Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
Trip End Sep 14, 2010

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Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Friday, September 3, 2010

After leaving the ancient canal town, we got back on the bus and headed for Shanghai. The World Expo is being held in Shanghai this year, so the first thing we did after unpacking was head to check out the expo. We definitely didn't have enough time to see nearly enough, but I got to roam around a bit through some of the countries' expositions. I briefly stopped in the USA expo (I had to!), then rushed to see some of the nearest things since our time was limited (the tickets are good for multiple days because it takes so long to see everything). I waited in line forever to see the Italy expo, so that was one of the few things I was able to actually walk through. (side note: Chinese people do NOT know how to wait in lines. I'm not even sure they know what a real line is. I had to stay alert the whole time, or else I'd have a little short person nudge past me, just to be one person closer to the front. and they had no shame, either!)

The next day we went on a walking tour to check out the city of Shanghai. I spilled pork bun grease all over myself while attempting to eat breakfast while walking around. whoops! While walking around, we came across several groups of older people ballroom dancing and doing exercises in the street. We visited the Shanghai art museum, then an antique shopping 'market'. The "antiques" were all the same at each little booth, so something tells me that they weren't exactly authentic... I also got to see a pet market; the outdoor market sold everything from crickets to puppies and kittens. I guess it's popular to fight crickets, so there were several men selling and/or trading (not sure what was going on) the highly prized aggressive crickets. It was hard not to leave with an armful (or two) full of puppies and kittens, but somehow I dragged myself out of there empty-handed.

Later that night, we headed to the Jin Mao tower to catch a bird's eye view of the skyline. Jin Mao is an 88 story building with a really cool "express" elevator - travels over 9 m/s, so the ride to the top is an ear-popping 45s long. (god, that was nerdy).

The last thing we did in Shanghai was going to see an acrobatic-type performance. There were several circus-y type acts that were pretty entertaining, including things like a contortionist, hat jugglers, and a motorcycle-globe act (check out the videos).

We said goodbye to our China tour group, and Saturday I boarded a plane headed to Bangkok... stay tuned :)

(check back later today for tons of videos)
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