Back in March, I entered "Shanghai best secrets" as a late-night assignment for the Google search engine. The top result was a CNN Travel article entitled "5 ridiculously beautiful places right next to the Shanghai metro." Ever felt, when a trip's become near enough to not ignore any longer, that it's somehow one's responsibility as a traveler to go where tourists aren't driven to by their air-conditioned buses? The thrill of discovery is not the most accessible pleasure.
Number two on that list was a farm, so by virtue of country of origin, that was quickly crossed off. Number three was a wetland park beside the Science and Technology Museum, but both of us had already been to Beijing's on separate occasions, so no trip to the museum meant no wetland park. Number four was a wheat field, like are you kidding me? And number five was a tulip garden that, according to the guide, was beside the Expo site, but turned out to be across the river, which really dampened our mood for a bit.
So we went with number one: Wusongkou Paotaiwan Wetland Park. Paotaiwan means "cannon bay," and that's because the park was artificially constructed out of a seaside fortress.
Above: Descriptions and details on stone. Below: Pond!
But really, what you go to this park for is the chance to see the meeting point of Shanghai's puny Huangpu River and China's almighty Yangtze River. Below: From the left, the waters of the Yangtze, and from the right, the Huangpu estuary.
Trivia: A relatively large amount of Shanghai cut off as a circle centered on the Lujiazui financial district in Pudong will fit on the Yangtze estuary, where it joins the East China Sea, with lots of room to spare. Because everything must be big in China.
Ships exiting the Huangpu for greater seas, and seaside corridors.
A wreck! We asked ourselves: Was the park built around the wreck, or was the wreck built around the park?
The Shell Theater. It plays with echoes and the elements.
The Stone Garden. A layer of dirt or whatever semi-solid had formed over the pools, and I thought it was ice, so I touched it and fed my finger with muck.
A museum (that, one can only assume, receives who-knows-how-many visitors a day).
Shanghai's Corregidor, yea?
Okay, here's a nice heartfelt confession: Our visit to this place fulfilled my lifelong ambition to visit a wetland park. Long live Earth! Next stop: The Serengeti!