Shanghai (Chinese: 上海) is the largest city in China, and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with over 20 million people. Located on China's central eastern coast at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the city is administered as a municipality of the People's Republic of China with province-level status.
Originally a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai grew to importance in the 19th century due to its favourable port location and as one of the cities opened to foreign trade by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. The city flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became a multinational hub of finance and business by the 1930s. However, Shanghai's prosperity was interrupted after the 1949 Communist takeover and the subsequent cessation of foreign investment. Economic reforms in 1990 resulted in intense development and financing in Shanghai, and in 2005 Shanghai became the world's largest cargo port.The city is a tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Bund and City God Temple, its modern and ever-expanding Pudong skyline including the Oriental Pearl Tower, and its new reputation as a cosmopolitan center of culture and design. Today, Shanghai is the largest center of commerce and finance in mainland China, and has been described as the "showpiece" of the world's fastest-growing major economy.
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.
Jade Buddha Temple of Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai 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.
The Bund of Shanghai
The Bund is one of the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai. The word ‘bund’ derives from an Anglo-Indian word for an embankment along a muddy waterfront and that is what it was in the beginning, when the first British company opened an office there in 1846. It became the epitome of elegance during Shanghai’s history as a city of trade. Now many attractive new constructions have been erected in addition to the historical buildings. A 771-metre long retaining wall for flood control was built. Atop the wall is a spacious walkway for sightseeing. Paved with colorful tiles and dotted with flower beds and European-style garden lights. It is a good place for a leisurely stroll and a view of the Huangpu River.
The Bund, which extends from Jinling Road in the south to the Waibaidu Bridge over the Suzhou Creek in the north, is on the western bank of the 114 kilometer long Huangpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze River.
The Suzhou Creek cleanup project is estimated to be costing 20 billion yuan or 2.42 billion US dollars. By 2010, hopefully the river will once again be clean enough to encourage marine life back to the Bund area.
Looking out on the river, various cargo vessels, speedier tourist ferries and other locally owned boats, some of which remind visitors they are still in a developing country, can be seen navigating the Huangpu. Visitors might need reminding, with the towering skyscrapers, the Oriental Pearl Tower, the neon lights indicating the offices of top world brands and European architecture surrounding them.
The commemorative square at the junction with Nanjing Road features a fountain and a statue of Chen Yi, who in 1949 became the first mayor of Shanghai in the communist era. Opposite the Customs Building is an electronic clock that shows standard times in various world localities on a water-like curtain. All around are Chinese wisterias, gingko trees and azaleas. Buildings in Greek, Renaissance and Baroque styles can be seen along the west of the Bund.
The wharf for pleasure boat rides is also at the end of Nanjing Road. A boat ride on the Huangpu River will take visitors down to the estuary of the Yangtze River and back in just over three hours.
Shanghai Wild Animal Park
There are many rare and endangered animals at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, at Sanzao Town in Nanhui District, about 35 kilometers from the city center. The park is one of China's biggest wild animal parks and covers an area of 153 hectares. There are over 200 rare species and over 10,000 animals from all over the world, including giraffe, zebra, white rhinoceros and hunting leopards. Some indigenous animals under special protection include giant pandas, golden monkeys, south-china tigers, and Asian elephants and many others.
The Shanghai Wild Animal Park is divided into two areas: one for walking, and one which is accessible to buses. There is a herbivore zone, a free zone, aquatic bird lake, bird zone, animal kindergarten, pet monkey park, rare animal park, animal performance zone, sea lion performance zone and other spots in this Park.
The walking area allows a close look at many gentle animals on foot. During a leisurely walk you will see Australian kangaroos, Asian Sika deer, African ring-tailed lemurs and Latin American yellow and blue macaws and more.
The bus enclosure takes you among zebra, yak, deer, elephant and some other fierce beasts. Be forewarned though: the bus park is not suitable for all, especially young children or those with a delicate temperament. Sometimes, you may encounter unpleasant even gruesome sight.
There is also a special animal zoo which is a hit with small kids where they can have a close-up look at the lovely animals.
Huangpu River Cruise
can be called either the Chun Shen River or the Huang Xie River. The upper reaches of the Huangpu River rise from pristine Dianshan Lake with the scenic "Grand view Garden" nearby. The river, yellow in color and ice-free all the year round, totals 114lilometers long, and averages 400 meters wide and 9 meters deep. The cruise boat meanders eastward along the golden waterway to the intriguing "three-layer waters" at the Wusong Mouth, confluence of the three and half hours over a distance of 60lilometers, with beautiful view emerging one after another. On a starry night, gazing from the boat, you can see the stately row of buildings at the Bund. This quintessential example of multi-national architecture gives off an aura of color, painting the night skyline. The splendid array of structures resembles misty ice palaces in a riot of colors-golden yellow, pure white and aquamarine blue. Constantly changing colors mesmerize
Shanghai technology museum
Being a base for popular science education and an attraction for fun-seeking tourists, Shanghai Technology Museum holds six exhibition halls whose exhibits try to unravel the mystery of biology , anthropology , paleontology and various other science subjects. Subjects ranging from the space dome to a single cell , from science theories to its fructification in real life have been covered by the advanced acoustics and lighting skills. Four special movie theaters featuring giant screens , circular screen , four-dimensions and space-style screens respectively constitutes the biggest of its kind in Asia. More than 250000 articles are collected here.
Expo Shanghai 2010
World Expo Shanghai 2010, on the way of preparation, will be held from May 1 to October 31, 2010 in Shanghai, China. It is the first time that World Expo is due to be held in China. And this is the first World Exposition to be held in a developing country, which may offer opportunities for people around the world to learn more about China.
Being the first World Exposition on the theme of “City”, Exposition 2010 attracts governments and people from around the world, focusing on the theme of "Better City, Better Life." The organizers predict that this World Exposition will attract more than 70 million visitors with total investment reaching to RMB 30 billion, making it one of the largest scales in the history of World Exposition.
Shanghai M50 Art Community
There’s a thriving artists’ quarter on the banks of the Suzhou Creek, and the place to see it is No. 50 Monganshan Road, known as Shanghai M50 Art Community. Once an old textile mill, the complex now houses galleries, studios, art spaces, and some cafes and restaurants, and this is where you’ll find the best of Shanghai’s contemporary artists as well as emerging talent.
It’s an exciting place to wander. The mill closed in 1999, and the alleys and buildings clearly reflect their industrial past. In 2000 local contemporary artist Xue Song was attracted by the possibilities of the area, and low rental. He moved in, and soon other artists, such as Ding Yi, Qu Fengguo, Wang Xingwei set up studios here too. Which is very fortunate for the rest of us, otherwise it may have been demolished, and this wonderful area which both nurtures new talent and showcases established artists, may never have existed.
Before long galleries such as the ShanghArt Gallery, Eastlink Gallery and ArtScene rented space here, where they display some of the most exciting modern art from M50, Shanghai and China. The galleries are able to foster the connection between their artists and international buyers, and have successfully launched a number of now-famous local artists. Today graphic designers, architectural workshops and environmental art design companies also rent space, but the real buzz and energy of the place comes from the juxtaposition of well-known artists and aspiring talent. It really is very exciting to wander through the sometimes chaotic area, in and out of working studios and display spaces, both large and small, and to see the work that is being produced here.
There are about 100 artists in residence, and with such a range you can take something home from a few dollars up to megabucks for the work of the internationally famous. The range of media is equally varied, and includes paint of every description, sculpture using a wide variety of materials, photography, textiles and experimental work.
This is a fun place to visit, and offers an interesting contrast from the more traditional aspects of China that visitors often concentrate on. And the best of the work being produced here is absolutely stunning.
City God Temple
City God Temple, originally called Jinshan Temple, is located in Huangpu area near the most bustling Yuyuan Market. It was built in the years of Yongle (1402—1624) Emperor in the Ming Dynasty. With a 600-year-long history, City God Temple is one of the most important scenic spots in Shanghai.
