Do you know that saying “you’re one in a million”? If you really want to boost someone’s ego while in Shanghai, it might be better to say “one in 23 million!” As the largest city simply in numbers, this incredible financial, technological, and cultural hub is one of China’s busiest and vibrant cities, attracting visitors from around the world, and probably as many business professionals flying in and out as well. It is a popular tourist destination for both traditional and modern reasons, that being the historical landmarks as well as the ever-growing Lujiazui skyline, the area known better as the financial district, with its skyscrapers towering over the Huangpu River, not unlike the popular skyline of New York City hovering over the Hudson River.
This “city by the sea”, as its names translate to, is located on the west shore of the Pacific Ocean with the East China Sea to its east side, is the largest container port in the world. With business booming in this city, it is no wonder that it would be with its location perfectly situated on China’s east coast allowing for easy access to this hub city.
The Huangpu River divides it into two parts, an older section of the city, Puxi, which is where you would seek out the shops, restaurants and museums, and the new part of the city, Pudong, where the bustle of the business district comes to life. The contrast is quite drastic as the high-rises, as impressive as they are, loom over like giants.
If you are considering a visit to Shanghai right now, you are in luck. The spring season between March and May is considered the ideal time to visit, with temperatures at comfortable ranges from about 13 to 25 degrees Celsius and a moderate level of precipitation falling at about 84 to 94 millimetres. Summer’s hottest months are July and August with temperatures likely to be 35 degrees and above, topped off with a high humidity index as the rainfalls in June through to August can be 140 to 180 millimetres each month! The fall season is what you might consider good “sweater weather” and the coldest part of winter is late January to early February, when you can expect light rain and likely overcast skies.
There are indeed numerous attractions to see in Shanghai, and to navigate through the large number of locals and other tourists to see everything, it is quite the feat to even imagine that one could see “everything” in one trip, but that would certainly depending on how long that one trip lasts! Here is a sample of some of the key attractions you may want to aim for. In the Puxi district, make your way to the Yuyuan Garden, a garden built in the Ming Dynasty over 400 years ago. It is one of the country’s treasures and is understandable under state protection.
Hop on over to the Old City God Temple, a major Taoist temple and also a Ming Dynasty gem from 1403. For real traditional treasures like tea and jewelry and collectible coins, head down the 825 metre- long Shanghai Old Street where you will find the tea houses and gold shops among others.
For a peek at one of the many towers in the Pudong district, consider a tour of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, once the tallest building in mainland China standing at 468 metres, until it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Centre.
For something more common but still unique, tour the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. What is unique here is the fact that it has the longest underwater tunnel in the world taking you on your “round the world” tour from the Yangtze River to the Amazon.
There is much more to see and learn about Shanghai so map out your plans and begin your journey to China!