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China: Shanghai

China: Shanghai

story by: Inspire Hong Kong & China

Shanghai is fascinating for the architectural variety of its grand buildings and homes that reflect the influences of western occupying powers from the 19th century to the 1930s. Once known as the ‘Paris of the Orient’, Shanghai is regarded by locals as more flamboyant, entrepreneurial and worldly than Beijing. One of the best places for shopping, the city's other attractions include the Yu Garden, the Bund and Shanghai Museum and 1930s-style China Jazz Band at the Peace Hotel.

Change has been swift in this bustling world renowned centre. While the historic waterfront area of The Bund remains a prime sightseeing drawcard, Shanghai has countless more avenues - some new, some old - to explore, its fascination mix of architecture as spellbinding as the number of ships that call at the busy port.

As testimony to the contemporary rise of Shanghai in the 21st Century, eye-catching – and ritzy – skyscrapers have replaced what was previously simple farmland in Pudong, on the opposite banks of the Huangpu River.

Once you have immersed yourself into the city’s history and the museums it boasts, there’s a glamorous new side to Shanghai which takes over -from morning until well after dark.

Shanghai is now gifted with a vast range of restaurants from around the world, although Asian fare remains much sought after, delicate flavours, fresh ingredients, a distinctive trait being the use of soya and brown sugar sauces to accompany mostly seafood and vegetables. Steam dumplings filled with pork or crab is a delicacy along with sea cucumber with shrimp roe, duck with a spicy garnish and Mandarin fish.

Make sure to allow enough time to shop as Shanghai is a truly exhilarating experience inside the giant shopping meccas, the centrally-located pedestrian-friendly Nanjing Road a haven with its 600 or more shops selling almost everything from Western-style clothing to swish watches, sunglasses and handbags. Another hot shopping strip is Huaihai Road, famous for its upmarket designer-label boutiques.

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