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SHANGHAI

Shanghai, with a population of over 12 million and a land area of 3,300 square miles, is the largest city, a flourishing commercial and industrial center in China, which contains the most striking blend of oriental and western cultures and of the past and present. In this city, European-style buildings can be seen standing alongside the typical Chinese structures and ancient temples. Modern ocean-going vessels sail past junks along Huangpu River.
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Shanghai was originally a small fishing village and did not become a town until the mid-13th century. Prior to the outbreak of the Opium War in 1840, Shanghai had grown into a port with 500,000 inhabitants. Afterwards, Shanghai was forced by European powers to open as a "treaty port." From that time, aggressors from many countries began to flock in and the city became known as a notorious "paradise for adventurers." Carving out their own spheres of influence, they settled there by seizing their respective "concessions," which were characteristic of this colonial period.
The Chinese people fought against the foreign invaders taking for several decades to become strong. During the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945), Shanghai was occupied by Japanese troops, and was reclaimed by the nationalist army after the surrender of Japan. The city was seized over by the People's Liberation Army in May 1949. Since then, Shanghai has changed from a consumer city of the past into a major modern industrial city.
Cultural activities include theater groups, film studios, a symphony orchestra, the ballet, opera companies, acrobatics and even a circus. Due to many years of foreign influence, Shanghai, the first Chinese city to open a disco for foreign visitors, is perhaps China's most cosmopolitan city with the fast developing trend in commerce, high technology and various kinds of industry.

Yuyuan Garden

The Yuyuan Garden in the old downtown area is perhaps the best example of classical gardens of Shanghai. Built in 1559, or the 38th year of the Jiaqing reign of the Ming dynasty, the garden is laid out in an intricate manner with buildings spaced providently and courtyards mutually containing, while all the components of the complex are cunningly grouped to camouflage a rather camped space. As a paragon of the south Chinese landscaping style of the Ming and Qing dynasties, it is a unique art of ancient gardens to all visitors here. The neighboring Yuyuan Bazaar, known among the local citizens as "City God's Temple", is a rising place of interest and shopping center where visitors loitering among a cluster of shops, restaurants and recreation facilities that invariably find themselves making a tour of discovery of local folklore with Ming and Qing architecture style.

Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum is located at the People's Square with the possession of a collection of 123,000 cultural artifacts in 21 categories, but bronze ware, ceramics, calligraphy and paintings in this museum are the most valuable treasure and in its best forte. A vast collection of exhibits, world-class architecture, and high-tech facilities explain why the Shanghai Museum can attract visitors who come in a constant stream from all parts of the world.

Jade Buddha Temple


The Yufo (Jade Buddha) Temple was built in 1882 in the late Qing dynasty. After all those years, it remains in perfect condition as a sanctuary of Zen Buddhism. The temple derived its name from a jade statue of Sakyamuni from Myanmar. It houses a 2-meter-tall (7-foot) seated Buddha carved from a single piece of lustrous white jade. It also has a smaller reclining Buddha and 7,000 volumes of Tri-pitaka block prints from the Qing dynasty. The image of the Buddha, his graceful posture, and the serene and calm look on his face can be described in one word, mesmerizing.

The Bund

The picturesque Bund, extending for 1.5 km on the shore of the Huangpu River, is an emblem of Shanghai. A total of 52 tall buildings of various heights range over the river along the western side of the Bund, looking like a museum of modem world architecture. The wide waterfront promenade along the eastern side of the Bund provides a captivating view of Shanghai. When lights are turned on between 19:00 and 21:00 p.m., the Bund has the best nocturnal scene to offer.

Nanjing Road

Flanked on both sides by famed shopping centers, department stores, specialty stores, exotic restaurants and cultural and recreational facilities, the 5-km-long Nanjing Road is the most sophisticated shopping and tourist complex in Shanghai. Every day, it is thronged by more than 1 million shopping lovers and the visitors.

The Oriental pearl TV Tower

The "Oriental Pearl" TV Tower is a new landmark of Shanghai, which faces the Bund across the Huangpu River at Lujiazui, the busiest part of Pudong newly developed area. At a height of 468 metres, it is the tallest TV tower in Asia. An elevator whisks visitors to the tower's observational deck at a height of 263 metres, where they can feast their eyes on a panoramic view of shanghai. The tower is equipped with tourist service facilities, including eateries, shops, recreational centers and the famous hotel accommodation.

People's Square

The People's Square, which was refurbished and expanded in 1994, is the political and cultural center of Shanghai. The square is home to a gigantic music fountain with several largely occupied areas of green lawns, the Shanghai Museum with a unique design, the magnificent City Hall, a spacious underground shopping center, and the splendid Grand Shanghai Theatre. A stroll on the square enables one to gain some idea about the modern chic and refined elegance of Shanghai and its people.
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