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SHANGHAI

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Pudong, Shanghai
Pudong, © Can Stock Photo Inc. / rabbit75can

Shanghai has an urban population in excess of 23 million, making it the largest city in the world, excluding suburbs.  The city is located on the Yangtze River delta, where it enters the East China Sea.  The city had fortifications built during the Ming Dynasty in the 1500s.  Shanghai was predominant in the late 1800s and early 1900s due to its association with the British, who gained control of the region in the First Opium War in 1842.  Shanghai's influence declined under communism, but has regained strength since the 1990s.  It is now the symbolic centerpiece of a booming Chinese economy and has the busiest container port in the world.

Weather:

Summer temperatures in Shanghai are comfortable and not exceedingly hot.  Rainfall increases in the summer months, but rainfall is common throughout the year.  Winter temperatures are cool and damp.  Winter temperatures seldom go below freezing, except when Siberian cold weather reaches the city.  October and November can be excellent months to visit, as temperatures are still reasonable and rainfall is at its lowest levels.  

Transportation:

High speed Maglev trains, that approach 300 mph (430 kph), are available at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and will deliver passengers to Longyang Rd station in 8 minutes.  From there it's another 20 minutes to People's Square and the downtown area.  Alternately, a cab ride will be quicker and more expensive.

Yu Garden, Yu Yuan, Shanghai

Yu Garden, Yu Yuan, Shanghai

Things to see and do in old town Shanghai:

Things to see and do in at the Bund in Shanghai:

  • The Bund is the riverfront promenade area along the Huangpu River.  It's a great place to view the architecture along the promenade and catch views to the skyscrapers across the river.  Here you will find the Monument to the People's Heroes in Huangpu Park at the confluence of the Huangpu River and the Wusongjiang.  The Fairmont Peace Hotel with its Jazz Bar and the pedestrian-only section of East Nanjing Road are found in this area.  There is also a pedestrian tunnel under the river to Pudong.

  • Take an evening river cruise on the Huangpu River.

Yu Yuan Bazaar, Shanghai

Yu Yuan Bazaar, Shanghai

Things to see and do in near People's Square:

  • Shanghai Museum - 5,000 years of Chinese history make this one of the top attractions in Shanghai.

  • People's Park

  • Shanghai Grand Theatre

  • Shanghai Art Museum

  • Park Hotel

  • Xin Tian Di (Shikumen Xintiandi) - a large area along Taicang Road that was once an old residential zone.  Today it has been converted to restaurants, bars and clubs, while retaining its traditional Shikumen architecture of brick construction and ornamental gates.

  • Dongtailu Antique Market - antiques and souvenirs.

  • Take a walking tour of the Shanghai French Concession.  Fuxing Park is at the center of this French colonial-era district.  In the park men bring their caged birds for a stroll and conversation with fellow birders. At 7 Xiangshan Road is the former residence of Sun Yat-sen, the first president of the Republic of China.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

Nanjing Road, © Can Stock Photo / rabbit75can

Things to see and do in Pudong, Shanghai:

Walk among the skyscrapers in the area known as Lujiazui, including:

  • Shanghai World Financial Center - this building was originally designed with a circular hole through its top, however its resemblance to the unpopular Japanese flag resulted in a redesign to a rectangular opening.  Visit the observation deck or the Park Hyatt Shanghai.

  • Jin Mao Tower - right beside the Shanghai World Financial Center.  Visits the observation deck or the Grand Hyatt Shanghai.

  • Oriental Pearl Tower and its observation deck.

Things to see and do near downtown Shanghai:

Water village, Shanghai

Water Village, © Can Stock Photo Inc. / ti_to_tito

Things to see and do near Shanghai:

  • Travel east about an hour and a half to Suzhou where the delta of the Yangtze River creates several water villages.  The narrow canals creates an area known as the Venice of the East.  The best known is Zhouzhuang Water Village, but Tongli and Zhujiajiao are found here too.  Another popular destination in Suzhou is the Liu Garden (Liu Yuan or Lingering Garden).  Many tour companies arrange full day trips from Shanghai.

  • Take a full day trip to Hangzhou's West Lake, including Six Harmonies Pagoda (Liuhe Pagoda), Meijiawu Tea Village, Su Causeway and Flower Harbor.

  • Fly to Xian for the day and see the Terracotta Warriors.  Alternately take an overnight sleeper train to save travel costs, accommodation and daylight hours.

  • Fly to Beijing for the day and see the Great Wall.  Alternately take an overnight sleeper train to save on travel costs, accommodation and daylight hours.  There is also a high speed train.

  • Fly to Guilin for the day to experience the Li River.

Zhouzhuang Water Village

Zhouzhuang Water Village

Savor the Tastes of Shanghai:

  • Xiaolong bao is the trademark food of Shanghai.  It is a soup dumpling filled with broth and pork or crab.  Try Din Tai Fung for a popular version.

  • Radish pickled in soy sauce (jiang luobo).

  • Tofu skin with mushrooms (fuzhu).

  • Cucumber with aged vinegar (pai huanggua).

  • Sweet-and-sour spare ribs (tangcu paigu).

  • Tofu with wild greens (malantou).

  • Pork with bamboo shoots (hongshao rou he zhusun).

  • Fish and scallions (congbao yutou).

  • Carp head

  • Live crabs

  • Caterpillars

  • Baby birds

  • Spring rolls (lumpiang).

  • M on the Bund - a classic martini at the roof terrace overlooking the Bund.

  • Vue Bar, located on the 32nd and 33rd floors of the Hyatt on the Bund with great views.

  • Have a cocktail in the Grand Hyatt Hotel (inside the Jin Mao Tower).

  • Have tea at the Yongfoo Elite, 200 Yongfu Road.

  • Enjoy many options for Shanghai bars.

Shanghai Tours:

Hotels in Shanghai:


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