Province: Municipality of Shanghai
Population: 9.8 million (urban) 16.7 million(municipality)
The two Chinese characters in the city's name are 上 ("above") and 海 ("sea"), together meaning "Upon-the-Sea". The earliest occurrence of this name dates from the 11th century Song Dynasty, at which time there was already a river confluence and a town with this name in the area.
Shanghai is one of the four province-level municipalities of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010. It is a global city, with influence in commerce, culture, finance, media, fashion, technology, and transport. It is a major financial center and the busiest container port in the world. Shanghai is the commercial and financial center of mainland China, and ranks fifth in the 2011 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index published by the City of London.
Located in the Yangtze River Delta in eastern China, Shanghai sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River in the middle portion of the Chinese coast. The vast majority of Shanghai's 6,340.5 km2 (2,448.1 sq mi) land area is flat, apart from a few hills in the southwest corner, with an average elevation of 4 m (13 ft).
Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate and experiences four distinct seasons. Winters are chilly and damp, and cold northwesterly winds from Siberia can cause nighttime temperatures to drop below freezing, although most years there are only one or two days of snowfall. Summers are hot and humid, with an average of 8.7 days exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) annually; occasional downpours or freak thunderstorms can be expected. The city averages 4.2 °C (39.6 °F) in January and 27.9 °C (82.2 °F) in July, for an annual mean of 16.1 °C (61.0 °F).
Brief history of Shanghai
As an ideal port, Shanghai is the gateway to the mighty Yangtze River. But when the British opened their first concession here after the first Opium War in 1842, it was little more than a small town supported by fishing and weaving. Change was rapid. The French followed in 1847 and it wasn't long before an International Settlement was established. By the time the Japanese arrived in 1895 the city was being parceled up into settlements, all autonomous and immune from Chinese law, creating China's first fully fledged Special Economic Zone. The world's greatest houses of finance and commerce descended on Shanghai in the 1930s. It had the tallest buildings in Asia and more motor vehicles on its streets than the rest of China put together. Shanghai became a byword for exploitation and vice due to countless opium dens, gambling joints and brothels. Guarding it all were the American, French and Italian marines, British Tommies and Japanese Blue jackets. However, with the Communist Party takeover of the mainland in 1949, the city's international influence declined. For the West, the party was over. But since the 1990’s, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in an intense re-development of the city, aiding the return of finance and foreign investment to the city.
The Bund 外滩
Pits grand old buildings with incredible facades and interiors were once European, American and Japanese banks, trading houses, clubs, consulates and hotels.
Shanghai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. The Bund is probably the most famous location in Shanghai. Stretching 1½kms along the riverfront, It contains a rich collection of early 20th-century architecture, ranging in style from neoclassical HSBC Building to the art deco Sassoon House. The Bunds first revitalization started in 1986 with a new promenade by the Dutch Architect Paulus Snoeren, the completion was in the mid-1990s. The lights around the Bund in the evening glint various colors to attract thousands of tourists to come here for a photo taking. Take a stroll at night too, before 10.30pm, to see it lit up. The museum at the base of the Bund Observatory has a neat collection of old photographs of the Bund in earlier times. At the northern end is the Bund History Museum and the Monument to the People’s Heroes.
Jade Buddha Temple 玉佛寺
A Monastery built in 1882 to enshrine two magnificent Buddha statues that were brought from Burma. Each is carved from a single piece of white jade.
It is an active temple, with 70 resident monks at the last count. The 70 monks who live and work there can sometimes be seen worshiping.The temple was built between 1911 and 1918 in the style of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), with symmetrical halls and courtyards, upturned eaves, and bright yellow walls. The exterior is readily identifiable by the bright saffron walls.
Inside, the centerpiece is a 1.9-meter-high white jade Buddha, which was installed here after a monk brought it from Burma to Zhejiang Province in 1882. The seated Buddha, encrusted with jewels, is said to weigh about one thousand kilograms. A smaller, reclining Buddha from the same shipment lies on a redwood bed. In the large hall are three gold-plated Buddhas, and other halls house ferocious-looking deities. Artifacts abound, not all on display, and some 7,000 Buddhist sutras line the walls.
Yu Yuan Gardens and Bazaar 豫园商城
Located in the old Chinese section of the city. The areas around the old gardens are a little tack, but extremely famous and often very crowded (especially on weekends). Filled with antiques, arts, crafts and souvenirs – you probably won’t go home empty-handed!
