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A Shanghai Tour to Cherish and Remember


As their wives and husbands handled business at the AfDB annual meetings yesterday, spouses of delegates engaged in their own business: touring Shanghai's famous scenic spots. Some 60 spouses of delegates began their two-day tour at the Shanghai History Museum in the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, during the morning. Dressed in traditional national clothes, they seemed impressed by Shanghai's culture and with the city's history. While walking through the recreated nongtang, or lane, they snapped pictures of real-sized models in period dresses. "What I have seen here today is totally different from what I have thought before, today's Shanghai has made great improvements in the city's construction and economic development," said Farida Lawal Sani, wife of an executive director of AfDB from Nigeria. It is her first visit to Shanghai. "The city is very beautiful and the people are very nice," she said. Fatma Bouallagui from Tunisia said that China's economy is developing much faster than many other countries she had visited before. "I'm quite impressed by Shanghai's fast economic growth within such a short time," said Karen Angela Gantsho from South Africa, wife of a vice-president of AfDB, also a first time visitor to Shanghai. The group lunched at a revolving restaurant at the top of the 267-meter tall Oriental Pearl TV Tower that provided a panoramic view of the Huangpu River. "Chinese food is tasty and the city is so beautiful," Cecilia Fordwor from Ghana said. The next stop was Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, which is located in east of People's Square, which displays Shanghai's city planning and construction achievements. The spouses seemed impressed by a film that showed the old Shanghai, its current images and a blueprint for further development. "It is spectacular," Gantsho said. "It's so wonderful and interesting. I want to visit Shanghai again to see its future growth". While seeing a mini-model of the city, which is shrunk to a 1:500 scale, the visitors were pleased. "China has a long history with splendid culture, now the city is full of tall buildings. I hope China to retain more of their traditional culture," said Marcelline Dacoury-Tabley from Cote D'Ivoire, as she watched the mini-model. Later, they toured the Shanghai Museum and displays of ancient Chinese collections. Today, the spouses will visit Zhujiajiao, the water town in the suburbs of the city known as the "Venice of Shanghai".

(Source:China Daily, 2007-05-19)