Shanghai 上海


Shang Hai literally means “above the sea” and gave the name of this city.

Shanghai is now the biggest city in the world with an astounding 24M inhabitants. Yet the city feels surprisingly spacious, modern and a nice place to live in.

I probably was lucky to get a clear sky, I must say pollution was not a big issue during my short stay there.

The Bund 外灘

Perhaps the most iconic view of Shanghai is the Bund, which is a remain of the colonial past as Shanghai was one of the main ports of trading with Europe, and the Asian financial hub before the communist party took over and closed down the country.

The area effectively looks like Europe, but no precise place in Europe, more a blend of different styles of different european countries.

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Pudong

In front of the Bund is the business district of Pudong, which did not exist at all before 1994 – the old people still call this area “the countryside” which is quite amusing since it hosts some of the tallest buildings in the world – the Shanghai tower, now the highest in Asia with 632m is being completed (also known as “the Bamboo shot”), sits next to the World Financial Center (the “can opener”), 492m, built by a Japanese company originally.

The story goes that Shanghai sits on the back of a dragon, and the head is in Pudong. The Japanese, who also believe in Feng Shui, and hoping to crush China’s economic strength, originally wanted to build the tower in the shape of a Katana (japanese sword) that symbolically killed the Chinese dragon. Next a design was proposed with a round hole at the top, which reminded of the Japanese flag. In order to appease critics the design was changed to a rectangular hole in the end making it look like a can opener!

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The night view rivals that of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour!

G86C6446The Oriental Pearl Tower – 458m
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Nanjing Road

One of the main shopping, hanging out streets in Shanghai, where my hotel was (I recommend you stay there, Sofitel Hyland! – good breakfast too ;))

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Morning Tai Chi

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Evening StrollingG86C6099 G86C6085 G86C6082 G86C6081 G86C6079 G86C6626

Global City… could be anywhere in the world…

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But a few steps away it’s decidedly China

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Yu Garden & China Town

Shanghai is so marked by western architecture that it even has its own Chinatown, that is home to one of the most beautiful gardens i’ve seen through this trip:

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One of the best Tea Houses, recommended by President XI Jinping. “Bamboo shot” in the background with its 632m!

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Yu Garden

Appreciate the roof decorations… dragons, cranes…

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The reception area for people you don’t like – furniture made of tree roots, probably as uncomfortable as it gets 🙂G86C6314
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Dragon wall

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Moon GateG86C6291 G86C6288

 

M50 Art District

One of the interesting thing of Shanghai is its arts district: build in old factories it’s a group of galleries of the booming Shanghai art scene:

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Café Littéraire…

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French Concession

There used to be an area in Shanghai that was owned by French:

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China, really?G86C6578 G86C6584 G86C6590 G86C6592 G86C6598 G86C6601 G86C6603 G86C6607 G86C6613 G86C6614

And back to Hong Kong!

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