In actual fact, it’s one of the most cultural sites in Shanghai. It is a memorial and museum for the 17th century scholar Xu Guangqi. Xu Guangqi is a Ming Dynasty Chinese politician, scholar and lay catholic leader. Xu Quangqi was worried about the ability of his country to defend itself, especially with the threat of invasion from the Manchus.
Trade my trip to Shanghai for anywhere else in the world? Not for all the tea in China. Shanghai an eclectic mix of 21st Century living and historic traditional culture. The most populous city in the world, Shanghai is a city of architectural beauty. A city filled with wonderful hearts and beautiful minds to create such architectural beauty.
Shanghai’s literal meaning is “upon-the-sea” Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to trade and recognition of its favourable trade and economic potential. Shanghai has been described as the “showpiece” of the booming economy of mainland China and renowned for its historical buildings and beauty of said buildings along the Bund, City of God Temple and Yu Garden.
Like my recent visit to Hong Kong, my visit to Shanghai was of a business nature and whilst I don’t normally write blogs on business trips, I again felt compelled to write about my visit to Shanghai.
My days were spent sharing time with students at East China Normal University. Having spent time observing their lessons and personal time chatting to the students I have no doubt the group I spent time with will continue the trend of exceptional education to support Shanghai’s continued growth in favourable trade and economic dominance.
I had two favourite lessons, my first one was Lulu’s delivery of Economics and Business. Naturally had to be my favourite given I am Scottish and a business woman at heart. (A love of money and power).
Anyone who locks me in a room and uses lollipops to make money and create “demand” is a winner in my book. Let’s just say Lulu’s delivery of style and grace was not only amusing and engaging, but boy did she make a decent amount of Yuan Ren in 5 minutes flat! A teacher of Shanghai’s future economic dominance. I was in awe of her delivery style. Now for a qualified stockbroker it’s no mean feat to capture my praise in the field of economics – this lady is definitely “one to watch”!!
My second favourite was that of Wen’s Quantum Physics lesson. This lesson captured me from an emotional well-being contextual. Wen spoke of the theory of positive and negative energies and he used nature and low energies of atoms to do so.
We spoke at length (more dominated by the class) how the atmosphere and physics can effect our mental wellbeing how we always feel better when perhaps we are near water. Mr Wen really brought “Physics to life” for me and so it seemed the rest of the room (all non physicists) we were all deeply engaged in how physics effects our everyday life.
I suspect deep in his heart Wen was perhaps a little frustrated by the rooms ‘hijacking’ of his lesson, but he handled it like the perfect gentleman and fantastic teacher he is by completely indulging his students. It was a pleasure to observe his lesson.
ECNU is a cultural experience in itself. Such a beautiful university and fantastic students to boot… Really enjoyed my time at ECNU.
Back to Shanghai……
I had limited time in Shanghai, but I tried to cram in as much as possible during my visit, for all you travellers out there passing through or visiting Shanghai here’s my top tips and must do’s….
Xu Guangqi Memorial Hall & Gardens.
This little park in the middle of the concrete jungle of Shanghai could so easily be mistaken as somewhere to relax and have a cup of Jasmine tea with its pretty waterway and architectural bridges.
Xu Guangqi wrote a book on military techniques and strategies. He put forward the concept of a “Rich country and strong army”. The museum is a fascinating experience, and his Tomb one of honour and beauty. You only have to stop and watch Chinese tourists on how they act around this Tomb to appreciate it.
Make sure you seek out this little bit of cultural experience and not simply ‘stumble’ upon it in your midst of the concrete jungle of downtown Shanghai. If you get the chance to see the local saxophone player, make sure you stop and listen. He’s fantastic!
A magnificent light show and stunning buildings. Whilst the Bund didn’t quite “grab” me quite like the harbour in Hong Kong, it’s still a must see. A friend commented on one of photos saying one of the boats looked like it was made of gold. The graphical light show is immense and a real highlight of Shanghai.
Shanghai City God Temple.
My favourite of all the things to do in Shanghai. Dedicated to God Cheng Huang Qin Yubo (1295-1373) during his time as a Mongol Yuan Dynasty. After he died the Emperor made him the City God of Shanghai to keep the people safe, healthy and wealthy. There’s no more to say, only experience. Just go…..
Yu Yuan Gardens & Yuan old town.
I loved Yu gardens!!!!! When I sent these images to a friend, she gushed “oh my, it’s so romantic” It doesn’t look like it can be possibly real!!!!! The sheer detail and architectural design are phenomenal” “simply amazing”…….. I think this description from a photo says it all. To experience it is indescribable.
My initial reaction to Shanghai as ‘romantic’ was to laugh out loud. But in fairness, in among the skyscrapers, bustling traffic, a population of more than 24 million people. This part is as romantic and as beautiful as it comes. Forget Rome, Venice and St Lucia beach. Shanghai could well be a honeymoon destination of architectural beauty, exquisite hotels, exceptional customer experience, culture and history.
Granted, not much here on this blog for my usual Intrepid Adventurers, but as confessed in my Hong Kong blog, I‘ve been on a cultural adventure so far in 2017. Don’t worry fellow adventurers….. I will be back…..
Shanghai in itself is an extreme experience. Getting on and off the metro is more enthralling and as extreme as a red bull weekend. It’s more heart raising than jumping 50ft off a rock face in Weymouth or abseiling 80ft in North Wales. (And more scary!!!!)
There is plenty cycling, walking and water based activities in Shanghai. Trip advisor can show you the best. The highlights for extreme enthusiasts are a couple of hours trip outside the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s everything from Rock Climbing to White Water Rafting. I would definitely try the Rock Climbing in Hangzhou. Masterhand Rock Climbing Club arrange trips.
Would I swap my visit to Shanghai for anywhere else in the world?
Not for all the tea in China……