A Travellerspoint blog

China

Chinese Acrobats

Don't try this at home, folks.

overcast 78 °F

We couldn’t leave China without seeing an acrobat show. We had really high expectations and the performers definitely delivered. I spent half of the show with my hands up near my eyes and mouth because the acts were truly terrifying. One man stacked chairs higher and higher and would do balancing tricks as he went. It was fun to watch until he leaned the top chair in a very precarious position and then performed a few tricks. He was about 20 feet in the air and one little mistake and he would have been hurting. Another act had two men balancing in impossible ways off of each other’s bodies. One man was about 18 inches taller than the other and he actually stood on the guy’s head on one foot. Ouch. We weren’t allowed to take photos and I wish that I could have because the acts were unbelievably good and thrillingly dangerous. The final act was a caged motorcycle act. A huge circular cage was on stage and a motorcyclist drove all around on the inside, around and around and around. They added a second motorcyclist, a third motorcyclist, a fourth motorcyclist, and then a fifth motorcyclist. They were zipping by each other at a break neck face and barely missing one another. When they finally opened the cage to let out the first cyclist, an audible sigh of relief could be heard. It was very stressful to watch! (And entertaining!)

Posted by SusanConradWang 08:33 Archived in China Tagged boats shanghai Comments (0)

Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar

A quiet garden in the heart of Shanghai.

overcast 81 °F

During the Ming Dynasty, a wealthy Shanghai family built a beautiful garden in the heart of the city. The paths in the garden meander over several acres of garden, lake, and rockeries. There are several buildings for tea, opera performances, receiving guests, offices, and general relaxation in the garden, too. It was a refreshing break in our afternoon. I’ve noticed that a lot of the gardens feature giant rocks and asked our guide why. There is a famous lake in China that has beautiful rocks and rock formations. They call it lake rock. It was very popular in gardens and every garden has some of it. The gardens of the wealthy had a lot of the lake rock. In fact, they might build fake little mountains out of it like in the Forbidden City. Inside the Yuyuan Gardens is one very special and large piece of lake rock with 72 holes in it. It was originally for the emperor, but it sunk in the river while it was being transported. A wealthy businessman in Shanghai somehow retrieved it. The head of the Pan family, the owner of the Yuyuan Gardens wanted it so he arranged for his daughter to marry the man’s son and accepted the rock as her dowry. He really wanted that rock! It is in a special place of honor directly in view of his study so that he could gaze on it whenever he wanted. I wonder if he thought of his daughter when he looked at it?
We also had lunch at a restaurant that sold tasty snacks. At least that is what everyone calls them. They look more like tapas to me. We went down a really long counter that had dozens of different types of food and selected the items that we wanted to eat. I chose buns, custards, a soup with mocha balls full of red bean, dumplings, and a cream puff dessert that was almost too pretty to eat. It was the best food that I had the whole time we were in China.

Posted by SusanConradWang 08:31 Archived in China Tagged shanghai Comments (0)

Shanghai National Museum

Taking a look at China's past.

overcast 82 °F

Shanghai National Museum is one of the best museums of Chinese history in the entire country. The museum has exhibits of the history of currency in China, minority crafts and clothing styles, seals (not the animal), paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, bronze work and jade. A lot of exhibits are donations from private collectors because a large portion of the nation's cultural relics departed to Taiwan with the Nationalists.

Posted by SusanConradWang 08:29 Archived in China Tagged shanghai Comments (0)

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