No other city in this fascinating country has the perfect blend of cultures between western customs and oriental tradition, a unique colonial past and a multicultural flair. Shanghai, the city “upon the sea”, sits on the Yangtze River Delta where the river meets the Chinese sea. For hundreds of years this city was a well known fishing port, but during the rule of the Ming Dynasty the textile industry developed so quickly that Shanghai instantly became the leading producer in China.
These recent developments created a door which opened the city to the region and finally in 1842 to the whole western world. Brits, French, Americans, Russian and Germans flooded the city with their western banks, shopping centers and luxury homes. In a short period of time the city blossomed into a large cosmopolis, a vibrant trade and financial center thus earning the nickname Paris of the East. During the Cultural Revolution (1960/70) Shanghai managed to stay intact even though back then it was a cradle of the Chinese Communist Party.
In the 90`s the city was “reconstructed” with many outgoing reforms which resulted in fast and intense development, reopening it again to the world. Soon, Shanghai became an inspiration for many novels, movies and cocktails making it one of the most attractive tourist destination in all of China.
Nanjing Road (the main shopping street) is always an appropriate and fun place to visit. Huangpu River, the last tributary of the Yangtze is surrounded with number of architectural styles that draws the attention of the locals as well as all the tourist. The 52 buildings are ordered in perfect harmony even though they were built in different time periods, displaying variety of styles from gothic throughout romanticism and baroque.
When night falls, two of the most recognized buildings – Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Fairmont Peace Hotel light up the sky with vibrant colors, as reminders of the Chinese cultural past. Luxury villas, prestige properties, clubs and cathedrals are scattered all over the city as part of the western culture and heritage. You can even find a synagogue built during the Jewish immigration
Strolling throughout the Shanghai Old Town (Nanshi), you can find traditional treasures on every corner: old tea houses, preserved temples, bridges, traditional Chinese gardens (like the Ming-style Yuyuan Garden), old bazaars and eating areas. On the other side of the 113 kilometers long Huangpu River is the Pudong New Area.
The Oriental Pearl Tower is the perfect location that offers a breathtaking view of the modern and expansive Shanghai horizon of, with its highest observation towers in Asia. The modern art deco Jin Mao Tower, the super-tall World Financial Center and the Park Hyatt Luxury hotel are the forefront landmarks of this area.
You can easily say that Shanghai is the richest and most luxurious Chinese city, a true trendsetter in fashion, design and art, as well as fine restaurants and shopping stores. The local population is honest, progressive and open-minded.
Shanghai truly is a city of hope and dreams, a metropolis of our modern world decorated with legions of futuristic skyscrapers, luxurious hotels, restaurants, international brands and shops.