Shanghai Travel Guide

ChinaFrom a city full of exotic decadence in the 1920s, the destruction and conflict of wartime, from communism to revolution, right up to the evocative style Shanghai possesses today, the city has been transformed into a mix of the ages.

Found in central China, hugging the Yellow Sea to the east is the city of Shanghai, a largely dynamic and international metropolis. Its multicultural flamboyance creates a unique mixture of style within the city.

With the infrastructure boom in preparation for the 2008 Olympics, Shanghai has continued to prosper and is now one of the world’s fastest growing cities. And the skyline has not been the only thing expanding, the population has followed suit. With over 17 million people contributing to this financial and trade centre, it isn’t surprising that Shanghai is the richest city in China.

Shanghai’s past of pre-colonialism and of the different emperor eras is explored through the architecture. From the traditional elements seen in the Old Town and dotted amongst the Bund, to the futuristic, towering skyscrapers and eminent dazzle of the modern restaurants and hotels, Shanghai hasn’t lost all its history in the serge of modern development. While the traditional gardens and historical museums satisfy its past, the Pudong New Area is the epitome of the modern world. Home to the World Financial Centre, a towering 101 floors high, with art-deco creations sprawled throughout the area, it showcases the contradiction of old with the new.

Tourists are drawn to the historical landmarks, glamorous temples, the chic skyscrapers, world-class hotels and trendy Shanghai shopping. Characterised by the water, the city moulds itself around the coastline with the famous Bund featuring the contradicting line of historic buildings mixed in with the new that looks a lot like it was carted in from Manhattan. However it is the Shanghai Expo that draws in a massive following of over 50 million.

While many choose to explore Shanghai through a tour company, easing the stress of language restraints and getting around, some choose to go solo. Those game enough to venture into the mass crowds and find their way through the large city might find their journey easier with an A La Carte Map. Getting around can be quite easy once you get a hang of the metro system as it is rapidly growing and is considered as the best form of transport around the city.

So whether you are on a temple hunt, a cultural immersion or a modern shopping holiday, Shanghai will surpass your preconceptions. By day it is a bustling commercial super-city, by night it lights up as an almost romantic entertainment central.

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