After an exciting morning meeting Yao Ming and hearing his humbling interview, we got the rest of the day off to enjoy our second to last day in Shanghai. I can’t believe our time here in China was coming to an end already. It has been an eye-opening and insightful experience seeing how much the country has developed. Even though I don’t have any prior experience to compare it with, I think China has truly lived up to its potential and exceeded my expectations. While there are still many things the country and its people need to work on, their progress is impressive. I look forward to visiting this country again in the future.
Van and I decided we had seen enough shiny skyscrapers and headed back to the Tian Zi Fang area. This time we wanted to explore the more modernized Xin Tian Di. Known for its fancy restaurants and shops, we walked down the alley in awe and admiration. This was definitely an upgrade from the cozier streets we had visited earlier this week.
It was interesting to see how different this area was compared to Taikang Road. On our way here we passed by big fashion houses like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. The restaurants here served gourmet dishes for a high price, a big contrast to the small local shops and street vendors at Taikang Road. There seemed to be more foreigners here and locals were dressed in the most recent fashion styles.
We soon wandered into a big mall at the end of the alley and ended up enjoying some desserts there. We didn’t want to eat a late lunch because we were meeting up with the rest of the Worldstrides tour for our last dinner. It was nice just relaxing and reminiscing over our adventures the past week and a half. On our way back to the subway station, we found an adoring little alley and decided to take some final nostalgic pictures. It was clear this was a more private local neighborhood. Despite it not really having an “attraction,” finding it and experiencing it made me appreciate these small cultural gems in a big city a lot more.
We had an incredible time learning about China’s culture and modern society. I couldn't be more grateful to have this opportunity to travel with Chapman's business school and meet so many new people both from America and China. Thank you China. Stay inspiring.