Today was a super fun, but also super tiring day. We were running around all day so my legs hurt SOO much and I haven't been sleeping very well so I'm super tired (catch the very raw pic of us at the end of the day below), but it was all worth it. We started off the day early with breakfast at 8am again and then headed out to the former residence of Sun Yat-sen (上海中山故居), which is now a museum. Sun Yat-sen, who was the first president of China, lived in the house from 1918 with his wife Soong Ching-ling. The exhibition showcased Sun Yat-sen's life along with some artifacts. Our next stop was the Jade Buddha Temple (玉佛禅寺), which was beyond beautiful. Afterwards, we went to lunch at a restaurant called Waipo Jia (外婆家), which was definitely the best lunch we have had yet. After lunch, we headed to the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower (finally!). It took us a while to get in because of how many people were visiting, but while we were waiting in line, a little boy named Andy came up to me and my friends with his Mom. We started to speak in Chinese with them, but his mother told us that Andy wanted to practice his English with us so we asked him a few questions and learned that he is 10 years old and that he is from Nanjing. He was super cute and we ended up taking a few pictures with him too! When we finally got to the elevator, we headed 263 meters up to the Sightseeing floor. Although cloudy, the view was amazing. The floor also had a few shops where I bought a couple of souvenirs. Next, we headed down to the Transparent Observatory which was absolutely breathtaking. It was a little nerve-raking given how clear the glass beneath our feet was and how high up we were but it was so cool and definitely the highlight of the day. After the Pearl Tower, we headed to Nanjing Road for a bit which is really similar to Times Square. We only got about 20 minutes to walk around before we had to meet back with our group for dinner which was at Xin Bai Lu (新白鹿). Our favorite dish at dinner was a yellow dessert similar to creme brûlée topped with ice cream!
Tomorrow we are heading to Xiamen via bullet train where we will be staying for 4 weeks. The first two weeks we will be staying at Xiamen University and the second two weeks we will be with host families. Chinese language and culture classes start on Saturday!
Here are some pics from today: