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History & Evolution
Shanghai (meaning "City on the Sea") doesn't have much long and rich past as other cities of China and thus has very rare mention in the history. From its humble beginning as a tiny fishing village some 800 years ago in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the city rapidly transformed itself overnight into the great metropolis of the East.
By the mid-18th century Shanghai became renowned as an important area for the cultivation of cotton and by the end of the century it was already the largest city of China. From 1848-1863, the American, British and French Settlements came and merged in Shanghai to form what was known as International Settlements. During these settlements for ninety years, the city witnessed many hardships and underwent numerous transformations.
The 1900s was the period opium sales, during which Shanghai prospered gained its place in history as the "Pearl of the Orient", or the "Paris of the East" but eventually went through Opium War.
By 1949, the city got transformed into a Communist city following the Nationalist Chinese government control. Therefore, as the foreigners left, the businesses that were left behind were taken over by the new Communist government.
Soon the emperor Deng Xiaopeng after Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) opened the doors of the city for international trade hence, transforming Shanghai into am important business and finance force.
The city now has entered a new period of revitalization and growth and is marveled by the world. Today the beauty and charm coexist efficiently with commercialism in Shanghai. From the colonial architecture of the former French Concession to the forest of cranes and the high-risen skyline, Shanghai is a city of contrast and change.
An energetic international metropolis Shanghai has rich heritage of ancient Chinese culture and much more to see and do.
Not just rich in wide range of charming attractions and commercial centers, Shanghai is an ideal "shopping paradise" with innumerable shopping streets. Therefore, shopping indeed is an indispensable part of Shanghai's tourism industry.
Oriental Pearl TV Tower:
This modernized and unique structure dominates the skyline of Shanghai. Residing on the bank of Huangpu River, this 468 m (1536 ft) high tower is the tallest TV tower in Asia and third highest in world.
Besides its three spheres that represent pearls (as in "Shanghai, Pearl of the Orient"), the tower looks jazzier at night with multicoloured lights. There are observation decks on each three spheres out of which top sphere provides a 360-degree bird's-eye view of the city and a revolving restaurant.
There is also Shanghai History Museum at the bottom floor of Tower.
Location: Pudong New Area
With 100-year history, this waterfront boulevard is one of the most recognizable architectural symbols and tourist spot of Shanghai.
Being a famous walkway for sightseeing and leisurely stroll, this full of life alley today is an ideal gathering place for both tourists and residents.
The Bund meaning muddy embankment is paved with colorful tiles and dotted with flowerbeds and European-style garden lights.
Location: Zhongshan Road
Yuyuan Gardens (Yu Garden):
Located in the center of Shanghais Old City, Yuyuan Garden has total area of around 5 acres. Built during Ming Dynasty in traditional Chinese style more than 400 years ago, it has more than 40 attractions within its inner and outer gardens and is divided into five parts with 30 scenic spots.
Its exquisite layout, beautiful scenery and artistic style of garden architecture have made the garden one of the major highlights in Shanghai. Further the surrounding shopping area provides good variety of traditional Chinese products.
The garden is outstandingly designed with numerous rock and tree garden areas, ponds, dragon-lined walls, numerous doorways and zigzagging bridges.
Location: Anren Jie
Opened in 1996, the museum offers large collection of rare cultural pieces exhibited in total eleven galleries and three exhibition halls.
Considered China's first international-standard Museum, it houses over 120,000 pieces of cultural relics that delivers a panoramic picture of China from 3rd to 18th century BC.
The major categories of Chinese art covered by Shanghai Museum are Ancient Bronze, Ancient Ceramics, Paintings, Calligraphy, Ancient Sculpture, Ancient Jade, Coins, Ming-Qing Furniture, Seals and Minority Nationalities with the bronze collection being the best in the world.
Location: People's Square
Huangpu River (Huangpu Jiang):
The Huangpu River is the shipping artery of Shanghai, both to the East China Sea and to the mouth of the Yangzi River. The river dramatically divides the city into east and west i.e. past and future.
This 114 km (71 miles) long and 400 meters wide river provides numerous cruises which are the best ways to see both old and new Shanghai providing a beautiful views of The Bund and the 21st century cityscape of Pudong. Night cruises provide the equally dramatic views of the city.
Location: Huangpu River
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