Shanghai Introduction

Shanghai, short for 'Hu', is the largest commercial and financial center of China, and a pivotal international port around the western Pacific area. The city is the window to see the modernization, globalization and fashion of China.

Shanghai is a relatively young city of only a history of over 700 years. However, enjoying an advantageous location at the junction of Yangtze River and East Sea of China, the city has been an important gateway of China. Early in the 17th century it had been a bustling port. And during the eventful years in the last two centuries, it had been in the front of both foreign invasions and civil revolutions. So it can be said the city is the epitome of Chinese modern history.

Now, Shanghai has not only boomed into a modern city but also retains its traditional Chinese characteristics. The various ancient western styles of buildings around the western bank of Huangpu River, the Yuyuan Garden, the Old Street in front of the City God Temple, Qibao Ancient Town, Jade Buddha Temple, Hu Opera and Shanghai Cuisine are good examples of the ancient and traditional city. Whereas, many skyscrapers, upscale shopping centers, convenient transport means, various tastes of restaurants and abundant recreational spots unveil the modern charms of this metropolis fully.

Best Time to Visit
Shanghai has a mild and moist climate. The weather of four seasons is distinct, but it is not quite hot in summer and cold in winter. The rainy season comes from May to September. The best time to visit the city is spring and autumn.

Shanghai Cuisine is famous for the cooking of fresh fishes and shrimps. Stir-fried eel and eight treasures in hot sauce are two examples of the dish. Besides, all other kinds of Chinese cuisines and western cuisines can also be tasted here, such as Beijing, Sichuan, Guangdong, Huaiyang, Italian, Russian, French, Korean and Japanese dishes.

The well-known streets for dining include the Old Street of City God Temple (local snacks), Yunnan Nanlu (all kinds of special dishes in China), Huanghe Lu (Shanghai cuisine, seafood), Zhafu Lu (upscale Guangdong dishes, seafood) and Xianjialu (western dishes, tea houses, pubs).

Always walking on the edge of new trend, Shanghai is the paradise for shopping. The goods here have plenty of brands and are sold at acceptable prices. There have formed various shopping circles, such as Xujiahui, People's Square, Zhengda Square (the largest shopping and recreation center in Shanghai), Zhongshan Park, Wujiaochang, New Shanghai Shopping City of Pudong, Jiali Sleepless City. The famous shopping streets here include Nanjing Road, Huaihai Road, Sichuan Beilu and Shaanxi Nanlu. There are also some featured streets, such as Fuzhou Cultural Street (books) and Dongtai Lu Antique Market (arts and crafts).

The local souvenirs here include flannelette blankets, embroideries, sculptures, metal articles, folk papers, paintings and Jiading bamboo sculptures. The local products here include Chongming daffodil, Jiading yellow grass braiding, white goat, hairy crab, saury, peacock fish, silverfish, Fudong chicken and Nanhui juicy peach.

Shanghai has varieties of recreational facilities, including theme parks, cinemas, art exhibition halls, theatres, tea house, pubs, cafes, bookstores, gyms, Karaoke halls and night clubs. The well-trodden recreational spots include Huanyi Cinema on Nanjing Xilu, Yonglegong Cinema on Anfu Lu, Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, Shanghai Dino Beach, American Dream Park, Landai Night Cub, Night Paris and Great World Night Club.

By air: there are two airports in Shanghai: Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao Airport. The international flights are operated by the Pudong Airport. There are special buses between the two airports. To get to the Pudong Airport from the city, besides traveling by the shuttle buses and hotel buses, travelers can also take the No.2 Metro Line to Longyanglu Station and transfer into the magnetic levitation train to the airport, which only takes about 8 minutes, costing CNY 50. Hongqiao Airport is only about 13 km (8 mi) away from the city center, so traveler can travel there by the shuttle bus or taxi. They can also travel by the No.2 Metro Line to Songhonglu Station and then take a taxi from there.

By train: there are three railway stations in the city: Shanghai Railway Station (Xinkezhan), West Railway Station and South Railway Station. Shanghai Railway Station is the main one, operating trains to all big and medium cities in China. The West Railway Station mainly operates trains to Nanjing, Hangzhou, Yantai, Zaozhuang, Hengyang and Ganzhou. And the South Railway Station mainly operates trains to the southern Hangzhou, Jiashan, Jinshan and other places. Travelers can take No.1, 3 and 4 metro lines to Shanghai Railway Station and No.3 and 4 metro lines to the South Station.

By bus: there are over 40 coach stations in the city, the main being Shanghai Coach Station, Shanghai South Coach Station and Hengfenglu Coach Station. Buses to every province of East China can be found in these three stations. (Consult number of Shanghai Coach Station: 021-66050000).

By water: Shanghai is the largest port of China. Now there are ferries to Xinhe of Chongming Island, Putuoshan Mountain, Zhoushan Island, Daishan Island, Dinghai and ports along Yangtze River in Wusong Passenger Transport Center, to Nanmen, Baozhen and Xinhe of Chongming Island, and Changxing and Hengsha Island in Wusong Dock, to Dalian in Gongpinglu Dock, and to Korea and Japan in Waihongqiao Dock. (Wusong Passenger Transport Center: 021-56576606; Wusong Port: 021-56671202)

Incity transport: Besides the common bus and taxi transport means, there are also light rail, metro and magnetic levitation train in the city.

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