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Shanghai


Once known as ‘The Paris of the Orient’, today’s Shanghai is a crazy mix of old traditions and new possibilities in a modern mega-city with a skyline that causes your neck to crane. your eyes to squint and your jaw to drop!  With over 20 million people, the city grew in significance thanks to its location on the Huangpu River, making it an ideal port town.  Today, Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the world, renowned for its colonial history and its finance industry on the world stage; in 2010 Shanghai hosted the World Expo and showed the world what "Better City, Better Life" really means.

 
As you might expect, Shanghai is a melting pot of locals and immigrants from all over the country and the world!  On the street you may hear the local dialect (Shanghainese), but many out-of-town Chinese have themselves moved into the city, and all inhabitants here are always happy to help, sharing their views and suggestions about China.  With 2 international airports, Shanghai offers easy access to both the north and the south of the country and other Asian hot-spots. Whether its by plane, overnight sleeper train or even by sleeper bus – take the opportunity to visit the dramatic countryside of Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), hop on a plane to Beijing or take the train to nearby Hangzhou, heart of the green tea industry in China.
 
Whether you are prefer to sip champagne in the world’s highest bar (on the 87th floor of the Jinmao Tower, it is 300m above the ground), explore the traditional markets of the old town or just relax with a pot of tea in one of Shanghai’s many tea houses, you can guarantee that Shanghai can give you what you are looking for.

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WHERE TO GO

  • THE FRENCH CONCESSION
  • It’s a long time since the French have left, but the tree-lined avenues and street-side cafes still get a visitor into that continental mood!  Crammed with bars, international restaurants and quirky boutiques, it’s easy to while away a day (or night) relaxing around here.  

  • YU GARDENS
  • At the heart of the old town, the narrow streets of Yu Gardens (not just a garden, but an area of town) are always filled with tourists, but don’t let that put you off!  A great place to buy traditional knick knacks, Yu Gardens also boast the city’s most esteemed dumpling restaurant and the gardens themselves are well worth a visit on a spring afternoon.  Check out the area during a Chinese festival for a glimpse of traditional celebrations.

  • THE BUND
  • The Bund (technically the riverfront, on the west side) is the perfect place to see how East meets West.  Both sides of the river demonstrate some of Shanghai’s best architecture – from the city’s first bank, on the west, to the infamous Pearl Tower on the east.  Visit the tourist sights all over this area, then watch the sun go down from a bar terrace!  Take a trip up the world’s fourth tallest building and marvel at the city in all its evening time glory.

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