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Shanghai China, An Amazing Place To Live
I live, work, play in Shanghai, China's largest city, largest port; a city of 16 million people, (many millions more during holidays and festivals), a city wanting to be the biggest, best and most important in the world.

If you had been able to travel to Shanghai 10 years ago, and returned today, you would see a very, very different city. Shanghai today is a modern, 21st Century city, with tall, new shiny buildings, amazing nightlights, a wonderland.

Finding the old sights and sounds of the old city is becoming more difficult as the city's rapid development produces almost instant change, almost everywhere. Shanghai is a Chinese city of surprises: a bizarre, and sometimes brutal, colonial history (British, French, American, Italian, Japanese) and dark days exploited as an Opium trade hub. Mix that with ancient Chinese culture and today we have a city urgently trying to leave its colourful past behind and which will soon be compared, in class and elegance, with any major city in the world. When you Travel Shanghai China, you will quickly notice it is the power-house of China, the money making machine that drives the Chinese economy continually forward. Shanghai is usually a business destination. However if you are coming for a China vacation, or traveling through on the way to somewhere else, Shanghai has some must-see experiences and is a good way to introduce yourself to the wonders and difficulties of travel in China.

There is still a lot for the visitor to see and do in Shanghai. Bars, clubs, business, the incredible skyline of beautiful tall buildings as far as you can see. The 21st century architecture. However, the truth be told, when you travel to Shanghai, the city itself does not have a lot of cultural feel about it. Shanghai is the financial center of China. I could talk all day about what great fun it is to live here; it's a lively vibrant place that moves at an extraordinarily fast pace. I will cover some of the highlights but you need to see and feel the place personally to fully appreciate it.

Some Shanghai Highlights

– The beautiful colonial-style buildings along the river; an area called the "Bund" where these remarkable buildings from old European days are marvelously lit up at night, and have been beautifully restored; the contrast between the Old and the New is quite a sight.

– The most famous shopping street and lighting effects in China, Nanging Rd, is just a short walk from the Bund.

– The famous Xintain Di district: this area is the social hub of Shanghai, the very best in chic and style, expensive cars, fine wine, the best restaurants, a very happening place.

– At the southern end of another famous shopping street, Huai Hai Rd, is an area known as the "French Concession", where peaceful tree-lined streets with wonderful colonial-style villas would make you think you were actually in Europe.

– A must thing to see and do, is to visit the viewing platform at the top of the Jin Mao Tower, the third highest building on earth, the tallest with an hotel inside (the Hyatt). This stunning building is 89 stories high and the view of the city from the top is spectacular. A very special treat is to have a buffet dinner at the Hyatt on the 53rd level, then go up to the bar on the 89th floor and enjoy a drink and the view, which at night will amaze you.

– Shop !!! There are Antique markets, Bird and Bug markets, Commodity markets, Clothes and Fabric markets, local markets and a very famous market where you can buy all the world's best brand names, at amazingly low prices. Shanghai is a shopper's heaven, come with a small suitcase and leave with a big one.

Secret Treasures

If you come to Shanghai and have time, just outside the city, one or two hours on a bus are some real treats. Would you like to see tranquil lakes? ... Beautiful Chinese gardens? ... Ancient villages? Here are a few places that are very close to Shanghai which can often be overlooked when one comes to Shanghai. These cities, towns and villages are the real deal and a must-see adventure.

Just an hour by local bus is Zhujiajiao Tongli, Xitang, about two hours away by bus or train is Suzhou, as well as Hangzhou. If you have anything new you would like me to add about Shanghai, please contact me anytime.
About the Author
Hi, I'm John Mckenna, I am from New Zealand and have lived in Shanghai, China now for 3 years. I own and operate Travel The Real China website. It provides experienced based travel and tour information on China at its very best.
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