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Back To Shanghai: "The Expo And The Mansion"

July 5, 2010

Back in Shanghai, I returned to the World Expo 2010 to try to find something of interest.  The exhibits I chose during my initial visit last month were crowded and uninspiring.  The international pavilions were mostly public relations ads to promote tourism.  I didn't see any that followed the theme, "Better City - Better Life."

Someone I met on the grounds recommended the Urban Pavilion of Footprint, and I was so glad that I went.  On display in this enormous multi-floor pavilion were dioramas and descriptions of many of the major cities and civilizations, past and present. "The concept and design for the Urban Pavilion of Footprint were contributed by the Shanghai Museum. The pavilion portrays the growth of the cities as a decisive factor for human progress over the ages." My favorite was the display of art and gold sculpture from Tibet.

Instead of waiting in a two to four hour queue for many of the pavilions, I wandered the grounds and found some creative architecture.  And always, everywhere, I encounter cheerful, curious, welcoming Chinese tourists.

Now please don't tell anyone but both on my arrival in Shanghai, and my return, I splurged, really splurged, at the Ruijin Guesthouse in the French Concession neighborhood.  "The Ruijin has elegant grounds and a series of old mansions converted into rooms.  Building One was the former Morris estate, while some of the city's most romantic and stylish restaurants charmingly nestle in the gardens." *

The guidebook doesn't mention the spectacular buffet breakfast: eggs cooked to order, Chinese food, Japanese food, smoked fish (including salmon), breads and cakes, fresh fruit - all served by a sunny staff in a sunny sun-room facing the sunny (misty) gardens.

The guidebook also doesn't mention my sunny hot tub/Jacuzzi....

One more day in Shanghai.  Big breakfast?  Wander the hotel grounds?  Jacuzzi?  Lunch?  Nap?  Tea?  Massage?

Or, look for something special? Historical? Surprising?

For my initial trip to the Expo with lots of photos, see :

Expo 2010 Shanghai China: "Populated"

For Ruijin Guest House:

http://www.ruijinhotelsh.com/en/reservation.html

* China.  Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd 2009. Page 260.

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