Slumming it in magical Shanghai

Photos and text by Ali

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Unlike Singapore which can feel sterile, and Delhi which is utter chaos, Shanghai hums with peaceful harmony. Shanghainese people are polite and friendly. Parks are filled with trees and lotus ponds. Modern architecture complements local temples. Contemporary art galleries are brilliantly curated.  Shanghai is a dreamlike paradise flowing with a fresh new attitude.

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Lotuses at Jing’an Park,  and Jing’an Temple – central Shanghai

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Before the shops open, uninhibited citizens occupy urban spaces. They practice tai chi, chi gung, fan dancing, slow marching, badminton, and martial arts displays.

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High and low culture acts like yin and yang, playfully pushing each other’s opposing buttons.

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The old coexists alongside edgy innovation. New technology references hints of the past.

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Electronic billboards provide backdrop for temple gables

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Civic spaces respectfully cater to the elderly

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The metro system is cheap and easy to navigate, with stops signposted in both Mandarin and English.

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 This efficient public transport system allowed us to explore many parts of the city. The rest of the time we traveled on foot, covering much distance in a single day.

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My personal aim for this research trip was to find nourishment and inspiration from contemporary art and the new trends in Shanghai.

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IMG_1510.JPGI also wanted to make new contacts for future yoga-based group excursions from NZ.

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Shanghai exceeded my expectations. Some of the new art was mind-blowing, mixing traditional and iconic images with cutting-edge digital technology.

IMG_1524.JPGThere was also plenty of interesting street art, installations, and boutique shopping spaces.

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Numerous gardens complimented central business districts .

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There was no shortage of tasty vegetarian food and great place to enjoy a quiet drink.

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You could spend 6 months in Shanghai and a still not see everything the city has to offer. It is a city that I hope to return to as soon as I can.

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Just in case anyone was interested in joining me on my next group excursion, we found a great inner city yoga space to run classes from. Put a visit to Shanghai on your bucket list ! You won’t be disappointed.

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For more information email Ali at nzyogacentre@gmail.com

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