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Shanghai Travel Guide

Visit Shanghai

Shanghai History
Shanghai which is one of the biggest and most prosperous city in China oozes an atmosphere of vitality, and a dynamic which can rival New York and Paris in terms of modernity now.

But until 1842 Shanghai was a small fishing village. After the first Opium War the village was carved up into autonomous concessions administered concurrently by the British, French, and Americans. Each colonial presence brought with it its particular culture, architecture, and society, marking the beginning of Shanghai's openness to Western influence. In its heyday, Shanghai had the best art, the greatest architecture, and the strongest business in Asia dubbed the "Pairs of the East" in 1920s and 1930s.

During the Second World War, Shanghai was occupied by Japan, economy and culture was serious damaged. Shanghai, in spite of being the cradle of Chinese Communism, was neglected during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1990 Shanghai was chose as the center of the country's commercial renaissance, and it has again become one of China's most open cities ideologically, socially, culturally, and economically.

Today Shanghai serves as the most influential economic, financial, international trade, cultural, science and technology center in East China. In addition to its modernization, Shanghai's multicultural flair endows Shanghai with a unique glamour. Here, one finds the perfect blend of cultures, the modern and the traditional, and the western and the oriental. Western customs and Chinese traditions intertwined that will make a truly memorable experience for visitors.

Shanghai Highlights
Yuyuan Garden
Yuyuan Garden is the largest of Shanghai's ancient gardens with Ming and Qing architectural styles. The French destroyed the garden during the first Opium War, but the area was later rebuilt and renovated. Yuyuan Garden is replete with beautiful pavilions and Qing Dynasty pavilions, lotus ponds, stone bridges and - of course - rock formations. The garden has six areas, each with its own style. The Grand Rockery, in the center of the Garden, is the most renowned sight. It considered the best garden in Southeast China, Yuyuan Garden has maintained its classic beauty over the centuries.

The Bund
Situated on the east bank of the Huangpu River, the Bund is the symbol of Shanghai. New finance and commercial houses as well as grand buildings built in 1930s. The architecture along the Bund comprises such a wide array of Western styles, as well as Chinese styles, that it is renowned the world over as a "World Architectural Exhibition". The 52 buildings that officially make up the Bund span Art Deco, Baroque, Beaux-Arts, Gothic, Neo-Classical, Renaissance and Romanesque styles. Shanghai boasts the largest and richest collection of Art Deco structures in the world. At night bright lights add to the happy atmosphere as people stroll along the wide riverside promenade.

Furthermore you can also visit Jade Buddha Temple, Old Shanghai Teahouse, Shanghai People Square, Shanghai Old Street or other attractions in Shanghai.

Shanghai Facts
Shanghai sits on the Yangtze River Delta on China's eastern coast. Though not the capital, Shanghai is China's most populous city, with over 20 million inhabitants. The vast majority of Shanghai's 6,218 km2   The city has many rivers, canals, streams and lakes and is known for its rich water resources as part of the Taihu drainage area.

Broadly, central shanghai is divided into two areas: pudong (east of the Huangpu river) and puxi (west of the Huangpu river). On the east side of the Huangpu river is pudong, a special economic zone of banks, skyscrapers and new residential compounds. The bund lies on the historic puxi side of the Huangpu River and looks across to the new skyline of pudong business district.

Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate and experiences four distinct seasons. Shanghai winters can be very cold and temperatures often drop well below zero. In contrast, the summers tend to be hot and humid. The best time to visit Shanghai is autumn or spring.

Shanghai has an extensive public transport system, largely based on buses, trolleybuses, taxis, and a rapidly expanding metro system. Shanghai is served by pudong international airport and hong qiao shanghai airport. They are direct international flights between shanghai and some European and American cities. You can choose other ways like bus or taxi to get around in Shanghai. Shanghai itself is not very easy to navigate. Although it’s fascinating to stroll around certain areas, Shanghai’s sheer size and staggering sprawl makes foot-slogging useful only for brief trips.

Shanghai Nowadays
The World Expo exhibits in shanghai this year. If you come to Shanghai should not miss it.The site of Expo 2010 is located between the Nanpu Bridge and Lupu Bridge, in the waterfront area on both sides of the Huangpu River. It covers an area of about 5.28 square kilometers, of which 3.93 square kilometers is in Pudong and 1.35 square kilometers is in Puxi. The exhibition time is May 1, 2010-Oct. 31, 2010. More than one hundred countries and organizations in the world will exhibit in the World Expo. You will enjoy the Expo with colorful culture from different countries.  

What to do
Shopping

Shanghai has been famed as "the shopping paradise" and "the oriental Paris' in history. Visitors come to shanghai with a purpose of appreciating the beautiful urban scenery, as well as shopping in its various kinds of shops and stores. Nanjing road, china's no.1 commercial street, is a must for all visitors. Huaihai road, an elegant and cultural commercial street, attracts thousands of young people who search for the latest fashion. In addition, the modern xujiahui commercial town, the traditional yu yuan bazaar, the kerry ever bright city near the exit of the shanghai railroad station are all prime locations for avid shoppers. Special shopping streets and markets are also found in shanghai, such as the cultural street fuzhou road. Hundred-year-old stores and shops that sell local special products and are well-known home and abroad can be found in good locations. Shanghai is also famous for its great variety of local special products and artistic handicrafts.


Nightlife

Shanghai has the most colorful nightlife in China with cinemas showing foreign and chinese films, and theatres featuring opera, dance, drama, acrobatics and puppets. The scenery at night in the Bund is a must. The ornate classical and modern buildings show a new and exciting look as they are lit up by an abundance of colored lights. Looking across the Huangpu River to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jinmao Tower is a magical sight. A night-time Huangpu River cruise presents a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the night life on the Bund. Nightclubs and bars are always booming, with joints opening and closing faster than night can turn into day. Barflies now have a choice of everything from glamorous art deco lounges to the seediest watering hole; live rock and jazz can be heard into the wee hours and the dance club scene now employs djs, foreign and local, to keep the younger set raving.


Cuisine

Shanghai Cuisine features vegetable and sea food dishes with stew-in-brown-soy-bean and stir-fry-in-vegetable-oil as the main cooking method. Shanghai cuisine, a special hybrid, presenting interesting dishes, especially exotic seafood. Fish and shrimps are considered basic and if possible eels, carp and crab will appear as well. Most of the Shanghai cuisines taste fresh, clear, mellow, sweet or subtly spicy. Local snacks in Shanghai have their specialties and should not be missed. That includes Won Ton, Leisha Dumpling, Vegetable Stuffed Bun and Chop Rice Cake. Its sweets are also famous, including glutinous rice cakes, steamed bread filled with meat (baozi), dough sticks, French pastries, fruit pies and sweets. You can go to Old Town God Temple Snack Street, South Yunnan Road, Xianxia Road, Huanghe Road and Wujiang Road to taste those delicious foods.


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