Yuyuan Garden is believed to have been built in the Ming Dynasty, more than 400 years ago. The exquisite layout, beautiful scenery and the artistic style of the garden architecture have made the garden one of the highlights of Shanghai.Yuyuan literally translated means Happy Garden. It is located in the center of Shanghai's Old City, a few blocks south of the Bund. It has a total area of about two hectares (five acres) and more than 40 attractions The inner and outer gardens were both built in the Ming Dynasty classical style, with numerous rock and tree garden areas, ponds, dragon-lined walls and numerous doorways and zigzagging bridges separating the various garden areas and pavilions.
The garden covers a significant space and includes a few halls and other buildings of interest. Its cultural relics include: century-old furniture, calligraphy and paintings of famous artists, clay sculptures and brick carvings, some inscriptions and couplets.
One of the highlights of the garden is the Exquisite Jade Rock. It is a 5-ton, porous, beautifully-shaped, grotesque rock, which is said to have been carried from Taihu (Tai Lake) in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. The rock is characterized by its wrinkled appearance, slender shape, translucent nature and numerous holes eroded by water. An interesting legend goes that the rock was found some 1000 years ago, and it was originally one of Song Emperor Huizong's private collection before it found its way into Yu Garden.
The surrounding bazaar area provides good shopping opportunities, where traditional Chinese products and gold and jewels are on sale.
Oriental Pearl TV Tower 东方明珠
The upside down, needle-like building in Pudong, across the river from the Bund. 50Y for the lower viewing platform, 100Y to go to the top.
Towering high above Pudong New Area, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower has been the outstanding landmark of Shanghai since its completion in 1995. The tower is 468 m high, the highest in Asia and the third highest in the world, next to the 553–meter-high CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, and the 540-meter-high TV Tower in Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Russia.
The tower includes 15 spheres of different sizes at different levels creating an artistic conception of "large and small pearls dropping onto a jade plate". It has become a symbolic piece of architecture and a favorite sight for tourists in Shanghai.
Shanghai Museum 上海图书馆
Shanghai Museum has been famous for its large collection of rare cultural piece. The museum now houses over 120,000 pieces of cultural relics in twelve categories, including Chinese bronze, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy, and artifacts.
Shanghai Museum is especially well-known for its collection of brozen pieces. The 1,200 square meter exhibition room has displayed more than 400 beautifully decorated brazen, which deliver a panoramic picture of China from 18th century BC to the 3rd century BC. The items exhibited include the bronze wine vessel, food vessel, musical instrument, water vessel, weapon and some other vessels from the Xia Dynasty (ca, 21st century B.C.) to the Warring States Period (221 B.C.) Visitors can also get a clear picture of what ancient silk looks like in the Seal Showroom. The room consists of 4 parts, and displays more than 500 pieces of seals that are works from the Zhou Dynasty(1024-256 BC to Qin Dynasty(1644-1911).
If you are interested in Chinese architecture, you should not miss the room showing Chinese furniture of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Over 100 pieces of various styles of furniture made in the Ming and Qing Dynasty were displayed. There are also some models of valuable furniture and wooden buried warrior figure of Ming Dynasty unearthed in the area around Shanghai. Stepped into the room, visitors almost feel like he is in a Chinese-style garden and mansion.
On the Arts and Crafts by Chinese Minority room, visitor can enjoy about 600 pieces of work of art, such as dress and personal adornment, dyed and woven embroidery, metal art ware, sculpture, ceramics, bamboo wares used by the minority. Different styles, remarkable color and creative conception embody the pursuit of happier life.
Other rooms here are Ancient Chinese Calligraphy Room, Ancient Chinese Ceramics Room, Ancient Chinese Jades Room, Ancient Chinese Numismatics Room and Ancient Chinese Paintings Room.
Global Financial Centre
Taller than the rest in Shanghai this tower has viewing decks on 97 floor for 100Y and 100 floor for 150Y.
The Center was invested more than USD 1 billion mainly by Mori Building Corporation, Japan and other over 40 corporations. It is close to Jinmao Tower, the second high building in Shanghai. The center is 492 meters high and 104 floors, including 3 floors underground. Shanghai World Financial Center is the highest building in Shanghai so far, it creates Shanghai new landmark with Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jinmao Tower. It takes about 1 minute from first floor to 95th by the elevator with a speed of 10 meters per second.In the 100th viewing pavilion, visitors can see the peak of Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jinmao Tower. In the 55 meters long viewing gallery, visitors can see the moving cars and passerby clearly through 3 transparent glass floors. The observation bridge atop the building will be the highest outdoor observation deck in the world.
