Nanjing Dong Lu Pedestrian Street has traditionally been regarded as ‘China’s number one shopping street’. While the Bund symbolized British imperial might, Da Ma Lu was always far more egalitarian. Today the road holds little of the cachet it once did and Shanghai’s best shopping is most definitely elsewhere. However, as a spectacle of the crowded, gaudy, neon-lit China of coffee table photo books, it is unbeatable. Evening strollers can expect to be approached with offers of massage and other services from ‘Chinese ladies’, as well as hash and money (rent) boys.
The place we stayed at on our third night was a small and dirty town called JingJiang which is right on the Yangtze River and close to where we could catch the ferry the next day. There also happened to be at least one wedding party staying there the night as well (we could see all their Black Audis adorned in ribbons parked outside), but luckily they still had room for a couple of wandering foreigners. Unfortunately, it seemed that the stress of driving through the Chinese countryside really took its toll on me as I found myself once again falling ill from exhaustion as I did this same time last year in Qingdao. It wasn’t as bad and despite the slight fever, after a night of rest, water, instant noodles, and a TV special movie “Founding of a Republic" (a movie about how the communists found modern China), by morning I was good as new and ready to head into Shanghai.