If Beijing is the political and cultural center of China, Shanghai is the economic center, and one of the country’s most progressive locations. With a past that is associated with opium parlors and decadence, this one-time fishing village at the mouth of the Yangtze River has morphed into a business and commercial force in the world economy.
Sightseers should plan to spend the majority of time in the old part of the city, Puxi (west of the river), on the Nanjing Lu, Shanghai’s busiest street, strolling through the Yu Garden, and walking along the Wai Tan (the Bund), the riverside avenue. For museum lovers, there is the Shanghai Museum. The Pudong, across the river from the Bund, is the modern, financial sector, with several mega-skyscrapers.
1. Not far from Shanghai are several interesting towns, known as “water villages”, which are a delight to explore. Xitang dates to the Ming Dynasty period and boasts over 100 bridges, and Zhouzhuang has beautiful, arched, stone bridges and tile-roofed homes
2. Suzhou, whose Grand Canal purports to be the longest man-made waterway in the world, is known around the world for it classic Chinese gardens. Check out, in particular, Lingering Garden, Humble Administrator’s Garden, and Lion’s Grove Garden.
3. If possible, take Shanghai’s Bullet Train to or from the airport for an exhilarating experience.
4. My walking tour of Shanghai was posted on 6-9-08. Check it out!