The city of Shanghai in China surrounds the mouth of the Yangtze river delta by the East China Sea. It is the most highly populated city in the world, at well over 23 million. Shanghai’s truly multifaceted and on a grand scale, with finance, commerce, technology, fashion, media and culture busily jostling each other for pole position. Shanghai’s amazing Pudong skyline and massive historical landmarks like the City God Temple, Yuyuan Garden and the Bund, make it a very interesting local and foreign tourist destination.
Shanghai’s growth and rise to prominence from a small 19th century fishing/textiles city to today’s megalopolis is relatively recent and was mainly due to the importance of its port for the export markets. This expansion initially occurred after the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, which followed the first opium war. Deng Xiaoping’s more recent reforms in the 1990’s pushed Shanghai to the commercial stratosphere.
Getting there is easy, with Pudong and Hongqiao International Airports the main points of arrival. There’s so much to see and do in Shanghai, you will have to be very organised with your time if you’re only there for a short holiday. You can make good use of the city’s extensive transport system of metros and buses by purchasing a Shanghai Public Transportation Card.
The Shanghai Maglev Train is a great experience and there are around one thousand bus lines. Shanghai’s metro-connected three main railway stations (Shanghai, Shanghai South and Hongqiao) connect to Beijing, Hangzhou and Nanjing.
The main Shanghai Museum and the Art Museum in People’s Square are great places to start experiencing the city; you’ll need to leave plenty of time for the extensive and elaborate permanent and temporary exhibits. The museum of Art and History and the Natural History Museum are also excellent.
The Pudong district has a range of very interesting looking skyscrapers. You can also take a scenic stroll on the Bund by the Huangpu river for some early 20th-century architecture, like the art deco Sassoon House and the neoclassical HSBC Building. At the smaller end of the scale, Shanghai’s shikumen townhouses surrounded by their high brick walls are quite unique.
Posted : Monday, July 30th, 2012 at 10:00
As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save