After our few days in Singapore our next stop on our tour of Asia was Shanghai.  Now this city is is B I G.  The population is over 23 million and it’s the largest proper city in China. And I have to say I absolutely loved the place.  We stayed in a great hotel – the Westin Bund so we had a great view of the famous skyline and easy access to many of the cities well known sights.

I’ll probably write a few posts on this but I wanted to get started with the Yuyuan Gardens, which is where we went on our first day.  It was overcast and the pictures weren’t great due to a slight lack of motivation on our part but it’s still a pretty incredible place.  The garden was originally built in 1559 and is one of the finer gardens in the area.  I’m not an expert on Asian gardens so let me just tell you – it looks like an Asian garden.

There are beautiful fishponds – I would probably call these goldfish but I think they’re more correctly carp (they’re large, and I like this picture because they’re all moving in the same direction).

I took this picture of the Chinese writing – I was using a wide angle lens that allowed me to give this an interesting perspective, but unfortunately I can’t tell you what it says.

The day was a bit rainy and overcast (reminded me of English weather!) but that didn’t stop us from getting some detail shots.  This is one of the figurines that adorns the sweeping roof.  I always try to take more detail shots when the weather isn’t great; it allows you to hone in on what it was like to be there without being reminded that the weather failed to cooperate.

I took a panorama of the garden which I put together using Photoshop CS4.  It gives a nice feel for what the overall scene looks like – a bridge over the goldfish pond, rocks and plants all around and beautiful buildings surrounding the environment.

After taking some pictures and walking through the garden we also spent some time walking around the general area.  They were getting prepped for the Chinese New Year which is a huge celebration; this year will be the Year of the Dragon.

While walking around the rest of the area there are several markets and tea houses.  I particularly like the picture below; I was trying to capture the hanging lanterns when I spied this woman looking at her friend.  It fit the composition well and I’m very pleased with the bokeh and the focal point directly on her.

For a break during the day we stopped in a famous (and crowded) teahouse called Huxinting.  It was kinda funny because we had absolutely no idea on how to order tea.  Adriana’s drink was served in such a strange looking cup that we had to ask for instructions on how to drink it!

Finally while walking through the markets I snapped this moment in time that I just love – it’s one of the merchants selling his stuff and I really like the way people are not only huddled around him but also the lighting on their face.

I think this is where Gremlins came from!  Next post I’ll be writing about our adventures on Nanjin road and finally my experience on the Bund taking pictures of the awesome buildings of Pudong.