Shanghai 上海 Travel Guide
Shanghai aims to be a vision of China’s future and is hurtling towards it’s goal of being China’s financial capital and eclipsing its rival Hong Kong. There are few cities in China that are such a testament to China’s phenomenal growth of the last few decades and what it perhaps lacks in historical sites it more than makes up with its sheer energy and dynamism giving you a taste of the New China that is making it’s mark on the world stage.
Best Months to Visit Shanghai
Best Reason to Visit Shanghai
Shanghai is Mainland China’s most modern city and, although it lacks the wealth of historical sights that Beijing has, it has it’s finger on the pulse of what modern China is becoming.
The contrast of it’s colonial past and it’s ultra modern future is mirrored across the Huangpu river with the Bund on one side full of the buildings left by the European powers and the ultra modern Pudong opposite, an area that was basically a swamp 20 years before.
It has world class shopping, dining and nightlife as well as a more cosmopolitan population than the rest of Mainland China giving a feeling of being in a place that’s happening now.
Shanghai is also surrounded by beautiful water towns that built great wealth of the back of silk production that are well worth a look.
Top Attractions in Shanghai
In reality Shanghai isn’t a place you go to see a certain attraction and it’s really the city itself that is the main attraction. A stroll along the Bund at night is something not to be missed with the old and new facing each other, beautifully lit, certainly a romantic moment for any couple or simply slightly magical.
The water towns that surround Shanghai are a “must see” The grand Suzhou “Venice of the East”, famous for it’s gardens and canals and the centre of silk production in China – easily visited on a day tour from Shanghai. Or there are plenty of smaller more intimate ones such as Wuzhen, Tongli, Zhouzhuang and Zhujiajiao to name but a few are also great day trips and together are one of the centers that have given China it’s wealth over centuries.
Weather Averages for Shanghai
Our Top Shanghai Travel Tip
Both Suzhou and Hangzhou can be visited from Shanghai as day trips meaning you can use Shanghai as a base to see some of the surrounding areas without having to keep moving hotel, a rarity when travelling around China.
Shanghai is a great place to end a tour of China as it has some of the best shopping to be found in the country and it’s a great place to pick up some souvenirs.
If you haven’t already got to see a show while you’re in China then take the opportunity to see the acrobats here, they really stand out from anything like this you’ve seen in the West and never fail to please.
Hand Picked Shanghai Hotels
If you’re in Shanghai for a short stay then the Bund is really the place you want to be and there are many good hotels along the riverfront that could be recommended. The obvious high end place, if your looking to splash out, is the Waldorf Astoria.
However you don’t have to break the bank totally to stay on this strip and one of our favourite places for it’s originality and value, compared to the big chains it is next to, is Les Suites Orients. Mixing Art Deco style with contemporary Chinese design. It offers a boutique experience at the high end of the market, the only trouble being that you might not want to leave!
Finally at the more affordable end of the spectrum is The Astor House, a hotel with as much character and history as anywhere in Shanghai and at a great price for it’s location. A bit worn from its heyday but that’s part of it’s charm.
By Phil Stanley & Headseast – TCTC Destination Expert.