Note: We are in Hong Kong now and I’m writing this up with limited photos due to upload speeds. I am posting most of the photos as a gallery at the end of the post.
On this our third day in Shanghai, Steve (DOS) and I explored more of the city on our own in the daytime. In the evening we would take a sightseeing cruise on the Huangpu River, but for most of the day we just wondered around with no set schedule.
We wanted to return back to the BUND area where we were yesterday, so after breakfast at the Grand Hyatt, we set out on our own. Using the iconic Pearle Building as our landmark, we headed that way, in search of the underground tunnel-mover, which connects the east and west sections of Shanghai.
We were surprised and excited to ride he tunnel-mover, which really like a Disney World attraction; completely automated, as it transports you in small pods underneath the river. The pods run continuously and hold perhaps six people, although there were only four of us for both the outbound and later return trip.
While traversing the tunnel inside the pod, you are treated to a really cool light show along the way of varying lights, sounds and intensities. It reminded me of a cross between the Magic Kingdom WED People mover (although it was underground) and the tunnels at the beginning and end of Space Mountain. It really was a cool and unexpected attraction, not to mention an easy and quick mode of transportation.
Once we arrived on the Western side of the river, we were back to the BUND area we had visited yesterday, with the colorful walls of flowers, and wide and long boardwalk area aligning the river. We walked around quite a bit, and while in search of lunch, discovered this HUGE 10 level department store a couple blocks from the BUND area. We later found out from our guide, it is a new Japanese-owned store, and less than a year old. While we didn’t buy anything (we were actually looking for a food court, which they had, but not what we wanted), it had the most modern and vibrant interior for any department store we’ve ever seen. “Macy’s would not like this, DOS said”. Actually they would be very jealous!
The store had a first that I’ve seen, and that was curved escalators! Quite classy, these escalators provided a fantastic view of the open-air atrium spanning 10 levels.
We later went to lunch at McDonalds, my favorite international restaurant – LOL! We actually just wanted something quick as we were having a nice Chinese dinner on our evening sightseeing tour, and the nice thing is the self-service kiosks at McDonald’s make it ease to order.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at the Disney store near our hotel. There was actually a line to get in the store, but it was only a 10 minute wait or so; guess they didn’t want it to get overcrowded or maybe just feel more exclusive like a nightclub with a line out front.
We were hoping to buy some Shanghai theme park merchandise there, but they only sold regular Disney items; i.e the standard Disney stuff – Mickey and Minnie, Winnie the Pooh etc. Still it was fun browsing around in the Disney store.
In the evening, out private tour guide Lily, met us at our hotel around 6pm for the nighttime sightseeing tour, cruise, and dinner. Our driver drove us over to the Bund (Western) side of Shanghai via the tunnel under the river. It was starting to get dark as we got our tickets for the boat cruise, which we then boarded for our 45 minute cruise down the river, admiring the amazing light shows of the different skyscrapers along the way. China has only one time zone for the entire country, even though geographically it would fit into several different time zones, so it was dark by 7:30pm here in Shanghai at the beginning of June. As it got darker on the boat ride, the lights became more brilliant, and each building appeared to have it’s own light show. Lily told us the buildings are lit up until 11pm, and then the lights are turned off to save energy.
After the boat cruise, we had a nice dinner at a fancy Chinese restaurant, where we again had an authentic Chinese dinner. We had a leisurely meal, and as is typical for the two of us, we were among the last diners to leave.
We then headed back to the Grand Hyatt, and took the two sets of elevators back to our Shanghai home on the 84th floor. Good night from Shanghai!