China, fitness, free, girls, plantbased, running, student, travel, vegan, workouts

Fitness is a universal language 

If all days could be like today I would be one very happy girl! 

I’m I started off by going for a 7am run to one of the parks that we found last night. After running for about 15minutes I stumbled upon a sign for an outdoor fitness centre so went to see what it was like and saw lots of Chinese people working out. I went to the bars and did some pull ups and everyone in the park gathered around and watched me! Some even took photos! It was really odd but everyone was so nice and tried to talk to me in English! I ended up doing some calisthenics bits with a few of the guys and said that I would try to come back tomorrow. 

The park was full of older Chinese people working out, doing Thai chi and playing games. It was such a nice thing to see and completely different to anything that I’ve seen in a London park!

I got pretty lost on the way back to the hostel and ended up running around Shanghai for an extra 30 minutes looking for an M&S that I was using for a reference point. The streets all look the same and turned into a bit of a maze (I hadn’t took my phone or a map so had to do quite a lot of guess work- sorry mum if you’re reading this!)

After finally getting back to the hostel, leah and I went to find some breakfast (fruit for us both) and walked to the Bund. The Bund has a really famous skyline as all of the buildings look completely unique and contrast against each other. 

  
After the Bund we went via the ‘site seeing tunnel’ to the Pudong area. The tunnel was a really strange experience and it’s something that everyone that gets the chance to should try out. You zoom along an underground tunnel with flashing lights in a cable car with a strange voice over repeating something about a ‘swirly widely section’…It was something out of Flash Goron! 

The Pudong area was quite interesting. It’s the financial district of Shanghai so there were lots of tall buildings and people rushing around. It was here that leah and I had our first  dim sum experience from a chain restaurant. We ordered at the desk, collected our dim sum from the kitchen ourselves and then tried to find a table to sit at. The place was rammed so we had to perch on the side of a table with a Chinese family. We then had to wait for our noodles to be brought to our table (where they had to find us using a small numbered sign). The meal was a bit manic but the food was actually really tasty!

After getting the Flash Gordon tunnel back to the Bund we had our first experience with a public toilet in Shanghai. We’d heard horror stories about them in our hostel but they were no where near as bad as we were expecting! 

Next for the day was a visit to the Old Town. This was the place that I picture when I think of China! The buildings seemed straight out of the movies with high peaked roofs, wooden frames and everywhere dotted with bits and pieces of red. The market area was absolutely buzzing with people queuing up with over 40 for the popular food vendors! 

  
We visited a busy temple in the Old Town but honestly we didn’t know the history of the place nor why it was so popular now. It was just really scenic and it was nice too see how other people behaved in there; people were lighting insence sticks from a fire in the middle of the courtyard, bowing to the statues in shrines and putting money in the boxes dotted around the temple.  

  
After being on our feet all day with the heat and humidity (both really high) we went back to the hostel to freshen up a little. We went to a restaurant in a shopping plaza for dinner called the bellagio which looked like it served the most delicious dessert (a mango sorbet pilled sky high) which we didn’t get to try because we were so full from dinner! 

Instead of dessert we walked back to the bund to check out its sky line in the night from a rooftop bar… It was amazing! All of the tall buildings in the financial district were putting on a light show (they kept flashing I love SH on- my initials plus that of Shanghai) and the atmosphere of the bar we were in was perfect!  

  

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