Shanghai travel guide
Shanghai is growing at a rapid pace and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Indeed, Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the country, home to more than 21 million people and a minimum of three thousand skyscrapers reaching for the skies (much more than New York), each a testament to the city’s wealth, prosperity and future.
A city guide to Shanghai is essential for understanding how to get around the city, what to see and what things to do are available. Tourism in Shanghai is booming and this has allowed the city to shine and garland herself with new buildings, the most luxurious in the country, as well as fragrant flowers and trees.
The first destination for any traveller in Shanghai is a trip to the Bund. This was the city’s original skyline, where the first westerners built their colonial homes along the west bank of the Huangpu River. Its real name is Zhongshan Lu but the locals call it Wan Tan, which means Outside Beach. The commercial heart of the city, all ships arrived here to drop off cargoes from silk to tea.
A cruise along the Huangpu River to the Yanpu Bridge takes an hour, to Nanpu Bridge two hours, but the three hour cruise to the start of the Yangzi and back again is the one most tourists will opt for. Cruises run through the day but if you choose the ones at night, the city is awashed with bright lights and the sweet night fragrances that just seem to make it just that bit more special.
Another favourite tourist attraction is the famous Peace Hotel. Once known as the Cathay Hotel, the main building is situated on the north part of Nanjing Lu and was part of the famous trading house, Sassoon’s. The business was built on a foundation of opium trading but by the end of the last century, the family heavily invested in real estate. Before the war, it was the place to be seen but the Japanese nearly completely destroyed it. Walking around the hotel makes for an interesting tour.
For stunning views of the city and surrounding area, ascend the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Once you get to the top of this 457 meter high tower, you will find the long queues for the elevator well worth the wait.
Museums are one of the best places to go to if you want to experience its culture and Shanghai is no exception. The Shanghai Museum is one of the best tourist destinations here. Resembling the shape of a pot, there are displays after displays after displays of fascinating artefacts from all throughout China’s long history. The ground floor holds ancient bronzes from various parts of different dynasties, the first floor is home to some fabulous Tang Dynasty ceramics, the third calligraphy and carved seals, but the highlight on this floor are the paintings. But if you go to the top floor, you will be amazed by the collection of ethnic artefacts from the country’s minority groups, including boats from the Gaoshan, silver headdresses from the Miao, Lacquerware from the Dai, the fish-skin suits of the Hezhen and masks from Tibet.
Shanghai’s cuisine is truly unique and is mostly described as somewhere between oily and sweet. There is an eatery of some kind on every street and restaurants in Shanghai take the utmost care in presenting and cooking their meals. The best local dishes to try are raw fried buns and Shanghai hairy crab.
From backpacker option to the height of luxury; hotels in Shanghai cater to all ranges of prices and desires and locations. There are a range of olde worlde hotels to modern boutique hotels, so the choices are endless.
Shanghai is a fantastic place for you to visit. A unique combination of old colonial buildings, a distinct Chinese culture and the passion and drive of the future makes this Chinese city a truly memorable place to be.