Definitely,Shanghai is modern,but when you visit a modern city,you also can see some very traditional stuff here.For example,ChengHuang Temple,including Shanghai Old Street, is a very tradional place in such a modern city.Of course,Zhouzhuang is a wonderful place that you can't miss. My fondest memory of Shanghai is that once I went to a watertown around Shanghai called Zhouzhuang.When I arrived there,I was really shocked,it seemed that I was in Venice,it's so beautiful. Perhaps,I've lived in city for long time and it was really exciting for me to escape from the citylife,especially when you saw those small briges,the traditional boats on the rivers,that's really amazing.
Artists gather here, with quite a nice view of the city, but the inside is even better. Arty furnished and interesting people. There's also a gallery. On the picture from left to right:
Rio, Coca, Jeffrey, Joanna and Lissa
Shanghainese fine dining...
The only Chinese restaurant in the uber cool playground of Three on the Bund, Jereme Leung's Whampoa Club packs a strong visual punch, with bold colours and sleek Art Deco touches. The food is modern Shanghainese, the service impeccable, and the price surprisingly not astronomic given its location (if you stay away from seafood, that is). A place to impress a date or a business partner. Food quality generally excellent.
The Bund at night
Ye Shanghai Ye Shanghai, Ni Shi Yi Ke Bu Ye Cheng!
There is a famous Mandarin song describing that Shanghai never sleeps at night.
The best place to be at night is the Bund waterfront area .
There are lots of impressive banks, trading houses, hotels, clubs built along the Huangpu River. You could take a stroll along the bund or a cruise along the Huangpu River.
Shanghai - the Asian metropole
I visited Shanghai again this year (2007) and before that I visited the city back in 2004. wow - I must say, so much had changed. Well, imagine a city which never sleeps, were constraction work is done 24/7. The city is changing all the time and therefore the restaurants I've visited in 2004 were all gone. My old tips were, well - OLD.
These pictures are from my second visit (year 2004) to Shanghai. It is said that the people in Shanghai are the most best dressed up people in China. I believe it is true, is it? Shanghai is the largest city in China and if I remember correctly Magnolia is chosen to be the "city Flower". The white magnolia is among the few spring flowers in the Shanghai area. It is in full blossom in early spring, April.
In Shanghai one can find anything and now I am talking about shopping. There, "shop 'till you drop" comes concretise. The amount of shopping malls is enormous.
The second time I came to Shanghai and took a taxi to a hotel from Pudong airport, the driver did not know the exact location of the hotel. We decided to jump off the taxi in downtown and ask for directions and then walk the rest of it as it was close! So we did.
Many people could not understand or did not know the hotel but then we met two younger school girls. They obviously knew where the hotel we were looking for was, but we could not understand each other… So what did they do? They took me from a hand and walked (yes, walked) us all the way to our hotel! Wasn’t that something? I mean it was closer to one kilometres journey to the hotel…
The people I’ve met in Shanghai has always been friendly and very helpfull!
"Nanjing Lu - the walking street"
The walking street is kilometres long and at the weekends it is crowded. There are shopping malls next to shopping malls and Mc Donalds after Mc Donalds.
When comparing Shanghai to Beijing I can tell you that these two cities are like a day and a night. So different they are. Mainly because Shanghai appears to be such a modern city and it could be situated anywhere in the world. Beijing, to me, is more a traditional, real "Chinese city" with many cultural sites to visit.
To my experience only some people speak English, like in hotel personnel or some younger Chinese. Ask the hotel front desk people to write the place you are going to in Chinese characters on paper and then give it to your taxi driver. Also remember to take the hotel name card into your pocket and then, again, just show the card to a taxi driver.
It is not impossible to shop goods in Shanghai even if you don't have a common language with the shop keeper. For sure (s)he will have a calculator which you’ll use when negotiating for prices.
I felt that the city is full of contrasts: there are brand new modern buildings, their main shopping streets could be from anywhere of the world and yet one can find alleys like in the picture here.
My advise is that go off the tourist streets and see what you can find from there. You will find genuine Shanghai city behind the scenes. I did some good shopping and bought myself a pair of ladies shoes, leather (tested), for 60 RMB.
If you get lost, and you probably will, just take a taxi back to your hotel.