Shanghai Day 2

Today we started the day causally. JT woke up at 8am and worked for a while on his Air China flight review before Katie woke up at 9am. Greg was kind enough to cook us a delicious American breakfast of eggs, toast, and hashbrowns. After breakfast we all sat and chatted for a while, which was fun and pleasant.

We left the apartment around 11:30am and headed to Pudong’s riverside promenade. We walked on the north side of the promenade for a while, trading off the one facemask we happened to bring today since the pollution was affecting our breathing and energy.

JT’s turn with the facemask
A very different part of the Riverside Pomenade
Once we got to the ferry terminal, we returned to the aquarium/pearl tv tower area and headed to Yang’s Dumplings near the aquarium. We ordered two six-dumpling (two dumplings each of 3 types) sampler plates (¥18 each, ¥5 each for sodas), picked up our order from the kitchen (after struggling a while with the language barrier about whether they would bring it to our seats like they were doing for other food), and then attempted to find a seat.
Finding a seat was actually really difficult and frustrating since the restaurant was full and many people were waiting for tables. In China, no one cares if you were waiting first. You must stake your claims on any opening table by boxing other people out and sitting down as soon as the previous occupant has gotten up.
The actual dumplings were frustrating as well. They were really difficult to eat without squirting hot, sticky liquid everywhere. And there was no bathroom and no running water to rinse your hands/body if/once you get hot dumpling juice on them. The dumplings themselves were too hot to even enjoy.
JT had a particularly unpleasant time with the dumplings. After making a mess on both his pants and our daybag, he scarfed the rest down and then left to go outside and cleanup. Overall, we would recommend passing on Yang’s – unless you have wet wipes at the ready, need a quick bite to eat, and are ready to take your food to go.

After lunch we continued our walk on the riverside promenade. We both began to get really tired, so we sat for a while before deciding to walk over to the Park Hyatt to have some drinks in the bar on the 87th or 91st floor of the ‘bottle cap opener’ building.

Interesting to see a marsh/beach in the middle of the city, along the river
Free, squat bathrooms along the Riverside Promenade

We took the quick windowless elevator direct all the way to the 87th floor. We tried to go to the 100 Century Avenue bar on the 91st floor, but they were closed to get ready for dinner at 6pm. So, we went back to the 87th floor to get seats at the lobby bar. We felt bad about being poorly dressed in athletic shirts, but no one seemed to care.

We lucked into two window seats, and ordered some ¥60-65 ($10-11) beers. Some complimentary peanuts were served with our beers. A couple was seated right next to us – something that the hostess had pre-warned us might happen. Although they currently live in Shanghai, the guy said he was from Houston. He said he had seen RoboCup in the news, and he was very excited to chat with us for a while. The views of the city, river, and Bund were awesome from the bar. We especially enjoyed watching a storm develop and then disperse.

The servers were not in a hurry to clear us out; we actually had to push to get our bill, as we wanted to head to dinner. There was a slight price discrepancy that JT caught on the bill, but – upon pointing it out – the server quickly fixed it. Based on our experience, we would recommend passing on the observation deck fee (¥180 per person!) and use that money to buy drinks at the bar instead! The only downside is that you only have a set view out the window whereas you can probably see all 360° out the observation deck.

After having some drinks and enjoying the views, we went to Tianzifang (田子坊) to meet Sara and Greg for dinner. We wandered the traditional alleys – redeveloped into shops, bars, and restaurants – for a while before settling on a Thai restaurant. The food was pretty good, but nothing great. But, the restaurant ambiance was great and we had an incredible time catching up. We ended up being the last customers to leave the restaurant that night!

Then we hurried to the Bund to see the building lights before they were turned off at 11pm. We got there about 12 minutes before 11pm, so we got to enjoy the views for a decent time with and then without the lights. The subways stop at 11pm though, so we took a ¥38 taxi back to the apartment.  It was fun and interesting to see Greg speak Chinese rather fluently (it seemed) with the taxi driver!

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