Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

After an uneventful and Ambien-laden flight to Shanghai, I arrived at Pudong Airport more than a bit physically tired and quite a bit psychologically wired. “Three weeks off–Hooray!” kept scrolling across my mind like a stock ticker. As Darren was already there, we headed over to a sketchy (and none too cheap) bar called ‘Red Lips’ across from the Pudong Sofitel where I was staying. We drank quite a bit of Bacardi Raspberri (or something like that), and then stumbled back to the Sofitel for some much-needed booze-snooze.

The next day we walked over to the largest park in Shanghai, Century Park in Pudong, which was a beautifully landscaped (if rather vacant) space.

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Entrance to Century Park

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It said no climbing, but hey, what a shot!

I also saw more than a few hilarious signs in the park (as with all places in China….why don’t they hire me to proofread?). Partake of the hilarity, beware the riprap:

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Lest you slip into the riprap, this sign provides a warning. I believe the stickperson’s feet are transmitting radio waves.

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(More pictures below the fold!)

Here’s a few more fun pictures of us traipsing around Century Park:

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Darren getting friendly with a topiary moose.

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My hotel (Sofitel) as seen from Century Park. Its the one with the UFO on top.

Across from Century Park is the brand new and uber-impressive Shanghai Science and Technology Museum which blew away just about every science museum I’d ever been to in the States (although I have yet to go to the Creation Museum, so perhaps I should reserve jusgement. Heh.) The museum itself is a huge avalance of curved glass with a geodesic sphere in the center (which has a sphere in the center of THAT sphere). It had an IMAX theater and a slew of exhibits from neuroscience to the rainforest.

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From the inside of the dome.

One weird and quite fascinating thing we got to witness was the birth of an exhibit in the museum. We walked through a room “in progress” which in the States would have been closed or cordoned off, but here we were able to see an enormous mural in the process of being painted by 5 painters at once. There were also loads of taxidermied animals in various states of assembly, and some still in boxes, that were set out to be arranged in the exhibit.

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More funny signs were seen in the museum:

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Recognize this guy?

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i-c62016aa5a7b72e0941d9616f8c0a8c5-jin mao.jpg After spending a bit more time playing in the hands-on portion of the museum (sweet!) we headed back to the Sofitel to put on non-sweat-soaked clothes (yeah, humid and in the 90s) for dinner. And not just ANY dinner. No no. I made reservations at Canton which is on top of the Jinmao Tower (right), currently the 5th tallest building in the world and the tallest building in China. There’s four restaurants up there, along with a swanky bar on an even higher floor (87th), called Cloud Nine. The lower floors have a Hyatt hotel and a lot of offices.

Canton, as you might guess, is a cantonese-style chinese resturant. This style of cooking comes from the southern region around Guangzhou and isn’t spicy like Szcheuan cooking, but rather relies on lots of savory dishes, seafood, and unique flavor pairings. For example, we had Ginger Tamarind Duck with Mango Sauce, which really was just heavenly.

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After dinner we headed up to Cloud Nine and enjoyed a couple cocktails (there was a minimum spending limit just to get on the elevator to the bar) and the gorgeous view from high above Shanghai.

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Then, the taxi ride home to Pudong on the other side of the river to rest up for another full day. Stay tuned for more.


  1. #1 J-Dog
    July 3, 2007

    Row! Rhat a nice scenery! View as sprendid, yes?

    My son’s best friend is visiting family there too. You’ll recognize him right away, he is Chinese, and has black hair and his name is Kevin Huang. Don’t confuse him with his other good friend Kevin Wang, who is Chineese and has black hair.

    Watch Your Steps!

  2. #2 Jonathan
    July 3, 2007

    I’m pleased to see somebody else having great travel adventures in this part of the world. Base as it may be I never tire of Chinglish. Look forward to hearing more stories.


  3. #3 Cathy
    July 3, 2007

    Pretty pictures, thanks for sharing.

    I’m not sure why “riprap” is funny though. It’s the correct English word for big jagged rocks that cover a beach to prevent erosion. Wikipedia has a picture:

  4. #4 Shelley
    July 3, 2007

    Wow Cathy! Thanks for adding that. Guess I’m not giving them enough credit. 🙂

  5. #5 bsci
    July 3, 2007

    I know the Exploratorium in San Francisco has an open and viewable section where you can see people making the new exhibits. I’m fairly sure I’ve seen that in other places too although taxidermy, in general, is less often done in US science museums.

  6. #6 grubout
    July 3, 2007

    The nose on the figure in the “watch your steps” sign is superfluous. The bottom two photos suggest before and after cocktails. Looking forward to more vacation snaps.

  7. #7 Andre
    July 5, 2007

    Nice photies!

    That picture with the buck in it; is it supposed to be a local (Chinese) or African scene? It looks like Springbuck from Africa.

    Man; me wanna go to China long time 😀

    Favourite picture “Take care of the Green”. Ahem.

    Welcome back and all that.

  8. #8 bernarda
    July 9, 2007

    For more use of English of a sort in the Far East, particularly Japan, try the site Engrish.

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