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Overview to Shanghai: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

Dancers in Shanghai

Bustling Shanghai may not have the same weight of ancient monuments of Beijing, but its colonial quarters are in many ways equally fascinating. What’s more, in its thrusting modernity, there’s a very definite sense of a city that’s going somewhere.

Although once at the heart of one of the oldest civilizations in the world, there’s now little left of the glories of old Shanghai. Downtown Shanghai, which lies to the west of the Huangpu River, is a bustling, modern place.

A hectic metropolis, Shanghai is often likened to a Chinese version of New York City. And, certainly, the views of the Pu Dong skyline, gloriously illuminated at night, from the Bund (Pu Xi’s waterfront area, also known as the Zhongshan Road) do indeed rival those of Manhattan.

Running away towards Renmin Park, the glittering lights of Nanjing Lu herald what’s said to be the most congested shopping street in China. The park itself, meanwhile, is home to the fascinating Shanghai Museum, which delves deep into various different aspects of Chinese culture.

A couple of other Shanghai sights really stand out: the Yu Yuan Garden and the Temple of the Jade Buddha (in the Putuo district). But, really, it’s the sort of place where you just have to wander around and sample its unique atmospheric.

To the west of colonial Shanghai, the Old City of Chenghuang Miao is an evocative neighborhood. As you move further to the south and west, the streets are increasingly given over to a pleasant mix of hanging laundry, barking dogs and men cycling past on bicycles. Beyond the Old City, meanwhile, lies the French Concession, an area of upmarket shops and grand Art Deco buildings.

East of the river, everywhere you look new skyscrapers are being added to the glittering skyline. Soaring above the other buildings, and shining brightest of all, is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower; a striking symbol of the ambition and vision of this bold city.

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