As China’s largest city, and its economic, commercial, and financial capital, Shanghai is the heart of and key to China’s future.
Shanghai is fun to tour now. New roads, highways, tunnels, and bridges, not to mention new hotels, restaurants, and sights, now make Shanghai a city visitors can comfortably enjoy and explore.
Shanghai’s great river of commerce, the Huangpu, a tributary of the Yangzi River is known as the Bund, grander than any other in the East, much of it recently refurbished, and beckoning to the curious visitor and savvy locals alike. A walk through the old Chinese city turns up traditional treasures: a teahouse that epitomizes Old China; a quintessential southern-Chinese classical garden; active temples, and ancient pagodas.
The city is a museum of East. Overnight Shanghai has become one of the world’s great modern capitals. Across the Huangpu River, Pudong, serving as the face of new Shanghai, now boasts the tallest hotel in the world, Asia’s largest shopping mall, China’s largest stock exchange, and one of the highest observation decks in Asia, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
Shanghai is also once again establishing itself as a leading trendsetter in fashion, design, culture, and the arts, and it is arguably the best city in China for dining and shopping.
Bearing the burden of all these superlatives, the Shanghai people — frank, efficient, chauvinistic, and progressive…
To the northwest, Suzhou, with its classical gardens and canals, is known as the “Venice of China.” To the southwest is Hangzhou, renowned for beautiful West Lake and the surrounding tea plantations. Winter in Shanghai is windy and chilly; summer is oppressively hot and humid, making late March or late October/early November ideal for a visit.