Friday, April 17, 2009

Shanghai: China's Fascinating City

I had always wanted to go for an adventure and after seeing Tom Cruise's movie, Mission Impossible 3 in 2006, Shanghai topped my list of places I wanted to visit. With my adventurous spirit and a promise by my then special guy (good grief he didn't make it there!), it came at the spur of the moment to drop by Shanghai before going to Hongkong last May 1 to 7, 2006. I had a map and that was it! All alone, I found myself lost in Shanghai and discovered it as an ideal tourist destination. So in December 2007, my prince and I decided to meet up in Shanghai!

From what I saw in the Mission Impossible movie, I can confirm that Shanghai is an international metropolis at par with New York and Paris! Regarded as the 'Oriental Pearl', Shanghai has a unique and rich heritage worthy of exploration. The city also has historical landmarks and tourist destinations that you will not have second thoughts about visiting. I particularly like the Bund, Huangpu River, Pudong skyline including the Oriental Pearl Tower, Yuyuan Garden and the various bustling commercial streets and shopping centers in the Nanjing Road, Huaihai Road, North Sichuan Road, Xujiahui Shopping Center, Yuyuan Shopping City and Jiali Sleepless City. Shanghai indeed is a shopping paradise!

The Bund, located by the bank of the Huangpu River, contains a rich collection of early 20th century architecture, ranging in style from neo-classical HSBC Building to the art deco Sassoon House. I love the Bund early morning and enjoy watching early birds practice taichi, but I love it at night even better because of the lights. The view is so spectacular!

A number of areas in the former foreign concessions are also well preserved, and despite rampant redevelopment, the old city still retains some buildings of a traditional style, including Yuyuan Garden, a traditional garden in the Jiangnan style.

The Pudong district of Shanghai displays a wide range of supertall skyscrapers.The distinctive Oriental Pearl Tower, is located nearby toward downtown Shanghai.

Besides Shanghai's many attractions in the downtown area, there are places well worth a visit in the suburbs such as Qibao Ancient Town, Zhujajiao Water Town and Chongming Island for more of Shanghai's ancient Chinese traditions.

Dining will be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your Shanghai trip. In addition to Shanghai's dishes, restaurants in the city offer a wide variety of foods from other parts of China as well as a number of foreign countries.

The convenient transportation, comfortable accommodation and colorful places of entertainment will enhance your stay in this fascinating city. I wrote an entry about it in the Traveling Alone blog entry.

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