As one of the tallest building in China, it is 420.5m in height,symbolizes Shanghai emerging into the 21st century. and it hosts the tallest hotel ever built. With an east-meets-west design signifying Shanghai's emergence as a modern global city, Jin Mao follows the multi-use paradigm, offering retail shopping at its base, offices above, and the Grand Hyatt World's Highest Hotel occupying the upper 38 floors.
The Jin Mao Tower was designed by US architectural firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill, and was built by the Shanghai Jian Gong Group, the first Chinese national construction group to tackle such a large and significant project. The Jin Mao Building is a luxurious complex combining office space with commercial space, a shopping mall, and entertainment functions. The three basement levels house electric facilities, service facilities, parking spaces and a food court.
It has a great Café on 87 floor or you can head to the observation floor on 88 but entrance would be required. (70Y)
French Concession 法国租街
The area around Huaihai Zhong Lu （淮海中路） is full of colonial architecture,
quiet laneways and tree-lined avenues. A wander across the bridge north of the
Bund, along Zhapu Lu (乍浦路), will take you into an area famous for its seedier
side many years ago. East of this area i s the old Jewish Quarter, where
European Jews flocked during WWII.
One uniquely Shanghainese cultural element is the shikumen (石库门) residences, which are two- or three-story townhouses, with the front yard protected by a high brick wall. Each residence is connected and arranged in straight alleys, known as a lòngtang (弄堂), pronounced longdang in Shanghainese. The entrance to each alley is usually surmounted by a stylistic stone arch. The whole resembles terrace houses or townhouses commonly seen in Anglo-American countries, but distinguished by the tall, heavy brick wall in front of each house. The name "shikumen" means "stone storage door", referring to the strong gateway to each house.
The shikumen is a cultural blend of elements found in Western architecture with traditional Lower Yangtze (Jiangnan) Chinese architecture and social behavior. All traditional Chinese dwellings had a courtyard, and the shikumen was no exception. Yet, to compromise with its urban nature, it was much smaller and provided an "interior haven" to the commotions in the streets, allowing for raindrops to fall and vegetation to grow freely within a residence. The courtyard also allowed sunlight and adequate ventilation into the rooms.
Zhujiajiao is a township in the Qingpu District of Shanghai. It covers 3 square kilometers or about 700 acres in area. The Zhujianjiao Ancient Town has a population of about 70,000 people. With the advantages of river canals, it became a trading areain Ming dynasty. People would ferry products and themselves around in little boats and barges. There are still many old buildings including temples, gardens etc. well preserved dating to the Qing Dynasty era (1644-1912) or the early 1900s. Nowadays, peoplewould like to visit here to enjoy the water town.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre
Opposite the Shanghai Museum - good display of past, present and future
Shanghai. Mostly in Chinese but worth it for the old pictures and model of
future Shanghai. Y30
Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
Y110 - 9am-9pm - Yin Cheng Rd, Pudong: walk from Lujiazui Subway
Nanjing Lu ( 南京路 ) and Huaihai Zhong Lu ( 淮海中路 ) are the 2 main shopping roads in Shanghai.
Antique Market 东台古玩市场
Just outside the Old City in a small alley called Dongtai Lu (东台路) leading west
off Xizang Nan Lu( 西藏南路). (10am-4pm). This is the largest permanent antique
market in Shanghai and possibly in all China. The range is vast, covering every
era of Chinese history from old Buddhas, coins, vases and teapots to mah-jongg
sets, renovated furniture and Cultural Revolution badges. Some of the antiques
are clearly fakes, but many of the traders are serious!
Currency Exchange 兑换
Generally hotel reception can exchange major currencies at the official rate. All branches of the Bank of China provide exchange services.
You can make international calls from the hotel or buy an IP card. English instructions on the back.
Post Office 邮局
There are post offices near the train station.
From some of our hotels the metro is within a few minutes walking distance.
Taxis aren’t necessarily the quickest way to see Shanghai in peak hour but they are available everywhere.
Eating & Entertainment
Local Specialties 特色菜
Huntun 馄饨 or Wonton soup can be found everywhere.
Nanxiang Dunpling( 南翔小龙包) near Yu Garden Yang family’s Fried Dumpling ( 小杨生煎包) are a must. Both has long history of over 1500 years.
You’ll find every conceivable culinary delight in Shanghai, from street stalls to “M
on the Bund”. Plenty of local restaurants near the hotel and Western food on Nanjing Donglu.
Xintiandi 新天地 for new, slick and expensive bars. Maomingnanlu 茂名南路 for a
more local experience. Both bar districts are a 10-15 min cab ride from the hotel.