Yesterday a group of classmates and I went on a scavenger hunt around the French Concession area near the Bund. If you are ever in Shanghai and are looking to blow a lot of money, this is the place you want to be in. I am not joking, a little personal pizza costs about 120 Kuai or about $20 US. This place is really nice, but the prices are just ridiculous. I feel like I was pick-pocketed after eating lunch here. That aside, there is a lot to do in this area. For our scavenger hunt, we had to visit various museums and learn about some of China’s history. Next month there will be a celebration of the 90th year since the Chinese Communist Party was formed, so there has been a surge in the number of people attending these kind of museums. The first museum we went to was just for the history of the foundation of the Communist party.
Shanghai is a very important place when it comes to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s history. Just a little background: The CCP and the Kuomintang party were both fighting the invading Japanese forces together in the early 1900’s. One day, the KMT decided that they didn’t want any chance of Communist forces having a say in their government after the Japanese were driven out. In Shanghai, this decision led to the massacre of many members of the Communist party and even some bystanders. This was the start of the Communist party’s great struggle and eventual “long march.”
After the CCP museum, we went to FuXing Park. This place is really beautiful and is a great spot for night life such as clubs, bars, and drunk people watching. In the day time though, you can see many elderly Chinese playing chess with each other and couples dancing to slow music.
After the park, we visited the former residence of Mao’s right hand man, Zhou Enlai. It was a really fancy mansion that he lived in. Apparently when he was living in Shanghai, the KMT had a lookout post right across the street to keep an eye on him and the others 24/7 .
On the way back home, we took the bus because we were exhausted from walking so much. While on the bus, I learned one thing: the drivers keep it real. They are the most aggressive people on the road and our driver yesterday in particular was the man. This guy was driving a stick shift bus with one hand while he was either talking on his phone or drinking tea with the other.