Tuesday, October 06, 2009
This pic pretty much sums up the weather the whole time I was in Shanghai!! That being said, something about the place just appealed to me. I only really had a day and a bit to explore, and probably would have ended up wasting it somehow, but I was lucky enough to have someone to show me around... and make sure none of the crazy, death-wish traffic got me!
We started at the Oriental Pearl Tower, just a short ride on the (fast, clean) subway from the hotel.
Y'know, for someone who's afraid of heights, I seem to find myself up in them quite often! Yep, that's my foot. Yep, that's the ground of Shanghai approximately 267m or thereabouts below me.
And yep, somehow Anna (my trusty babysitter) convinced me to sit down on that thing. Would you believe, as I was sitting there someone nearby jumped and the whole thing shook... and it was at that moment that the camera clicked. Ug.
After a good look around the observation deck and checking out the entertainment level, we went below the tower to see the museum. This is included in the 350RMB entry fee for the tower, and is well worth a look, as well as a nice way to spend a few hours in air conditioned comfort, learning a little about China's history. I quite lost track of time.
After all this we were decidedly hungry. Having heard of my liking for dumplings through our respective other halves, Anna and I jumped in a taxi and headed for this place (can someone please translate the name on this sign?). The queue for a table here was substantial, and for a handful of RMB I can certainly see why...
These babies were DIVINE. In comparison to the xiao long bao at HuTong on Market Lane here, these little dudes win, hands down. They were slightly smaller than those at HuTong, with a little less soup, but damn me if they weren't the most amazing little dumplings I've had in an awfully long time. Dipped in vinegar with grated ginger, and washed down with a can of Tsing Tao (which, by the way, I've become a FIRM fan of, through many and large samplings) through a straw... ah, what a perfect lunch.
But wait... what? That's just first-lunch? There's a food court a few minutes walk away that I absolutely HAVE to check out... ooohhhh... hm, ok... but I'm kinda full already...
Wow, if there were food courts like this in Australia, I'd go to one every day, I think. This was NOT like the ones we have here. This was three walls of food, where you collect a tray at the start and wander around, grabbing a plate of whatever you want, and pay for it all at the other end. For a measly AUD$20 or thereabouts, we got two trays of food, more than enough for the two of us. In fact, there was probably enough for double the number of us. This was Anna's tray, because she had the rather more interesting food, most of which she grabbed purely so I could try bits and pieces.
Including this one. When I ate it I had no idea, aside from the sweet sticky rice, what the hell it was; that had to wait until we caught up with the men at dinner that night. Regardless, I liked it. Turns out it's lotus root.
But strangely, the dish I enjoyed the most at the food court was...
... these beans. Ever so lightly stir-fried and salted with a dash of chilli. Something about these just screamed "yum" to my taste buds.
Hm, seems weird to sum up such a busy day in so (comparatively) short a post... of course I've left a lot out. Can't wait to go back!