Shanghai Travel Guide
Shanghai is the shining star of China. It’s an absolutely stunning city, with a skyline that rivals that of Hong Kong and with zippy bullet trains darting in and out of it. In just over 20 years, it has risen from a marshy farmland on the banks of the Huangpu River in a dazzling flourish of skyscrapers to offer a window on the China of the future. And this despite being neglected for decades by the Communists for its decadent past as the “Pearl of the Orient” and playpen of capitalists – an era that lasted well into the 1930s. There are still vestiges from the colonial days strewn about in the old part of the city – think shikumen houses in the French Concession and Neoclassical mansions on the riverfront on the Bund. But for the most part, Shanghai is a dynamic city with a modern heart, with world-class shopping, a vibrant nightlife centered on a newfound drinking culture, restaurants serving Shanghai cuisine led by the famous soup dumplings, great museums where you can see iterations of a city that is constantly reinventing itself, an array of cultural venues, and a kaleidoscope of exhibition centers that popped up in 2010 when the city hosted the World Expo. Ultimately, Shanghai remains an essential stop on any tour of China, offering in itself – in Pudong, on the east side of the river – “the city of tomorrow."
Shanghai is essentially divided in two: Puxi, the older part of the city, on the west side of the Huangpu River, and Pudong, the new “city of tomorrow,” on the east side of the river.
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