Panda-monium

30 May

So, where was I? Ah, yes, Shanghai – and I had forgotten to tell you about the museum.

So, I did decide to go to the museum – they said it was good – and it’s free!

Shanghai Museum (2)Shanghai Park (2)

It’s a really odd building – modern outside but really quite traditional inside. I don’t usually ‘do’ museums (apart from the ones where you can play with stuff) but this one was fascinating – it’s open and light, and really well laid out inside. I was sad that the calligraphy section was closed (I love Chinese calligraphy) but there were some real joys to be found…

The history of Chinese seals (you always get one of these on a piece of Chinese art, and they are essential to the bureaucracy – as we will find in a later post)

Shanghai Museum (4)Shanghai Museum (5)

Beautiful jade pieces….

Shanghai Museum (9)Shanghai Museum (10)

Some wonderful dragons….

Shanghai Museum (19)

Interesting furniture….

Shanghai Museum (7)Shanghai Museum (8)

Some fabulous clothes from around China’s ethnic minorities….

Shanghai Museum (17)Shanghai Museum (18)

I did find one guy going from cabinet to cabinet photographing EVERYTHING…I don’t want to get invited back for his holiday snapshots photo evening..

There’s a collection of Chinese coins – although once you’ve seen the first few round coins with a square hole in the middle, it stops being quite so interesting.. although there are some early shells, and the axe shaped coins that they used to use (which probably made a real mess of your trouser pockets)

And this random collection of beautiful things…

Shanghai Museum (14)Shanghai Museum (24)

and some things that are not so beautiful

Shanghai Museum (21)

And here are some pictures from the main shopping street….

Shanghai Nanjing Rd (3)Shanghai Nanjing Rd (4)

Now, I think to myself….while I am in Shanghai, I might as well go to the zoo…they have pandas!

The zoo is great – of course, one of the great joys is watching the Chinese people at play… I saw a handful of Western faces and that’s all. It’s a huge open space too, so everyone’s having a really chilled time for around $4 entry. The Chinese don’t seem to understand the concept of ‘no feeding’ or ‘no banging on the glass’ though.

Lots of space means the animals get lots of space too, which is nice.

Of course, the huge draw is the group of pandas here. They have red pandas scurrying round – very inquisitive creatures…and cute! I think these are now my favourite animals ever!

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and there are five Great Pandas too – for Expo 2010 ten pandas joined the zoo – and three of them stayed behind. So, panda facts – there are about 1600 of them in the wild in China, consuming around 15kg of bamboo per day. And they are near sighted…I kept exploring and I kept finding more pandas.

So we had pandas eating, pandas sleeping, and pandas wandering round…

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Fabulous to be so close to these creatures. I’ve loved pandas for ages – my first cuddly toy was a panda called (creatively) Panda, who I still have – and for my 21st birthday my brother bought me a 4’ tall cuddly panda… I nearly gave him away when I left for this trip, but between my son and I we just couldn’t do it.

What else did we have.. bears, tigers, pumas, a really cool group of giraffes…. giant turtles and bonkers birds…

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we had lions being cuddly and sociable…

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…peacocks showing off… and an orang utan who was just plain chilled out..

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I had very very tired legs at the end of it – but I did have a fabulous fabulous day!

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