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lioness Shanghai - A travel report by Neda
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Shanghai,  China - flag China -  Shanghai
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lioness's travel reports

East Meets West in…Shanghai

  12 votes
Fancy a sophisticated candle-lit dinner overlooking the waterfront at the Bund? A western-style lunch menu at Xintiandi? Or you are rather in for a stroll down the Nanjing Road and the best jiaozi in town?
One thing or another, Shanghai has it all!

Shanghai travelogue picture
With its around 17 million inhabitants, Shanghai is a true metropolis. Being one of the largest cities in China, surprisingly it is a pretty much clean and organized place. True, the air pollution is a big problem and crossing a street can be a risky and time-consuming task, but hey, who says that this is not the case in other cities of the world? Shanghai also seems to be a constant construction site, with activities going on day and night. If you walk through the new development area at Pudong, you will see some of the tallest high-rise building in the world. And if you climb to the 88th floor observatory at Jinmao Tower, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the boundless city. Do it at dusk time, then you can enjoy the spectacular display of lights and colours until your eyes can reach. Shanghai still retains much of its colonial charm and historical sites. In the French Concession Area (Luwan District) streets are lined with trees and European style buildings with courtyards. There you can find many fancy shops, restaurants and bars. If you want to see the average Shanghainese, then visit the Maodun Park on a Sunday morning. There, you can see people practicing taichi, singing, playing the music, spending a quiet day with their family. Also, visit the Yuyuan Garden for a typical old Chinese style building complex and the only Ming Dynasty garden remaining in Shanghai.

Favourite spots:
Shanghai travelogue picture
Duolun Cultural Street, a place where many famous Chinese writers used to live. It is a place of culture, old architecture, antique shops, art galleries, handicrafts...
Jade Buddha Temple is also very special, with a beautiful white jade buddha sculpture "hidden" at the very back of the temple.

What's really great:
Shanghai travelogue picture
Being able to stroll endlessly along different areas of the city. It felt like being in many places without leaving Shanghai.

A shopping centre at Nanjing Road
A shopping centre at Nanjing Road
Shopping is a must if you go to China, especially in Shanghai. It has developed into China’s largest commercial city. It is a great place for buying all sorts of things: clothes, souvenirs, pearls, silk, tea, antiques, electronic equipment…Major shopping streets are in Nanjing Donglu and Huaihai Zhonglu. Everybody in Shanghai loves shopping and be prepared for lots of crowds. And needles to say that you need to haggle hard over almost every item you want to buy as Chinese are extremely good vendours!

Shanghai travelogue picture
Plenty of hotels and hostels of all ranges are available. I stayed at my friend's place, so I can't really recommend anything in particular.
It's good to stay near the centre though, as the city is very big and traffic jams can be very heavy.

Other recommendations:
Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou
Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou
The best way to finish a hard day of walking and shopping is to treat yourself with a foot massage. It is very popular among Chinese and certainly it is an experience not to be missed. There are plenty of massage centres all over the city and they offer a range of massage types.

Finally, if you want to get away from the big city and wish to see some of the more traditional places in China, take a trip to Suzhou and Hangzhou. These places are easily reached by train.
Whatever your choice might be, enjoy Shanghai and its surroundings!

Published on Thursday December 8th, 2005

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Thu, Dec 08 2005 - 02:09 PM rating by horourke

A great summary of such a vast city

Thu, Dec 08 2005 - 08:33 AM rating by rangutan

Very inviting place to experience, almost short report but supported by fantastic pictures, great tips too!

Thu, Dec 08 2005 - 06:57 AM rating by davidx

I've read a bit about Shanghai but your account and photos really tell something about what it's really like. Well done!

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