Shanghai is definitely one of the most visited cities in China, especially these days when the country’s trade and industries get more vibrant. For many years, the city has been the huge Asian nation’s busiest and biggest port. It is the gateway to the territory of the ‘Sleeping Dragon,’ and a site that links China to the West. Shanghai is now the key metropolitan base of China. Be mesmerized by its aging streets, which steal the attention of travelers. Business travelers wander to find and seize numerous trade and commercial opportunities.
The Chinese city is home to some 20 million people, making it the most populated in the country and among the biggest urban areas worldwide. It is an open city along the coast and is apparently a bustling cultural and historical center. The city is directly under the Central Government’s jurisdiction, making it an easy trade and economic hub, a leading port and a very comprehensive industrial base.
Shanghai is famous for its cosmopolitan features and rich humanistic resources. In the 21st century, many sophisticated structures have been constructed in the city, including the Shanghai Museum, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai Circus City, the Shanghai Grand Theater, the Stadium and the Jin Mao Tower. Such buildings and more edifices have become important parts of the modern scenic sights in the area.
This city is most notable for its barrage of colors, motion and sounds. To some tourists, it seems that nothing stays still in Shanghai. Being the grandest commercial and financial Chinese center, it seems to constantly expand exponentially. Years ago, not too many people thought such a city could rise in a communist territory. But as history judges it, the game of Shanghai is called surprise. Today, the city is a destination for quick and cheap flights carrying numerous tourists from all over the world.
Geography and climate
The city sits comfortably along the important Yangtze River Delta across the mainland’s eastern coast. It is equidistant from other important Chinese cities Hong Kong and Beijing. As a whole, Shanghai comprises of a peninsula. To the north and west, it is bordered by Jiangsu province, to the east by the Eastern China Sea and to the south by the Zhejiang province.
The vast land area is flat, excluding the hilly southwest. The flat alluvial plain location requires skyscrapers to be constructed with very deep concrete piles to prevent the structures from sinking down into the soft ground. Strategically, Shanghai is also teaming with numerous rivers, streams, lakes and canals. Thus, it is also noted for its rich water resources that comprise the Taihu drainage area.
The city has a distinct mild climate throughout the year, making it ideal for tourism. There are four seasons. Winter comes on November until February, when nighttime temperature falls below freezing. There is just a day or two of snowfall annually. Summer months of March to May are very humid and warm. Spring and autumn are more pleasant seasons, when the weather is usually sunny and dry. June is when most rain and occasional typhoons come.
Shanghai was upgraded into a market town during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 AD) from being a mere village. The Yuan Dynasty established Shanghai as a city in 1297. The Ming Dynasty guide further development in the area. In 1554, a city wall was constructed as protection against Japanese raiders. In 1602, a City God Temple was erected to give Shanghai a psychological bolster. Qing Dynasty made the city a significant sea port in the Yangtze Delta region.
The 19th century ushered further development. The strategic position of Shanghai was recognized. Due to its favorable geographic site, the city became a location for trading with the West. During this time, Britain temporarily occupied Shanghai. In 1842, the Treaty of Nanjing facilitated the opening of the city for international trade. Foreign concessions flooded after the signing of the Bogue Treaty in 1854 and the Sino-American Treaty in 1844.
In the middle of the 20th century, Shanghai rose as an industrial center amid revolutionary leftism. Despite the turbulent situation, the city managed to maintain robust economic activities and a highly relative social stability. In 1991, a breakthrough came when the city was finally allowed by the Chinese government to put up and initiate economic reforms, which started the huge economic development, and also resulted to the emergence of Pudong and Lujiazui as complementary economic cities.
Tourism is becoming an important industry in Shanghai. More visitors come as tourist infrastructure gets more accomplished. By the onset of the 21st century, there were more than 40 offshore travel services, 300 star-rated accommodations and more than 500 domestic travel services. The city earned its status as a ‘paradise for shoppers.’ Tourists could spend days strolling around commercial sites and shopping streets particularly at Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall, Sichuan Bei Road, Huaihai Road and Yuyuan Commercial.
For fun lovers, there are numerous practical beaches in the city. You can allot days of your vacation exploring and enjoying the sun and the sand. For cultural enthusiasts, there are many popular Chinese festivals. Some of the most watched out are the Longhua Temple Fair, the Longhua Temple Bell Striking, the International Tea Culture Festival, the Nanhui County Peach Blossom and the Orange Festival. There is even a Shanghai Tourism Festival.
Besides festivities, there are many sights to appreciate. The Bund, a long British trail along the Huangpu River banks, is known to be among the most sought-after architectural landmarks not just in Shanghai but also in China. The building rows were interestingly once the Asian version of the Wall Street, specifically when Europeans still held control of the city. Many important financial firms have giant edifices that are boasting of interior wonders. The Yu Gardens is also a popular Shanghai landmark. This, also known as Yu Yuan Garden, is the most classical Chinese garden found in the city. The intricate architecture and exquisite layout of the garden is an architectural wonder.
Gourmets are specialties that make tourists enjoy a Shanghai vacation. There are thousands of restaurants that serve 16 various food styles. Western restaurants interestingly thrive as well to serve vacationers sumptuous Indian, Japanese, German, Italian, French, English and Russian dishes. It is said that only in Shanghai can you possibly taste all delicacies in this planet.