I had a bit of a late morning the next day and left the guest house close to midday.
I was solo again and had to search for a suitable place to eat for one person. I came across a small quiet store on the main road to the station. Only having a menu on the wall, I surprised myself by how smoothly ordering food went. In my poor mandarin, I asked the man “what is good to eat?” and he asked “rice or noodles”, I picked the rice option and asked for one of whatever he recommended. I was becoming a Chinese in no time!
Although I didn’t know what I ate, it was quite nice and only put me back a mere 15RMB which is about $3. Afterwards, I got the train to the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Station. Luckily Shanghai doesn’t seem to have that much creativity with station names so I didn’t have that much trouble getting to my destination which was the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. The only hassle was the persistent people trying to sell you things even after you declined kindly, so I had to end up just ignoring them and kept walking. I’m not sure which exit I came out from but the area around the museum was really awesome.
The ground was made from symmetrical concrete blocks connecting the long foot paths on both sides that mysteriously stretched to other parts of the city shrouded in mist.
The courtyard was outlined by low well kept greenery and two spectacular silver and black buildings contrasted with the pale blue sky on the remaining sides to complete the picture.
The Museum building itself was amazing and the architecture was much befitting for the Shanghai museum of Technology and Science.
The entrance was built on a slope so the the building looked almost 4D while the massive globe displayed at the front centre of the museum rotated impressively.
The entrance fee was 60RMB which is about 10AUD. I wondered around the first level where there were many sections dedicated to different provinces of China and how they evolved or gave advances to science or technology.
While it sounds interesting, these sections was deserted with not a person to be seen and some displays were not even turned on. I was also not really in the mood to stand around reading large blocks of text about things I wasn’t particularly interested about.
After a good 45 minutes, I didn’t make it through all the ‘parks’ and was disappointed thinking that that was all of the Museum. Confused, I wandered around some more and found an information desk where I asked if there was more to the Museum. Of course she didn’t know much English but she handed me a brochure with information about the Museum and recommended courses through the Museum. That was when I realised that the actual exhibits started on level 2 (to be fair, the place was huge and it wasn’t exactly obvious). I handed the door woman my ticket to get in which was the start of the most amazing and fascinating Museum experience I had ever come across. I followed the “family” recommended route (as well as the most straight forward route) as opposed to the other recommended routes listed for teenagers or elderly.
The animal section was first which animal exhibit which was this amazing room with animals displays from all over the world in their respective natural habitat, even Australia – even though it was the most lacking animal display there.
There was a rock display, as well as insects, reptiles, birds, plants which led onto other exhibits of bacteria and microbiology information rooms titled under the spectrum of life exhibition.
huge insects that moved as you walked beneath though. Actually quite scary.
mouse with ear on its back – product of gene research
I returned back to the animal exhibit to go up stairs to the spider exhibit where spiders were “everywhere but seldom known”.
They had information boards along with specimen displays on many spiders from funnel webs to the worlds largest spider, the “Theraphosa Blondi”.
With a leg span of 25 centimetres, its pretty big but not as big as I would’ve thought considering it IS the worlds largest spider – which is a relief. It does look nasty though and the hairier it is, the more scary it is so it is still, quite frightening so I don’t think I will be visiting the tropical rainforests of Latin America any time soon. Or ever, unless I’m equipped with a space suit.
Next up I visited Leonardo De Vincis Mechanical Inventions and Robots exhibition which was a massive room full of his weird and wacky inventions ranging from weapons to hexagonal mirrors to his anatomical research.
my hand in this picture looks so scary, i had to check to see if it wasn’t the same in other pictures.
Thirsty, I got a drink from the high tech vending machine which grabs your drink with a mechanical hand. I moved onto the Robots exhibit which had some amazing interactive displays.
There were exhibits where you could play 4 in a row checkers with a robot, verse a robot in archery, or sing while a robot plays the piano.
Another exhibit allowed you have your portrait drawn by a robot which was pretty amazing.
the robot beat me
Having already spent almost 3 hours in the museum, I wasn’t even half way through yet. I picked up my pace and zoomed through the Information Era, Home on Earth, Light of Exploration, Human and Earth, and Space exhibits, just making it before the museum closed.
I would go through all of them however there was just so many amazing things in each exhibition that it would take too long!
From real life space rocket models to going on a ride through the digestive track to all the different televisions since its invention.
the strawberry i sat in for the ride through the digestive track
the stomach acid dissolving me
dont know – some sort of bacteria close to the rectum?
and finally we got pooped out
My sense of wonder and appreciation for the world was widen along with a bit of insignificance.
It was about to hit 6pm and the sun was nowhere to be seen. As I walked back onto level 2, the large globe that was rotating at the front was now glowing bright blue lighting up the courtyard in a blue haze. Unfortunately, just as I exited the Museum to take a picture from outside, the lights turned off as the Museum was closing down.
There was so much I saw and even though I got through most of the exhibits, there was so much more to see and do if time permitted. I was however exhausted towards the end of the exhibitions so I felt like I couldn’t fully appreciate it.
I visited a Chinese restaurant for dinner(lunch would be more correct) in the underground shopping leading to the subway station.
I arrived back my hostel and went out again to have some dinner with a friend before going out again to a club located somewhere, I think it is called number 88 or 88 or something with the number 8 and is located… somewhere in Shanghai – apparently its a very Chinese club but all I saw were foreigners. My friend told me foreigners come here if they want to pick up a Chinese girl so he couldn’t have been more right. There were drunk girls flinging themselves at white guys even when the other girls were telling her she needs to go home. The club was packed and we struggled to find places to sit not to mention stand.
It was grand and done up with appearances from european DJs, clowns on stilts and even a full blown singing and dancing performance with backup dancers and everything.
You could easily spot the wealthy Chinese guys and the overly done up girls who want to get with 1. a wealthy Chinese man or 2. a white foreigner. There was even an old man there with his granddaughter but we later found out it wasn’t his granddaughter. The club closed at around 4am and I came out reeking of cigarette smoke once again. The club closed at around 4am and I caught the cab home with the rest of my mates but not before getting a sneaky cup noodle from the convenience store(thank you shanghai for having stores that are open past 10pm) to satisfy my nibbles back at the guest house.