Water Lily Season at Guyi Gardens

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On this humid day in Shanghai, the sky is the color of sea foam and the air hangs heavily on our shoulders, we feel it as we walk down the street, eyes hungering after ice cold water and the breeze from the neighboring convenient store’s open doors.

(Apologies again, this is one of many belated posts regarding my summer in Shanghai)

img_1877_zpsrxxgfolgWe arrived at Guyi Garden in the midst of the summer heat. It was morning yet the sun had already emerged in full bloom along with the garden’s water lilies. img_1826_zpscln3n6wb

Located in Nanxiang of the Jiading District, Guyi Garden has been around since the Ming Dynasty when it served as a private garden to a magistrate. Through the dynasties, the garden continued to expand and transform into what it is today: a public space for enjoying nature, conversation, morning exercise routines, and gatherings of retired friends playing cards.

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Shanghai’s London Inspired Town – Thames Town

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Out of nowhere, in Shanghai’s Songjiang new district, you may stumble upon this extraordinary British-inspired “village” – Thames Town, whose name is derived from London’s River Thames.

We came here during our day trip to Songjiang and almost, for a second, I got all flustered thinking somehow I had been dragged back to the western civilization against my will.img_1651_zps17y0qvai

The relatively new Thames Town was initially constructed in 2006 as part of a One City, Nine Towns plan under the watch of a British architecture firm. Many of the buildings are exactly modeled off of existing establishments in England, including the church in the image above.

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Now, Thames Town has become extremely popular for wedding photography (we saw countless grooms & brides running around with their photographers) and also hobbyists, arms filled with spare lens (I can relate to this feeling).

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Bye Bye Shanghai

(above: exo’s D.O. came to give me his best wishes, what a sweetheart)

With anything, comes one’s time of departure. The pastry egg tarts, the boom of construction sites rising and falling, dancing grandmas and their fans, will all reside into memories of days past. I’ve been so blessed this whole way through for my experience in China.

This last post is about a fun local park adventure – packed with cute dogs, dancing old ladies, and slice-of-life Shanghai. Continue reading