Shanghai - Exploring The Cityscapes by Lynelle349Patterson

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									Shanghai - Exploring The Cityscapes
Within the confines of the city of Shanghai, you will find many pockets of great beauty. In the Old city,
and even within the new, the changing cityscapes provide glimpses of intriguing aesthetics. Wrought
by human hands or carved from nature, these cityscapes are within easy reach of various luxury
hotels. Shanghai offers visitors a chance to explore its cultural past, its religious life and its beautiful
present.

Temples of Buddhism

The city is home to various monuments to Buddhism. In a very modern part of the city stands the
quiet sanctuary of the Jade Buddha Temple. The temple complex consists of the Jade Buddha
Tower, the Devajara Hall, Mahavira Hall, the Recumbent Buddha Hall and several other structures.
Built in 1928, it houses two precious and venerable white jade Buddhist statues: the Sitting Buddha
and the Recumbent Buddha. The sitting Buddha reflects Buddha as he reaches Enlightenment. It
stands 190 cm tall - a one-piece jade figure encrusted with emeralds and agates.

In contrast to this newer structure is the older Longhua Temple. This truly ancient structure sits in the
midst of the beautiful peach trees of Longhua Park. The temple is the oldest one in Shanghai. Since
242 AD, the era of the Three Kingdoms, this temple has stood on this spot. Of particular interest is
the Sutras Keeping Hall. It houses the major treasures of the temple: Dazang sutras, the gold seals
and the Buddhist statues.

Before the temple stands the seven-storied brick Longhua Pagoda. The levels decrease as the height
increases. Yet, each features a wooden banister and balcony. The eaves of the roves are octagonal
and hung with bells that call out as the wind brushes them. The style has remained reflective of the
Song Dynasty, although reconstruction has occurred over the centuries.
On either side of the Temple stand two three-storied towers. The Drum Tower and the Bell Tower
mirror each other with identical curved eaves and hexagonal windows. If you arrive on December 31,
you may be able to observe the Evening Bell-Striking Ceremony. If not, arrive in March for the
celebration of the Temple Fair and the blossoming of the Peach trees. If nothing else, the scent and
beauty of these delicate flowers delights both locals and those tourists from nearby luxury hotels.
Shanghai during the blossom time is a truly engaging sight - and scent!

Scenic Gardens/Sensuous Pleasures

It may take you time to fight your way through the crowds that throng the market bazaar outside Yu
Gardens in the Old Town. Visitors should allow plenty of time to get there after leaving their luxury
hotels. Shanghai visitors and citizens all enjoy the pleasures of a day exploring the earthly delights of
Yu Gardens.

The walls that surround Yu Gardens divide the space into six scenic areas. Be sure to visit the
magnificent Ming Grand Rockery. Touted as the best example of this garden type, it boasts an
impressive size. Consisting of 2,000 tons of unique yellow stones cemented together with rice glue, it
towers above the garden and the ponds that flow through it.

Also of significance and beauty is the Dragon Wall atop which stands a four-toed dragon, in homage
to the power of this creature in China's history and mythology. Walk across the zigzagging bridge to
the Huxinting Teahouse built by cotton merchants in 1784. Admire the celebrated Exquisite Jade
Rock sculpture located in the Hall of Jade Magnificence, and seek some quiet time in the meditative
Inner Garden.

Setting Sail Along The Huangpu River

Leave behind your cares in your luxurious hotels! Shanghai offers you the freedom of sailing along
the Huangpu River as far as the Yangtze, and maybe even onto the Grand Canal. The trip up the
river provides you plenty of time to relax. You can view the city in a new and unhurried light.

Sail past the internationally recognised Bund. Watch the people as they hustle along the Boardwalk
or admire the Monument to the People's Heroes in Huangpu Park. Sail beneath the Yangpu Bridge
(1993) - one of the world's biggest cable-stay structures. From here, your boat will take you past the
bustling and historic Shanghai Docks towards Wusong Fort, site of a British battle lost in 1842.

All along the shore, you can watch people moving to-and-fro. Boats travel alongside you on this
waterway. Many will stop and turn before they reach where the waters change colour. This occurs
where the Huangpu River meets the Yangtze.

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