Art & Places: Giant Sundial, Pudong, Shanghai, China

When I saw this giant sundial while visiting Shanghai last February, it reminded me of my son who is quite amazed with how a sundial works.

Completed in April 2000, this giant sundial sculpture, known as Oriental Light, is situated at the eastern end of Century Avenue, forming the entrance to Century Square, Pudong, Shanghai. This large scale sculpture  which represents a huge time piece also serves as public modern art and the first of it’s kind of large-scale urban landscape sculptures in China. The large elliptical frame measures 400 square meters and the total length of the stainless steel tubes used exceeds 6,000 meters. Oriental Light was built based on an idea by French architect, Jean Marie Charpentier.

A sundial is an instrument that measures time by the position of the sun. Called “rigui” in Chinese, a sundial is a timepiece that indicates the daylight hours by the shadow that the gnomon casts on a calibrated dial in ancient China. A typical sundial is made up of a bronze pointer and a stone dial. The earliest sundial in the world was created some 6,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. And the earliest sundial of China, according to historical documents, was the flat horizontal dial plate, or the horizontal sundial invented in 574 AD.

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Andaz Shanghai hotel – a boutique-inspired hotel


When I step foot at the hotel during the Avon trip last month, my jaw dropped. I was so amazed that the hotel is so beautiful.

Andaz is Hyatt’s new collection of contemporary, boutique-inspired hotels, located in the dynamic, distinctive neighbourhoods of key world cities and inspiring resorts. This hotel is located in Xintiandi—a landmark entertainment area in the heart of down town Shanghai, internationally acclaimed for its restored Shikumen architecture housing stylish restaurants, bars, and boutiques.

Dining and entertainment options include Andaz Lounge, the heart of the hotel in the main lobby; Éclair, an all-day patisserie specialising in classic, cream-filled French pastries; and the signature restaurant Hai Pai—meaning “modern Shanghainese spirit”—a combination of French bistro and Shanghainese brasserie which offers unpretentious comfort food and aspires to being Xintiandi’s friendly neighbourhood restaurant.
And when I got to my room, I was more amazed. It is so beautiful and I felt like a VIP. I think I got the Andaz large King room. Very spacious.

This stylishly contemporary 48-sqm guestroom has one king bed along with views of Huai Hai Road shopping neighbourhood. LED lights on the ceiling adjust to suit any mood, while the modern bathroom includes heated floors, electronic toilet and glowing translucent bathtub. Complimentary amenities include Internet access, daily newspaper and refreshments in the Andaz lounge.

My favourite spot is the sitting area. It overlooks Shanghai city and the glass window is awesome; My glass window says ‘You’re Alive. Do Something.’  Elaine, the Avon Manager got a quote in French.

Guess how much the room cost? 1400 Renmingbi (about RM680!). For more information about Andaz Shanghai hotel, do visit their website. You can also book the room online. Thank you so much to Avon for sponsoring the whole thing.

I am feeling generous and decide that first commenter got to get a Shanghai fridge magnet from me and a linky love in this post.

First commenter and lucky winner:

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In pursuit of shopping happiness in Shanghai

The Avon trip to Shanghai was very pact with events and on the second day after visiting Avon’s R&D Center and lunch, we were told by Alex, our tour guide, that we could do shopping at Nanjing Road.

Nanjing Road is known as the #1 Commercial Street in Shanghai. The road stretches from The Bund east towards Hongqiao, with Shanghai’s centerpoint People’s Square in the middle. Nanjing Road is about 6 km long and world’s longest shopping district. And can you believe that it attracts over 1 million visitors daily? Better believe it.

There are hundreds of shops, many with a rich history. As a rough generalization, Nanjing East Road is more historical but Nanjing West Road is brash, modern and caters more to the status-conscious luxury shopper. There’s Louis Vuitton, Girodano, you-name-all-the-established brands, they got it.

Pizza Hut ada, KFC pun ada…

But, these stuff were not quite what I was looking for. All these branded stuff can be found easily in KL. Not really satisfied, I asked Alex are there any other shopping areas that sell things Shanghaian. At first he was reluctant, maybe because we were short of time, but after explaining that I am going to get a cab the next day before leaving for the airport in the afternoon, then he told me that there is a place called Old Shanghai Street. I liked the sound of the name and told other members in our group about it. We decided to go together the next morning after breakfast.

Nevertheless, I took some pictures along Nanjing Road before leaving on the tour back to the hotel to get ready for the launching dinner.

Cab and bus…

There’s Baleno, Tissot, Sofitel, eh KFC lagi…

Mei Sin (very front) while Siti and Elaine in the middle.

The most interesting view on Nanjing Road. Look at the cheeks! 

So after breakfast the next day, we took two cabs (there were 5 of us) and headed to Old Shanghai Street. Cab fare was like 15 Renmingbi, very cheap.   Upon seeing old buildings, I clapped my hands. But that went without sound as I was wearing knitted gloves. The weather was 5 Degree Celcius and taking off the gloves for few minutes would makes my hands go numb. So I jumped to joy to show my excitement instead after getting out of the cab. “This is more like it,” I told Elaine and Siti and they nodded in agreement.

Old Shanghai Street. Yay!

Soo Wincci posed for my camera in front of a cotton candy and strawberry toffees stall.

A gift shop…

A stamp shop…

Traditional clothing shop…

traditional music instruments shop…

and more shops.

I could go on and on and on showing you all the pictures but I think these are enough to put a heavy load on your computer. Basically, I had fun exploring all the shops on Old Shanghai Street with Elaine. Siti, Wincci and Mei Sin were missing  since cotton candy and strawberry toffees. Wincci texted us saying they could not find us and that they were going back to the hotel first. Haha, Elaine and me got carried away in doing our shopping. Who wouldn’t? This is the best place to go shopping in Shanghai. Frankly, two hours were not enough. Elaine even have the thought of extending our stay another day just for shopping. But that was not possible as she has an event the next day in KL.

If you are visiting Shanghai, do drop by Old Shanghai Street. Just take a cab from your hotel and before you leave the hotel, do take the hotel card so that it will be easier for you to return to the hotel by showing the card to the cab driver. Most of the cab drivers do not speak English.

Here is me. I found two-hours of pure happiness doing shopping on Old Shanghai Street.

I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.
~Tammy Faye Bakker

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