Tagged shanghai

tomorrowland of shanghai

intro

Shanghai, the new China. There has never been such a place.

In honor of the 60th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California, Disney has announced the new lands to be featured at the upcoming Shanghai Disneyland. Mainland China’s first Disneyland theme park is set to open in Spring 2016.

But there’s no reason to wait until next year to visit Shanghai. In fact, many of these new lands, exclusive to the new Chinese park, sound remarkably like places you can already find in China’s largest city.

Adventure Isle

See the fossils of real life dinosaurs at the Shanghai Natural History Museum, recently reopened next to the Jing’an Sculpture Park. Kids can roam and climb the outdoor sculptures for an urban adventure.

Gardens of Imagination

yuyuan

Tucked in one of the oldest parts of the city, there is a garden that a loving son built for his aging father. He named it the Garden of Contentment. Sounds like a Disney story, no? Actually this is the Yuyuan (豫园) Garden in Old Shanghai. Get lost in tangled walls topped with the head and tail of a dragon, and sip tea where the scholars of dynasties past would recite poetry.

Mickey Avenue

old shopping

A Main Street for shopping, this could describe nearly every street in Shanghai. Nanjing Road, the narrow streets of Old Shanghai Bazaar, and more are filled with shops for picking up a souvenir of sparkling Shanghai.

Tomorrowland

nanjing future

Look up anywhere in Shanghai and you’d think you’re looking at the future. Skyscrapers rise out of the skyline like something out of the Jetsons, including one which is even named Tomorrow Square. You even arrive from the airport traveling hundreds of miles per hour on a cushion of air on a Maglev train.

Treasure Cove

old shanghai

Did you know that the oldest part of Shanghai, now called Old Shanghai, was originally a city with a fortified wall built to fend off Japanese pirates? Captain Jack Sparrow wasn’t the first pirate in these parts. Then, visit the Bund and take a night cruise on a pirate ship to see Shanghai’s duelling electrical parade on the two sides of the Huangpu River.

Fantasyland

pudong
second supertall to the right and straight on ’til morning

Perhaps the most fantastical part of extraordinary Shanghai is the new trade zone of Pudong. If you were to build a wonderland of free trade and aggressive development, it would look like Pudong. This enchanted place contains the very real wonders of the Oriental Pearl Tower in glimmering pink, the golden pagoda-like Jinmao tower, and China’s current tallest building, the Shanghai Tower.

See what wonders Shanghai and China already have to offer.

 

 

 

spring festival is on its way

lanterns stringing

Spring Festival (春节 chūnjié), or Chinese New Year, is fast approaching on January 31. If you’re in China, this means kids are already out of school, department stores are fully decorated with red lanterns and budding trees, shoppers stock up on gift baskets, fruits, and baijiu, the classic white liqueur, and everybody’s already a little bit on vacation, mentally anyway. The preparations really kick up a notch starting today, the beginning of the xiaonian, (小年), the final week before the new year.

If you are in China before or during the Chinese New Year, you will enjoy a festive mood and be able to join in the special preparations and celebrations. Here are a few unique events and festivals you can experience before, during, and after the start of the new year.

Make niangao (sticky new year cake) and dumplings at a traditional folk fair in Tangqi Ancient Village outside of Hangzhou.

Visit the temples of Shanghai to ring the monumental bells for luck and pray for an auspicious year.

 Wrap up your Spring Festival at the Lantern Festival, the fifteenth day of the New Year, at Tang Paradise in Xi’an, and take a special walk around the City Wall to enjoy the brightly lit lanterns, towers, and rooftops.

The seven-day official holiday will start on January 31, but, like Christmas or New Year’s in the west, family celebrations really begin with the happy time anticipating the holiday and getting ready. This Year of the Horse (马年 mǎ nián) we say with special excitement, 马上春节回家!(Mǎshàng chūnjié huíjiā) – Very soon Spring Festival will return to our home!

Check back next week as we get ready for the New Year and the release of China Tea Leaves 西安 Xi’an!