Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Shanghai Daily Science podcasts and the Shanghai Postal Museum

Shanghai Daily newspaper has a range of podcasts that serve as English language audio guides to an eclectic collection of museums in Shanghai. These include the Shanghai Postal Museum, the Museum of Traditional Medicine, the Earthquake Museum and the Shanghai Eyeglasses Museum. I tested one out at the Shanghai Postal Museum. After a short argument I lost control of the iphone and followed my 6 year old son around, being fed choice bits of information. It was quite a surreal experience, walking around an almost deserted museum listening to a pleasant male voice with a strong Scottish accent describe the exhibits!
Starting with bits of clay inscribed with messages for an emperor, we then passed through an interactive display of signal towers being lit on the great wall. There was a history of stamps, post boxes from around the world, posties as revolutionary fighters and unionists, and then the enormous expansion of the postal system to service Shanghai (and China's) huge population. It was really interesting.
The museum is housed in a beautiful 'eclectic style' building from the 1920s/30s, and there is a roof garden which was closed when we went. Many of the displays feature interactive elements to keep children button pushing, and there is a lot of old postal equipment on display. Definitely worth the (free) admission. The English translations are adequate but the podcast is a great bonus.

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