Shanghai Attractions

Shanghai, one of the world’s most powerful commercial and financial center as well as a rich cultural spot, lacks no attractions: Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Technology Center, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai Stadium, People’s Square, parks and squares in Pudong financial district, just name a few, without even mentioning suburbs and nearby towns and cities.  The following are just a few sketches of the city, but places you may not want to miss while visiting Shanghai 

Yuyuan Garden, the Ming Dynasty heritage

Yuyuan Garden, the Ming Dynasty heritageThe layout is of classic Chinese garden style, but the scenery is situated right in the middle of the modern city, covering landmarks over a total of five acres.   The 400 year old Yuyuan Garden was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as a private garden, which is one of the few remaining old sites in the city.   A garden within a garden, and the unique characteristics of the artistic garden architecture are expressed through each pavilion, rockery, cloister, dragon-lined wall, zigzagging bridge and lotus pond.  Under the zigzagging bridges are lazy streams, where golden fishes gather for a meal dropping from the sky and chase each other for fun.   Often, this image is vividly mixed with the reflections of smiling faces.   Tea houses rise above the pond.  At night, the distinct features of the temple styled roofs are outlined and illuminated in the sky, and again, colorfully, reflected in the water.  The blend of the beauty of the landscaping and the reflections of the lightings presents a magnificent view.  The surrounding Yuyuan bazaar area is of small streets and alleyways, where local delicacies, tea and handcrafts are abundant.  Visitors often stay well into the late Yu Garden, the tea house, night viewnight at Yuyuan Garden, which emphasizes the highlights of this exquisite scenery in Shanghai.  To some, it is merely paradise.

 

Nearby is the City God Temple or Chenghuangmiao, which is traditionally referring to the area of the temple, garden and surrounding streets.

 

\The Bund, the ever enchanting waterfront epicenter

The Bund in Shanghai along the Huangpu River, Peace HotelThe Bund, or Wai Tan, on the Zhongshan Road, is a waterfront of less than one mile in length along the west bank of the Huangpu River.  Above the Bund waterfront, 52 buildings, built in around 1920s, are of various architectural styles such as Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism, Renaissance, Neo-Classical, Beaux-Arts, and Art Deco.  The Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (formerly Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation), the Customs House and the Peace Hotel are among the most famous on the bund.  The Bund, known as the Wall Street in Asia, remains Asia’s business, commercial and financial epicenter.  On the east bank of HuangRiver is the newly developed PuDong, where the Jin Mao Tower, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and many global companies’ Asian headquarters are located today.  Bund at night is a fascinating scene, as the entire skyline on the east bank is illuminated.  You may want to get on a boat, and as a boat cruises along the river, you will have a full access to the Bund’s night scenery. The synchronization of lighting tends to bring historic and modern, past and present into a unified whole.               

While there are no stations on the Bund, metro and bus stations are available within a short walking towards East Nanjing Road andZhongshan Road.  A pedestrian transit tunnel can send passengers aross Huangpu River via slow-moving powered vehicles traveling along the tunnel with light effects projected onto the walls of the tunnel as another tourist attraction.   

Xintiandi, the New Heaven and Earth

 Located in central Shanghai south of the East Huaihai Road or Huaihai Zhong Raod, Xintiandi is a redevelopment and recreation of Shikumen, a traditional architectural signature from Shanghai’s 1920s and 1930s.   The Shikumen housing of old Shanghai was typically stone gated, courtyard enclosed, and usually built along narrow alleys or long tangs, in the old part of the Shanghainese neighborhood. 

Shanghai Xintiandi's Shikumen attraction was simply created by converting long tang houses into a state-of-the art and upscale dinning and shopping center.  The residential blocks were transformed into a multifunctional indoor and outdoor artistic entertainment spot.  Along the tree-lined streets are trendy boutiques, and ultra modern cafes, bars and restaurants were born in the traditional houses of old Shanghai.  The interior designs and decorations are largely modern and elegant to suit the 21st century social and life style while the exterior retains antique walls, tiles and the old Shikumen style.  The Shikumen buldings within Shanghai Xintiandi were thus developed in the seamless conjunction of old and new, and between heaven and earth.  This may just be the place for those who either miss the old or appreciate the new.

By the way, Xintiandi, literally meaning New Heaven and Earth, is probably most popular for its romantic nightlife in the sleepless city of Shanghai.

.