Nowadays, City God Temple has an area of over 1000 square kilometers. There are many companies around it, and here is supposed to be the original bustling areas in Shanghai. The local products and specialties selling here attract many tourists and businessmen from all over the world.
With wide effects both in and out of China, City God Temple is a wonderful resort that every tourist in Shanghai will pay a visit. And the Municipal Government of Shanghai has started a plan to change City God Temple into a large modern shopping center for tourists and named it “Yuyuan Commerce Center” since 1991. Most buildings in this center were built earlier than 1911 and they all keep their original ancient style up to now. Generally, the roads in that area are a bit narrow and the shops in the commerce center are laid out row upon row, selling a variety of goods with their own characteristics. And these shops are always crowded. However, the original styles and features of this ancient city have been well kept.
It is really a beautiful attraction with traditional and modern styles that tourists should not miss.
Shanghai Art Museum
Situated in Nanjing West Rd and against the backdrop of the prosperous People’s square , Shang Hai Art Museum , together with Shang hai Grand Theater, Shanghai Museum and Shang hai City-planning Museum constitutes a landmark as well as a cultural hub. Built on the former Shang Hai Race Club in 1933 ,the museum belonged to the architecture genre of 30s England. With 12 exhibition halls and a collection of more than 8000 articles , the museum makes the visitors stand in awe the moment he or she enters the grand lobby. Watching the quaint columns ,ascending the wide steps with your hands caressing the bronze horse head statues and browsing on the masterpieces by different artists can be a guide down the memory lane of this city .
Zhujiajiao Water Town
Zhujiajiao, Known as "the Venice of Shanghai", is a well-preserved ancient town in water country in Shanghai typical of southeast China. During Three Kingdom as appeared as a village. Nowadays old streets and architecture in the style of Ming and Qing periods can be found and local customs characteristic of water country can be observed. Zhujiajiao is noted for its archaic water country scenery typical of southeast China – old town, peacefulness, tranquility and elegance.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall
If you’re stunned by Shanghai today, go to see how it will look in 2020. The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall is a short walk across Renmin Square from the magnificent Shanghai Museum, and is well worth a visit, far more interesting than its name suggests.
The centerpiece is an enormous scale model of the city centre that takes an entire upper floor. It shows current and future development, and it’s mind-boggling. There are raised walkways for viewing the model from different angles, and the detail is fascinating, showing clearly what’s planned, and what already exists. It’s also a very good introduction to Shanghai, and gives visitors an excellent perspective and introduction to the city. The building itself is attractive, and includes space for temporary exhibitions.
With five stories there is, of course, a great deal more to see than the vast scale model. As you’d expect, it’s all very high-tech, with some great displays, interactive exhibits and walk-throughs, complete with sound, light and vision effects, illustrating different aspects of Shanghai’s urban planning. The exhibits are detailed and thorough, and provide a wealth of information on how the city’s planners see the future. This huge and exuberant city has always done things a little differently, and here too they are way ahead of the curve.
There’s a small model of inner Shanghai in the entrance, not to be confused with its big brother upstairs. You’ll find shops, tea houses and restaurants in the basement, presented as a reproduction of a 1930s Shanghai street. Other floors house the displays, both passive and hands-on: how the planners see the airport developing, the port, all kinds of transport, including the magnetic levitation (maglev), subway, and light-rail trains that are going to change the face of the city, greening the city, leisure activities, managing the waterways and much more. There are photos of colonial and contemporary Shanghai on the mezzanine, which demonstrate just how far this city has come in a short time, and a cafe and art gallery on the fifth floor. Temporary visiting exhibitions vary in their content, including visiting international art exhibitions, and there are also displays concerning the World Expo, due in 2010.
City planning is a hot topic throughout the world, and the centre is themed around "City, Human, Environment and Development", themes which concern city dwellers from any country. The glimpse of present and future Shanghai can provide much food for thought, as well as enjoyment and a good overview of this often overwhelming city.
