Today, the influx of...
Today, the influx of investment, tourists and trendsetters is helping to put Shanghai back on the map as one of THE places in Asia to wine, dine and hang out. Shanghai certainly has its finger back on the pulse and the feeling and atmosphere in this city at night is captivating, addictive and exciting. While Hong Kong is generally recognized as the most fashionable city in China, Shanghai is fast catching up, and offers an arguably more selective, up to date and trendy selection of restaurants, bars and culture than its southern counterpart.
Antique Shopping In Shanghai
Dong Tai Road is a street market where you can buy mostly fake antiques, but there are a few gems here. There are little stalls selling all kinds of old looking things. The small shops behing the stalls actually have some real antiques, mostly furniture. Antiques, fake antiques. It's all up to you. Bargain for the best prices, and asume what you are buying is a fake, unless you really know your antiques.
The best Shanghai food I have ever tasted in my life, and I'm glad I had it in this restaurant. You definitely have to bring somebody who can speak Mandarin to go to this place and order the food for you, if you can't read the menu (it's all in Chinese, that's when you know the food will be authentic and excellent). When you want to try the famous Shanghai Hairy Crabs (that's right, it's hairy), you should go around Oct-Nov when they are in season. When the Shanghainese order, they order cold dishes first as appetizers, then the entree, then the soup and when you order fried rice, it comes at the end of the meal. The service is not so good, so be prepared to have to get their attention very hard when you need something from them. The hairy crabs are my favorite of all. When they have eggs in them, they taste very creamy, like very heavy cream almost, but very tasty. They serve this kind of crabs with vinegar sauce on the side and you just dip your crabmeat in it. Also, my favorite cold dish would be the cold tofu served with chili sauce, 1000-year-old eggs chopped up, garnished with cilantro (coriander leaves). It was great ... period.
This is Shanghai's foremost shopping street. Full of lights, people, restaurants, etc. I felt like in Las Vegas (and I haven't been there). It's an excellent option to walk during the night and have a look of modern Shanghai. The street is divided in two distrinct halves; Nanjing Dong Lu and Nanjing Xi, although Nanjing Dong has always been the most popular.
Shanghai - Chinas commercial centre
"Shanghai - the leading edge of China"
Shanghai, situated on the banks of the Yangtze River Delta in East China, is the largest city of People's Republic of China. Widely regarded as the citadel of China's modern economy, the city also serves as one of the most important cultural, commercial, financial, industrial and communications centers of China. Administratively, Shanghai is a municipality of the People's Republic of China that has province-level status. Shanghai is also one of the world's busiest ports, and became the largest cargo port in the world in 2005.
Originally a sleepy fishing town, Shanghai became China's most important city by the 20th century and was the centre of popular culture, vice, intellectual discourse and political intrigue during the Republic of China. Shanghai once became the third largest financial centre in the world, ranking after New York City and London, and the largest commercial city in the Far East in the late 19th century and early 20th century. After the communist takeover in 1949, Shanghai languished under heavy central government taxation and much of its bourgeois elements were purged. After the central government authorized the market-economic redevelopment of Shanghai in 1992, Shanghai quickly surpassed early-starters Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and has since led China's economic growth. Some challenges remain for Shanghai at the beginning of the 21st century, as the city struggles to cope with increased worker migration, and a huge wealth gap. However, these challenges aside, Shanghai's skyscrapers and modern lifestyle mark the pinnacle of China's recent economic development.
"Shanghai seen from the Oriental Pearl TV Tower"
Because of Shanghai's status as the cultural and economic center of East Asia for the first half of the twentieth century, it is popularly seen as the birthplace of everything considered modern in China. It was in Shanghai, for example the first motor car was driven and the first train tracks were laid. It was also the intellectual battleground between socialist writers who concentrated on critical realism (pioneered by Lu Xun and Mao Dun) and the more "bourgeois", more romantically and aesthetically inclined writers (such as Shi Zhecun, Shao Xunmei, Ye Lingfeng, Eileen Chang).
Shanghai is often regarded as the center of finance and trade in mainland China. Modern development began with economic reforms in 1992, a decade later than many of the Southern Chinese provinces. Prior to then, much of the city's tax revenue went directly to the capital, Beijing, with little return. Even with a decreased tax burden after 1992, Shanghai's tax contribution to the central government is around 20-25% of the national total (Shanghai's annual tax burden pre-1990s was on average 70% of the national total). Shanghai today is the biggest and most developed city in mainland China.
Shanghai has one of the world's busiest ports. In 2005, Shanghai ranked first of the world's busiest ports in terms of cargo throughput, handling a total of 443 million tons of cargo. In terms of container traffic, it is the third busiest port in the world, following Singapore and Hong Kong.
The 2000 census put the population of Shanghai Municipality to 16.738 million, including the floating population, which made up 3.871 million. population of temporary migrant workers.
Shanghai and Hong Kong have had a recent rivalry over which city is to be the economic center of China. The city had a GDP of ¥46,586 (ca. US$ 5,620) per capita in 2003, ranked no. 13 among all 659 Chinese cities. Hong Kong has the advantage of a stronger legal system and greater banking and service expertise. Shanghai has stronger links to both the Chinese interior and the central government, in addition to a stronger base in manufacturing and technology. Since the handover of Hong Kong to the PRC in 1997, Shanghai has increased its role in finance, banking, and as a major destination for corporate headquarters, fueling demand for a highly educated and modernized workforce. Shanghai has recorded a double-digit growth for 14 consecutive years since 1992. In 2005, Shanghai's nominal GDP posted an 11.1% growth to 912.5 billion yuan (US$114 billion).
As in many other areas in China, Shanghai is undergoing a building boom. In Shanghai the modern architecture is notable for its unique style, especially in the highest floors, with several top floor restaurants which resemble flying saucers.
The bulk of Shanghai buildings being constructed today are high-rise apartments of various height, color and design.
Historically very Western in lifestyle, Shanghai is increasingly a critical center of communication with the Western world. The Pudong district of Shanghai contains contemporary architecture and "modern"-feeling districts, in close proximity to major international trade and hospitality zones. Visitors to Shanghai find free public parks manicured to startling perfection; in distinct contrast to the massive industrial installations which reveal China's emerging environmental concerns. Shanghai's international diversity is perhaps the world's foremost window into the rich, historic and complex society of today's China.
"The view from The Cloud 9 Bar"
On a clear day the Jinmao Tower, one of the world's tallest buildings, boasts the best views of Shanghai. Go to one of the restaurants or bars of the Grand Hyatt, which occupies the top 30 or so floors. The tower is on the Pudong side of the river, so the top floors afford staggering views across the Huangpu River to the Bund and beyond. In overcast weather, you may find yourself above the clouds (or in them, with no views at all).
The world's tallest hotel, the ultra-modern Grand Hyatt, houses three of Shanghai's chicest bars. The Piano Bar on the 53rd floor, (open 5pm-midnight) is sleek and intimate. Piano music plays softly while waiters deliver you your tonic. The spectacular Patio Bar on the 56th floor has more excellent drinks and extraordinary views, but nothing compares to the skydiving named Cloud 9, up amongst the mountainhigh view of the 87th floor - the highest bar in the world. See the city below in its 360 degree splendour, a popular vantage point it seems for romancing Chinese couples who can afford it. Westerners tend to take their tall drinks up to the Sky Lounge one floor up where you can sit on the deck and gaze out on the curve of the earth. One anomaly: Cloud 9 is not easy to find - some obscure interior design law of the hotel means that they don't mark out how to get to it. Use the lift and let the discreet waiters at the top show you the rest of the way.