellent time in Shanghai! (Despite the many phone calls and text messages from the teachers at our school double-confirming and triple-confirming that we really were not going to attend the school New Year’s party…) Justin and I got on a bus to Shanghai with our friends Joel and Kasia on Saturday morning. We stayed in a beautiful hostel:
- Our room had a loft!
We spent the afternoon walking around the city, visiting different parks and memorials. We saw some interesting things as we walked the streets:
Yikes! So many falling objects in that picture!
We found some senior citizens waltzing in the park....so cute!
Laundry, laundry, laundry, laundry, FISH!
Then we came across this sign....fair warning!
We stopped for a Starbucks coffee in Old Town, which is a portion of Shanghai that was bought and renovated by Jackie Chan himself! It looks beautiful at night, but some of the souvenir shops were a little overpriced, so we headed back out to the streets. We found some great souvenirs at this stand outside of Old Town.
They had tons of Chinese New Year decorations! No pictures of what we bought, so that our friends and family at home receiving these gifts will be surprised. 😉
After that we headed down to the Bund, which is composed of the Huangpu River and its accompanying city skyline. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower (the skinny structure with the two orbs) and all of the other lighted buildings makes this a very scenic spot! But we arrived a little too early for the New Year’s celebrations, so after taking some pictures we went across the river to get a late dinner.
We found a pizza place inside of a giant shopping mall! Joel got a little sleepy while we were waiting for our food.
Cheers to the New Year!
After that, it was getting close to midnight, so we walked back to the river to see the countdown. They put on a pretty cool light show during the five minutes before the New Year. Even though it should seem obvious, it still caught me off-guard when the crowd began counting down from ten in Chinese!
Wu...Si...San...Ar...Yi...Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Five...Four...Three...Two...One...Happy New Year!)
After midnight, everyone started sending up Konming lights–a tradition that supposedly brings the sender good luck. A Konming light is basically a miniature hot air balloon. People write a message or a wish on the balloon in magic marker, and then light the wax beneath the balloon to allow it to inflate and fly away.
The fire department showed up downtown. I kept looking around for the fire, and then I realized that there wasn’t one. There were so many people sending up Konming lights that the firemen were on hand in case one caught fire.
It was everything I had hoped for…the best New Year’s ever! I can’t wait until Chinese New Year…twenty more days!