Pudong New Area, located on the eastern side of the Huangpu River, is a special economic zone established in April 1990. This area used to be a vast farmland where the locals grew vegetables and planted fruit, however, it now has transformed into the fastest developed international economic area in China with looming skyscrapers and hi-tech international enterprises. Pudong consists of four parts in its 523 sq. km: the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Jinqiao Export Processing Zone, the Waigaoqiao Bonded Zone, and the Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park Zone. In the last few years, Pudong has witnessed a massive influx of foreign investment. Good investment environment and flexible policies have since attracted more international groups and Chinese mainland companies to move their offices to Pudong.
Pudong New Area is also an increasingly popular tourist destination in China. The main attractions here include the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jinmao Building, Century Park, Science and Technology Museum.
Fuxing Park offers n rare known part of Shanghai, which offers an stark contrast with the hustle and bustle of this great metropolis. The park wall seemingly fences off all the noises, busyness of the modern city and creates a quite, undisturbed enclave for the local people. In the park, old women at their 60s or 70s in pajamas belting out Chinese opera, middle-aged women dance to the accompaniment of melody in the 70s, Mao-era suited men take their caged birds for a stroll, kids playing kites. Along the Plane tree shaded paths, old couples enjoy walking hands in hands. The pond is a paradise for fishing lovers, who fill their days waiting at the pond side for bites.
The park was originally a private garden in the Ming Dynasty. The French took it after the Opium War and had added more French elements to it, having making it the only French-style garden in Shanghai. However, little of the colonial-era remnants left, and today the park become a very popular entertaining place for the locals
Shanghai Old Street
Shanghai Old Street is an ideal place to discover what Shanghai was like in the old days.
Fangbin Road, aka. "Shanghai Old Street" is adjacent to Yuyuan Garden. It runs in an east-west direction from Zhonghua Road to Henan South Road, with both ends marked by decorated archways.
The 825 meter-long street can be divided into eastern and western sections.
The eastern section retains characteristics of residences in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and early Republican days (1911-1949). The houses on both sides of the street are fitted with checkered windows, and shop fronts have wooden boards, balustrades and swing doors. Their roofs have upturned eaves, protruding corners and laced drain-pipes. The western section is filled with Ming (1368-1644) and Qing style architecture. Black tiles and white-washed walls, red columns and upturned eaves, showcase the style of old Shanghai.
St. Ignatius Cathedral
St. Ignatius Cathedral or Xujiahui Cathedral is the largest Roman Catholic cathedral with a history of over 90 years. It is located in the Xujiahui district to the north of Shanghai Stadium.
The cathedral was originally built in 1906, but was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution; it has just recently been restored to its original beauty. As a missionary center, the cathedral grounds once included a library, an orphanage, a college, a publishing house, and its own weather station. Today only the church, part of the school, and the recently reopened library remain. Its vast interior of altars, stone columns, Gothic ceilings, stained glass windows, and paintings of the Last Supper and Stations of the Cross are yet another chapter in Shanghai's living history of European architecture. Services are available every Sunday morning.
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
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.
There is a revolving teahouse and a sightseeing platform, which can accommodate 1600 people in the largest ball. Here visitor can get a panoramic view of the Bund and Pudong New area.
There are 6 elevators within the tower. Five are installed in the three columns and one runs between the height of 250 meters and 341 meters. One of the five elevators is double-decked. Two medium-sized elevators, accommodating 30 persons each and running at a speed of 7 meters per second, cover the distance from the bottom of the tower to the highest sphere in 40 seconds.
Shanghai Grand Theater is located to the north of People's Square in the heart of the city. Since its opening on August 27, 1998, the Shanghai Grand Theatre has staged operas, musicals, ballets, symphonies, chamber music concerts, spoken dramas and various Chinese operas.
