IT’S ONE OF THE BIGGEST CITIES IN THE WORLD, BUT EVEN in just a day THIS CHINESE METROPOLIS puts on a very good show
It’s one of the biggest cities in the world but even in just a day this metropolis puts on a show. Here’s how to enjoy 24 special hours.
Of all China’s great cities, there has always been something extra special about Shanghai. The city, acclaimed as one of the biggest in the world, evokes so much history, excitement and indefinable glamour.
Legend claims that it was 1000 years ago that the Chinese named the city Shanghai, based on its location, as in Mandarin it literally translates into “above the sea”. Its stunning waterfront position on a coastline that juts out into the South China Sea dictates so much of the way this city operates.
The city is also divided into two parts by the Huangpu
River: Puxi is to the river’s west and Pudong is to the east. Puxi is the older part of the city and hosts the majority of shops, restaurants and famous museums. Pudong is where the modern face of China looks to the future, with its dramatic skyline that reaches for the skies. It’s from the viewing platforms at the top of some of these towers, like the Jinmao Building and Oriental Pearl
TV Tower, that the enormity of this city that spreads out in all directions can be taken in.
While the high views are magnificent, the best way to take in this thriving metropolis is on the ground. And even with just 24 hours for you to explore it, Shanghai puts on a great show.
Start a day in Shanghai by heading to Jing An Park to be greeted by the calming sight of many locals doing a morning session of tai chi. They even welcome you to step in behind them, and join in. The
and fashion, or to Science and Technology Museum Market for T-shirts and shoes. Over on Nanjing Road are high-end luxury stores like Chanel and Gucci. For souvenirs, try the
Yu Yuan Garden, which is not just a great market but also one of the true beauties of the city, with its traditional Chinese garden and lake.
Also at the Yu Yuan Garden is the Shanghai institution of the Dumpling Shop and Tea House. The locals begin lining up early, even for lunch, but as the dumplings are deemed the best in town, the wait is more than worth it.
After lunch, an easy taxi ride away is Moganshan Lu road, the city’s newest arts hub known for its warehouse galleries like
Eastlink, Bizart and ShanghART. This is where to find all kinds of wonderful Chinese art, mainly in contemporary style, as well as exhibitions of up-and-coming Shanghai artists.
The most famous area of Shanghai is the Bund, on the Huangpu River, for its facades of grand European architecture. The way the Bund area bustles around the riverfront makes this one of the most exciting places in the city, and a perfect stopping point for dinner. Lost
Heaven is legendary for its Hunan cuisine and great tastes. If in need of some Western flavours, try the chic M on the
Bund, run by Australian chef Michelle Garnaut. Right below M is Glamour
Bar, which offers one of Shanghai’s best cocktail menus. This is where the beautiful people hang out so it’s perfect to people watch here. It’s also the ideal spot to take in the view of the lights across the river, and to finish off a day in Shanghai.
Dumplings and other traditional delicacies are a treat in this city.
Locals start the day at Jing An Park harmonising body and mind with tai chi. Visitors can join in, too!
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is well worth a visit for its amazing views across to the Bund and right over the city.
A view of Shanghai showing the vast Huangpu River, with the Bund and the older district of Puxi at right and the more modern Pudong area at left. A cruise on the river is a great way to see the city. The beautiful Yu Yuan Garden is a peaceful oasis in Old Shanghai.
Nanjing Road shopping precinct is a vibrant area day and night.