Our first morning in China started with breakfast in our hotel. For many of us it was very strange eating things like rice, noodles and steamed buns instead of cereal or Vegemite toast. There were many other traditional Chinese foods on offer and it was great to see everyone trying the food.
The sightseeing started at the Oriental Pearl Tower which gave us great views of the city in all directions from 263 metres above the ground. We all had a great time walking around on the glass floor and taking photos. There was also an excellent exhibition showing how Shanghai has developed from a small fishing village to the huge city it is today.
Next stop was lunch at the market and time to practice our bargaining skills before we hit the big markets in Beijing! Students went off in small groups to find their own lunch. Plenty of bargains were found and some great stories shared when the group gathered together.
Our guide Sam then took us to the Shanghai Museum. The displays here are divided into different halls for things such as calligraphy, ceramics, currency, painting, jade, furniture, sculpture and currency.
Dinner was very good with a wide range of dishes for everyone to try. We all ate with chop sticks and the food was very nice.
The highlight of our day was definitely the Shanghai Circus performance we went to after dinner. There was an amazing range of acrobats, contortion acts, hat juggling and gymnastics. The final act was the motor bike riders who performed inside a big metal sphere. These daredevils rode at high speed around inside the sphere, riding upside down at times. This performance started with one rider and ended up with five riders criss crossing and missing each other by only centimetres!
After the circus we made a quick visit to see the Bund at night. The lights on the old buildings looked fantastic and we could also view the lights of the skyscrapers in the financial district.