Travelling in Shanghai

2010-04-20 19:10 BJT


Known as the Pearl of the Orient, China's eastern metropolis of Shanghai is steeped in fascinating history. It welcomes a flood of visitors to its streets at all times of the year. It is a very interesting blend of what happens to a city when the east meets the west on a large scale. A stroll though its streets reveals ancient buildings, fascinating parks, temples and museums. Then there are the skyscrapers of ''New''Shanghai, springing up almost daily as the city looks to cement a status as the new financial capital of Asia.

Duolun Road Culture Street, and the Old Streets of Shanghai are the places to go to immerse in the historical and cultural aspects of the city. Visitors can wander ancient and long-ago renamed alleys like Miaoqian Street, Fangbang Middle Road, and Guanyin St. Then visitors can take a tour of the Nongtang residential areas, with their Shikumen (Stone Gate), the French Quarter, Yuyuan Garden, Chenghua Temple, Cite Bourgogne and Xin Tian Di. Visitors whose cultural appetites are not yet sated can head for the Zhujiajiao Ancient Town. Lying 45kms outside of the city, the ''Venice of Shanghai'' provides a fascinating adventure.

On the modern side of Shanghai are skyscrapers like the Jinmao Tower and the Oriental Pearl Radio and Television Tower. Both offer a great panoramic view of the city, and can also be admired from the Bund. This centuries-old waterfront is on the western bank of the Huangpu River.

The Jade Buddha Temple has two beautiful white Jade Buddha statues that were sculpted from a single piece of jade. The Wen Miao temple was originally constructed during the Yuan Dynasty, and today it is the venue of the Sunday's Book Fair. The Sheshan Cathedral and the Shanghai Community Church reminds visitors of the days that Christianity flourished in the city.

The Shanghai Museum is a treasure trove of over 120,000 ancient artifacts from primitive times through to the dynasties, while the Shanghai History Museum has another 240,000 relics to be marveled at. The Shanghai Art Museum displays notable traditional and contemporary works of art, while music enthusiasts cannot miss the Museum of Oriental Musical Instruments.

Scenic Spots

The Bund (Wai Tan)

This centuries-old waterfront is located on the western bank of the beautiful Huangpu River between Waibaidu Bridge and Nanpu Bridge. From the Bund visitors can take in views of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Jinmao Building on the opposite side of the River.

The area features several attractions, including the newly-built flood bank, a square with a statue of Marshal Chen Yi, a Monument to the People's Heroes, an Electronic Waterfall Bell, and a Great Mural Carving.

A range of architectural styles from Gothic to Romanesque and Baroque can be seen on the western end of the Bund. These were built about 100 years ago when the Bund was the political, financial and cultural center of Shanghai. The Bund's long and complex history is outlined in the Bund History Museum. located under the Monument to the People's Heroes.