Shanghai

As the years go by, Shanghai is constantly changing. New malls, restaurants, nightclubs, and theme parks are being constructed while the places that seem obsolete are being forgotten. Shanghai has transformed into the model for 21st century China in less than ten years. Tourists from foreign countries will find Shanghai much different from other major Chinese cities. Shanghai offers an atmosphere that is comprised of both the traditional Chinese culture and the modern Western culture. Tall skyscrapers in the east side of the city overlook the classical architecture and ancient buildings of the west side. This mixture of Chinese and western culture provides tourists with a wide variety of experiences.

Shanghai World Financial Center: There is no other place in Shanghai than the top floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center for an excellent overview of the city. It takes approximately one minute from the first floor to the 95th floor by elevator with a speed of ten 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 three transparent glass floors. The observation bridge at the top of the building is the highest outdoor observation deck in the world. This tower has 104 floors (101 floors above ground level and 3 floors underground) and it stands at a height of 492 meters. It is currently the fourth-tallest building in the world.
Jin Mao Tower: Jin Mao Tower is the second tallest building in mainland China and the thirteenth tallest building in the world. It is located in the center of Lujiazui Finance and Trade Districts in Pudong. The tower has 88 floors and stands at a height of 421 meters. The Jin Mao Tower is combined with the elements of traditional Chinese culture with the newest architectural styles at the time, which makes Jin Mao Tower one of the best-constructed buildings in China. The 53rd to 87th floors are reserved for the deluxe Grand Hyatt Hotel of which, the 86th floor houses a club exclusive for the hotel guests and the 87th floor lodges the hotel restaurant. The 88th floor is reserved for the tower's observation deck, which can hold 1000 people at any one time.
Oriental Pearl Tower: The Oriental Pearl Tower is located in Lujiazui, Pudong and it is surrounded by the Yangpu Bridge in the northeast and the Nanpu Bridge in the southwest. The Oriental Pearl Tower stands at a height of 468 meters, but its height is not the only outstanding factor. Even more fascinating than its height is the tower's unique architectural design that makes the Oriental Pearl TV Tower one of the most attractive places anywhere. There are three large spheres that serve as observation decks, then there are five smaller spheres and three decorative spheres on the tower base. The Oriental Pearl Tower rests on rich green grassland and the entire
structure is supposed to represent pearls shining on a jade plate.
Xintiandi: Tourists and locals alike walk along the streets of Xintiandi day and night. Xintiandi is divided into the North and South Blocks. The South Block is more modern and one of China’s first major shopping centers lies there. The North Block provides the old shikumen architectural style in contrast to the modern style of the South Block. Some of the shikumen houses now serve as book stores, cafes, restaurants, and shopping malls. Xintiandi has an active nightlife on weekdays as well as weekends and it is considered as one of the first lifestyle centers in China. Xintiandi is also the location of the first congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

Science and Technology Museum: The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum promotes science, education, cultural, and ideological progress. It offers visitors a unique experience in the modern scientific discipline. The museum is composed of a basement and four floors above ground. It rises in a spiral, symbolizing scientific progress. A huge glass sphere embedded in a pool of clear water, at the building's midpoint, gives the theme of life renewed. The museum’s Wisdom of Light Hall is the most notable exhibition hall. The Wisdom of Light Hall demonstrates chemistry, biology, math, and physics with a large number of interactive items. The famous mysterious fountain is also located in the Wisdom of Light Hall.
Shanghai Ocean Aquarium: Opened in 2002, The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is Asia’s largest aquarium and is one of the largest aquariums in the world. This massive aquarium is located in Pudong, right next to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is home to a special 120-meter tunnel that runs through various different marine habitat exhibitions including a coral reef and kelp cave. The aquarium is split into many different exhibition zones and even includes a China zone; the only aquarium in the world to do so.
Jade Buddha Monastery: Jade Buddha Monastery is one of the most famous Buddha religious temples in Shanghai. There are a lot of religious events hosted by the temple. The main and popular structures of the temple are the great Devajara Hall, Mahavira Hall, the Jade Buddha Tower, the Kwan-yin Hall, Amitabh Hall, Tang Hall, and Recumbent Buddha Hall.
The Bund: The Bund is located right along Huangpu River on Zhongshan Road and is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai. The Bund is the symbol of Shanghai and includes various buildings all with different architectural designs. There are also luxury brands littered in between these architectural masterpieces such as Cartier, Rolex, and Dolce and Gabbana. Although the Bund has gone through many changes during the years, every modification seems to make the Bund more and more impressive. One of the revisions in the past went ahead and renovated the actual waterfront area of the Bund making it even more impressive and able to handle even more visitors. Visiting the Bund at nighttime will give you one of the most spectacular views available in Shanghai and is a must visit.
Chenghuangmiao/Yuyuan Garden: Chenghuang Miao (or City God Temple) is an area of Shanghai that embodies history as the area is one of Shanghai’s oldest that has been recently renovated in the last few years. Even many of the shops in the area right next to the temple are also original buildings. While Chenghuang Miao is an actual temple, the surrounding area is a shopper’s paradise as well as an excellent place to get some authentic Shanghainese cuisine. Yuyuan Garden is also located in the immediate area next to Chenghuang Miao and is a perfect place to walk and take in the scenery with its numerous ponds, towers, and halls.
Qibao Ancient Town: Qibao is one of the more untouched portions of Shanghai that has not been fully thrown into the modern hustle and bustle that Shanghai is usually known for. Located in the Minhang District of Shanghai, this traditional and peaceful looking area is home to a variety of delicious snacks and unique food including a personal favorite of mine, glutinous rice cakes known as “Qibaogao”. This area is also known for its special form of folk art known as Shadow Play in which they perform plays based on historical events using the local dialect.

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