The construction of the Grand Theater lasted four years from 1994 to 1998. The theater covers an area of 11,528 square meters, with 10 stories, two underground, six making up the theatre and two above. The Grand Theater houses three stages: a 1,800-seat main stage for ballets, operas and symphonies, a 600-seat medium theater for chamber orchestras and a small 200-seat auditorium for dramas and fashion shows.
The elegantly decorated lobby covers approximately 2000 square meters. A large chandelier, shaped like six pan-pipes, is suspended in the lobby. The floor is made of a rare marble called "Greece Crystal White". The floor has piano keyboard patterns, together with the pillars and the stairs, making the lobby seem full of rhythms.
Sightseeing on Shanghai World Financial Center
Shanghai World Financial Center is the highest building in Shanghai, 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.
Covering an area of 2,2500 square kilometers, Shanghai Circus World has been renowned as "China's No 1 Circus World". Suited at Gonghe Xin Lu Road, it has been a popular attraction integrating circus, acrobatic, magic, dancing and music performances. Shanghai Circus World has the Acrobatic Field as its main body, Rehearsal Uxiliary Building, Animal House and Cultural and Commercial city as side installations.
You can find any digital products of any brands in this mart. If you are a computer craze, you should take some time to visit. This huge mall is a cyber geek's dream come true, with stores selling everything from laptops and printers to mobile phones and MD and DVD players. International brands such as Apple, IBM, Sony, and NEC also have outlets here. Repair services are also available. Daily 10am to 8pm.
Nanjing Road is one of the most important commercial and tourist streets in Shanghai, which stretches from the bund to Yanan Xilu. It is a good place to learn the history and culture of Shanghai. About 18 billion yuna or 2.17 US dollar of Shanghai investment will be fed into the ambitious project to build the century old Nanjing Road into a first-class commercial destination in the next ten years. The Nanjing Road will be built into a leading world-famous commercial destination, like the Champs Elyees in Paris and Fifth Avenue in New York.
Dongtai Road Antique Market
Dongtai Road Antique Market, located in Dongtai Road in the Luwan District of Dongtai, a suburb of Shanghai, is a renowned outdoor market where one can find many "antiques" (Most are said to be fake!), yet one is inclined to forgive the vendors at this very special old flea market for any fakery, because Dongtai Road is the only remaining flea market in the Shanghai area that is still devoted to selling antiques.
Dongtai Lu Antique Market has character; here, amidst the trinkets and possible ersatz antiques, you will run across old people loudly playing cards, or slapping Mahjong tiles on tabletops to the accompaniment of shouts (Mahjong is a game of tiles for four players, though apparently based on a card game, where one typically plays so-called suits, as one does with mahjong, which has prompted some to suggest that the game is in fact based on a certain card game called Ma Diao). Many, if not most, of the flea market's stalls are run by women, who seem constantly to yak among themselves and with prospective customers, a further detail that adds flavor to Dongtai Road Antique Market.
In all there are 125 stalls here selling everything from curios and trinkets to furniture items and various other props that are peddled as genuine, ancient stuff from Shanghai's many old theatres.
Even if most of the "antiques" at Dongtai Road Antique Market are fakes, some are without doubt genuine, and who would want to miss the chance to pick up something really genuine from China's past, compared to the boatloads of stuff that arrive at the world's shores from China today?! The vendors at Dongtai Road Antique Market still sell birds, in spite of the bird flu scare of recent times. Also they add charm to the shopping experience. Don't forget to try and haggle over the price, if you see something that catches your fancy. The mid-afternoon heat, when things grow quiet and vendors begin to show signs of fatigue, is said to be the best time to strike a bargain.
The Jin Mao Building symbolizes Shanghai emerging into the 21st century. It is the tallest building in the country and third tallest in the world; 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 building 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.
The Jin Mao building is a superb design, combining elements of traditional Chinese architecture and a gothic influence to produce this amazingly modern building. Architects designed the building around the theme of the Chinese pagoda and the number 8(the number 8 is considered extremely lucky by Chinese people): the lowest segment of the building is sixteen stories high and each succeeding segment is 1/8th smaller than its predecessor.
