If you watched The Mummy: Curse of the Dragon Emperor, Empire of the Sun, and Mission: Impossible III, then you are familiar with the neon-lit streets of Shanghai. The city of Shanghai has long been a melting pot of European influences amidst the middle kingdom, a place of two cultures trade in material and ideas. Turned into a free port after the Opium War, Shanghai became an international settlement and has figured significantly in world events. Today, modern Shanghai is at the forefront of China’s economic growth, with buildings, highways, and bridges being built in anticipation of the boom in the coming decades. East and West, historical and modern, traditional and cutting-edge; all converge in this spectacular city.
Here are some attractions that give a glimpse of insight inside Shanghai.
The Bund - Shanghai’s famous waterfront offers a view of its colonial structures as well as its modern skycrapers. Banks, trading houses, consulates, and other heritage buildings, built by different European countries over a century ago line this four-kilometer stretch along the banks the Huangpu River. The Bund gets crowded during the day so its best to visit the 1-mile long stretch during the early morning or at night when the neon signs light up.
Nanjing Road – the world’ longest commercial street at 6 kilometers and certainly one of the world’s busiest. Both sides of this road is brimming with boutiques, restaurants, malls, bars, and entertainment centers. The focal point of the street is the centuries-old Central Market, where buyers can find all kinds of items for sale. During the Chinese New Year and other holidays, Nanjing Road becomes the venue for the city’s celebations.