On a recent business trip to Shanghai I had an extra day and decided to find a local tour guide. This was my sixth business trip to Shanghai, and on prior trips I had seen the typical tourist areas (French Concession, Bund, Pudong, Jade Buddha). I asked Jenny to help me plan a day focused on the history and culture of Shanghai and China. Portia, whose English is excellent, met me bright and early at my hotel. She arranged for a car to take us to several unique sites, the highlight of which was a privately maintained propaganda poster museum which offered new insights (at least for this Westerner) into Chinese history and political outlook from the 30’s through the 70’s.
We spent the second half of the day cycling through old Shanghai, which was a bit daunting at first, but Portia showed me how Shanghai traffic is truly a ballet of smoothly weaving wheels and not the pandemonium it looks like from the sidewalk. We visited multi-family pre-war dwellings that will almost certainly be lost to Shanghai’s wildly rapid development, a lunch of local Shanghai cuisine (definitely not a tourist locale), the Shanghai marriage market, alleyways with fighting cricket shops, and the remains of a Ming Dynasty city wall. We finished our tour allowing the meditative zen of the Shanghai Confucian Temple to seep away the cycling adrenaline, after which Portia ensured I was safely deposited at my hotel, ready for a good night’s sleep. I highly recommend Jenny’s Tours and look forward to custom-designing my next tour with Portia.
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