Two elevators with a speed of 9.1 m/sec. work to transport visitors in seconds from the first basement to the sightseeing floor. At this level, visitors have a far-ranged 360 degree view of new Shanghai.
Located around 18 kilometers from downtown Shanghai, Qibao ancient town is a spiritual sanctuary, free from traffic jam, pollution, noise which now plague most of the modern cities we live. Built in the Five Dynasties Period around one thousand years ago, the town witnessed great development in the Song Dynasty and flourished in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Qibao in Chinese means seven treasures and the town was so named for a legend go that there were seven treasures around the area, which were a Gold Lotus Scripture written by an imperial concubine of the 10th century, a Magic Tree, dating back to one thousand years ago, a Big Bell Floated from Afar, a Buddha Flown over from Afar, a Gold Cock, Jade Chopstick and a Jade Axe. But according to history, only four of them-the Gold Lotus Scripture, the Big Bell, Magic Tree, Golden Cock) actually once existed while two of the four(the Scripture and the Bell) have survived till today.
The old town occupies about two square kilometers, crossed by two water lanes. Around the water lanes, stand a large number of well preserved traditional houses, gardens, temples, shops and restaurants which define the place.
The old street in the heart of the tiny town is the epitome of old Shanghai. The street has been restored to its original look which is consisted of two sections, southern and western lesser streets. The southern part filled with traditional restaurants serving various tasty snacks is a paradise for gourmets. Old shops selling art crafts, antiques and calligraphy works occupy the western part. In this part visitors will find the Qibao Pharmaceutical stores, a-thousand-year-old shop, some fine tea houses, and Shadow Play Opera theaters.
The old, time-worn stone roads and narrow lanes left by the Song Dynasty while the temples, gardens, pavilions, houses has been well preserved from Ming and Qing Dynasty, which features black- bricked walls, elegantly decorated tiles.
Some places worth a special mention here include Cricket Hall, a place to dream times gone by, Tianxiang Restaurant which serves authentic local cuisine, Qibao Theater where you can enjoy many of the distinctive Shanghai Operas and much more.
The small town is a good place to explore Shanghai's grand past. When traveling there, watch out for the authentic flavors.
Shanghai Municipal History Museum
What a surprise this place is. You’d never guess that the rather drearily titled Municipal History Museum beneath the Oriental Pearl Tower provides such an wonderful and imaginative experience. Some people find it more fun than the tower itself, certainly it provides a great contrast between the modern Shanghai seen from the Tower, and the experience of old Shanghai below it.
Of course, Shanghai does have an exciting and interesting history. Here in the basement of the Oriental Pearl Tower the old city has been recreated, with an emphasis on the period between 1860 and 1949. For much of the time you are ‘in’ the streets, walking past or through everyday sights, and hearing the sounds. Sometimes life-size, sometimes scaled down, the streets and buildings are peopled with incredibly life-like models, and the re-creations are immaculate. Scenes include the ‘fun’ life of farmers (anything but!) and fishers, traditional stores, bars, the stock exchange, medicine shops, teahouse, a courtroom and even a beheading. There are dioramas of the river, the foreign concessions, the main streets, a video of the old racetrack, and along the way some genuine relics of the past, along with photos, film, and paintings.
In the first part of the museum there’s a wonderful transport collection – old trams (complete with life-size models of passengers and driver), rickshaws, a US Army jeep and vintage and veteran cars. Then follows several halls with dioramas, and evocations of the history of the city, some so well done that it’s hard to tell where reality begins and ends (people have been known to smile and nod to the barman!); foreign traders, opium and war, and daily life in the streets, all from the local perspective. The final section is a series of scale models of famous old buildings.
It takes at least an hour to walk through the imaginative displays and exhibits, (the area covers around and it’s an unforgettable experience, which can be enjoyed by the whole family. Audio guides are available, but information is provided in English as well as Chinese along the way.
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.
