The Cities That (Never?) Sleep: Shanghai

Posted on 14th July 2019

The University of Pennsylvania Glee Club Tour 2019: “The Cities That Never Sleep”

Destinations (according to the PRC overlords):

  • China, China, China

Destinations (otherwise):

  • Shanghai, China (The People’s Republic of China)
  • Hong Kong (SAR)
  • Macau (SAR)
  • Taipei, Taiwan (The Republic of China)
  • Tokyo, Japan

First leg: Air Canada Economy PHL–>YYZ–>PVG. Lovely break at the Maple Leaf Lounge in YYZ, but otherwise nothing notable.

I landed in Shanghai at around 6PM, hours earlier than the rest of the Glee Club. I therefore took the opportunity to get acquainted with my surroundings, walking in the vicinity of People’s Square.

I loved the mixed of small stalls, and skyscrapers that permeated my path. I bought a few bananas from a street vendor and wandered over to where a large crowd was gathering for paired dancing:

A few steps onward was line dancing:

and a little further, karaoke:

Our hostel was located along a river, with lovely views in the evening and was a great starting out point for adventures.

Two days of adventures in Shanghai included visiting some of the famous markets, gardens, and of course performances.

Our major performance in the city was a collaborative concert with the women of the Shanghai Conservatorium of Music. (Photos Courtesy of the Penn Glee Club Tour Blog https://penngleetour.tumblr.com)

Our China leg also included a day trip to Suzhou, known by many as the “Venice of the East”. It’s a beautiful ‘small town’ of ten million people and many canals.

The biggest tourist attraction in Suzhou is the heavily trafficked Humble Administrator’s Garden. Where once it may have been a peaceful spot to relax, not so much anymore.

I also spent half a day in Shanghai sightseeing with Christian, a freshman Bass in the Glee Club. While known for his misadventures, he’s a charming and incredibly personable individual who could make conversation with a stone wall.

One notable feature of all the cities we visited was the incredible number of luxury goods shops. I saw enough Louis Vuitton and Rolex to last a lifetime.

One such encounter was an evening dinner treat when the Glee Club was taken to a fancy Peking Duck restaurant by the family of one of our members. While I couldn’t partake of the meal, it took place inside one of many vaulted malls, filled top-full of high end and expensive fashion.

The High End Mall

Soon our time in Shanghai was over, and it was off to Hong Kong.

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