Day 11: Exploring Shanghai

Today we had the morning off, after some last-minute changes to our travel plans, so we were able to go into downtown Shanghai and explore. The area we went to was beautiful - lots of tiny little alleyways lined with art galleries, boutique shops, and traditional Shanghai architecture. We went tea-tasting, clothes shopping, art viewing, and ended up with quite a few goodies to bring home as presents.

Then we drove to Shanghai airport train station, where we took a train from Shanghai to Hefei, where we will be performing tomorrow evening. There are just SO many people here! It's hard to contemplate. Here's a shot at the train station:

Driving through Shanghai is a bit overwhelming. You pass mile after mile of enormous sky-rise apartment blocks; each building must house thousands of people. Then during the entire 3 hour train trip from Shanghai to Hefei, there are more and more of these skyrise complexes, one after another, mixed in with enormous factories, everything packed in really close together. It really makes you realise just HOW many people there are living here! I knew that there were over 1.2 billion people living in China (that's like 60 Australia's), and 23.5 million people in Shanghai alone, but to actually see it with your own eyes is mind-boggling. It made me feel really grateful to come from such an under-populated country which has so much free space. Here are a few shots of the apartment complexes:

This one reminded me a bit of Bladerunner, with the yellow sun shining through a smog-covered concrete jungle.

When we arrived in Hefei, we checked into our hotel, and enjoyed a buffet dinner. I decided to be a bit adventurous.... Check out my plate - from the bottom left corner, clockwise, you have: jellyfish salad, fermented egg in intestines, and marinated chicken's foot. The jellyfish salad was the only one I managed to swallow - it was actually quite tasty!