The Children’s Palace is an interesting place to visit, and to enjoy great performances by kids. It is a training school, providing after school education to gifted kids. Children participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities including music, dance, art, model making, science, technology and computer science. Kids can attend one or two programs according to their own interests. All kids, 5-14 years old, can be accepted as long as they pass a simple examination and pay the tuition.
Shanghai has an extensive public transport system, largely based on buses, trolleybuses, taxis, and a rapidly expanding metro system. All of these public transport tools can be accessed using the Shanghai Public Transportation Card, which uses radio frequencies so the card does not have to physically touch the scanner.
The Shanghai Metro rapid-transit system and elevated light rail has eight lines (lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9) at present and extends to every core urban district as well as neighbouring suburban districts such as Songjiang and Minhang. According to the development schedule of the municipal government, by the year 2010, another 4 lines (numbers 7, 10, 11 and 13) will be built, while extensions are also underway for lines 2, 6, 8, 9. It is one of the fastest-growing metro systems in the world—the first line opened in 1995, and as of 2009[update], the Shanghai Metro is the 11th busiest system worldwide. Shanghai also has the world's most extensive bus system with nearly one thousand bus lines, operated by numerous transportation companies. Not all of Shanghai's bus routes are numbered—some have names exclusively in Chinese. Bus fares are usually ¥1, ¥1.5 or ¥2, sometimes higher, while Metro fares run from ¥3 to ¥9 depending on distance.
Taxis in Shanghai are plentiful and government regulation has set taxi fares at an affordable rate for the average resident—¥12 for 3 km, ¥16 after 23:00, and 2.4RMB/km thereafter. Before the 1990s, bicycling was the most ubiquitous form of transport in Shanghai, but the city has since banned bicycles on many of the city's main roads to ease congestion. However, many streets have bicycle lanes and intersections are monitored by "Traffic Assistants" who help provide for safe crossing. Further, the city government has pledged to add 180 km of cycling lanes over the next few years. It is worth noting that a number of the main shopping and tourist streets, Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road do not allow bicycles.
With rising disposable incomes, private car ownership in Shanghai has also been rapidly increasing in recent years. The number of cars is limited, however, by the number of available number plates available at public auction. Since 1998 the number of new car registrations is limited to 50,000 vehicles a year.
In cooperation with the Shanghai municipality and the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co. (SMT), German Transrapid constructed the first commercial Maglev railway in the world in 2002, from Shanghai's Longyang Road subway station in Pudong to Pudong International Airport. Commercial operation started in 2003. The 30 km trip takes 7 minutes and 21 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 431 km/h (267.8 mph). Normal operating speeds usually reach 431 km/h, but during a test run, the Maglev has been shown to reach a top speed of 501 km/h.
Two railways intersect in Shanghai: Jinghu Railway (Beijing–Shanghai) Railway passing through Nanjing, and Huhang Railway (Shanghai–Hangzhou). Shanghai is served by two main railway stations, Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai South Railway Station. Express service to Beijing through Z-series trains is fairly convenient. A maglev train route to Hangzhou (Shanghai-Hangzhou Maglev Train) might begin construction in 2010. A high-speed railroad to Beijing is also in the works.
More than six national expressways (prefixed with "G") from Beijing and from the region around Shanghai connect to the city. Shanghai itself has six toll-free elevated expressways (skyways) in the urban core and 18 municipal expressways (prefixed with "A"). There are ambitious plans to build expressways connecting Shanghai's Chongming Island with the urban core. For a city of Shanghai's size, road traffic is still fairly smooth and convenient but getting more congested as the number of cars increases rapidly.
Shanghai has two commercial airports: Hongqiao International and Pudong International, the latter of which has the third highest traffic in China, following Beijing Capital International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport. Pudong International handles more international traffic than Beijing Capital however, with over 17.15 million international passengers handled in 2006 compared to the latter's 12.6 million passengers. Hongqiao mainly serves domestic routes, with a few city-to-city flights to Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Seoul's city airport. Hongqiao airport is about 10 kilometers west of the downtown. One of the airport's advantages is it is much closer to the city center than Pudong airport.