Shanghai 2: Jing'an Sculpture Park & Temple, Crystal Galleria
Shanghai treated me to the most wonderful weather over the course of my trip. The days were sunny and hot with a nice breeze every now and then, and the nights were mild and clear. After a night of monkeys, models, bottles, and midnight street food, I needed a good breakfast. I was able to get eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast (opted out of 'em without Maple Syrup), and an Americano.
For RMB 25 (about $5) it was a decent enough start and allowed me to do some research on Yahoo (the only search engine in English I could access), and draw it all on my now weathered map of Shanghai.
From the Soho International Youth Hostel, the Jing'an Sculpture Park was less than 5 minutes walking distance away. I had plans to meet up with B at 1:30 PM at The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre and wanted to make the most of my morning.
As you can see, the park is home to some wonderful, wacky creatures as well as the Shanghai Museum of Natural History. I wanted to check it out, but I unfortunately just did not have enough time.
Cutting through the park got me on the right path westbound heading toward the Propaganda Museum. I had no idea the streets of Shanghai were so beautiful and that I was about to walk through what appeared to be a fairly affluent area with both Bentley and Maserati dealerships casually located on this seemingly residential street.
Boulevards and side-streets alike were full of lush trees and interesting architecture. At any given intersection I could see something different on all four corners. At the next major intersection I decided to take a left and head South to zig-zag toward my destination. I then came across the side of the Crystal Galleria Shanghai. This building had tons of art installations and sculptures outside its doors and in its display windows. I had no idea just how large the place was until I popped inside.
I only instantly noticed H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 (when you're tall and in Asia you don't have that many options so you tend to zero-in on the foreigner-friendly, cheap and cheerful brands). Still on a time crunch I headed into Forever 21 (we have Zara and H&M in Busan), found the style of skirt for which I'd been hunting (in a pinky-beige colour. Not my favourite, but it would do!), and headed downstairs to freshen up and grab a snack.
My cute little bowl of Cloudberry cost about $6 Canadian (for China that was REALLY expensive!), but the pineapple and pomegranate flavours were refreshing!
The food court downstairs was a modern Americana theme (Papa John's, anyone?), but I didn't stick around too long - I was on a mission!
How cool is this random mall?
Beyond the Crystal Galleria I saw some Haagen-Dazs tents and...the Jing'an Temple! I had expected to bypass this part of the journey but suddenly it was just...there, beautiful, and exciting! I had to stop and check it out.
Jing'an Temple (Chinese: 静安寺; pinyin: Jìng'ān Sì; literally: "Temple of Peace and Tranquility") is a Buddhist temple on theWest Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China. Jing'an District, where it is located, is named after the temple.
The Temple was free to enter so I took a quick peek around (and managed to miss the giant silver Jade Buddha - what was I thinking putting myself on a schedule in Shanghai?!) and moved along. I couldn't believe how many temples are tucked in between high-rises and skyscrapers. Shanghai, you know what I like.
I had already been walking for a couple of hours (it was about 7 km from my hostel to the museum) and had a way to go before making it to the Propaganda Museum.
The only option was the scenic route...