East meets west in fascinating Shanghai
Futuristic architecture, a stunning collection of Art Deco buildings, an historic shikumen house and Buddhist temples are just some of the many attractions in Shanghai. Known as the ‘Paris of the East’, China’s largest city is an incredible mix of East and West. Shanghai boasts a contemporary skyline of high-rise offices and apartments. Most notable is Pudong, once a rural area and now home to several skyscrapers, including the World Financial Centre, third tallest in the world. Over in Shanghai’s Bund area browse the stores for high fashion and sip a cocktail in one of the stylish bars. Old Shanghai provides a wonderful contrast to the modern city with temples, alleyways and street markets. One moment you can try out the latest gadgets, the next you can eat noodles from a street stall in a back alley. In Shanghai, you never know what’s around the corner.
Shanghai is a beguiling mix of old and new, east and west. Prepare to be inspired by the monumental skyscrapers, divine temples, excellent shopping centres and trendy bars. This is modern China at its most energetic and appealing.
When to Go?
There are four distinct seasons in Shanghai. Spring is warm, summer is extremely hot, autumn is cool and winter is cold. The hottest, but also wettest, months are June and July with temperatures averaging 35ºC. In winter temperatures often drop below zero. Shanghai is in bloom from March to May and is considered the best time to visit. September and October are also good months but it can be windy and there is a risk of typhoons.
How to get there?
There are direct flights from London Heathrow to Pudong Airport (PVG). Indirect flights often go via Hong Kong or Beijing. Shanghai has two main airports; Pudong and the smaller Hongqiao Airport which is mostly for domestic flights. Pudong Airport is 40km (approximately 25 miles) from Shanghai and there are taxis outside the terminal building. It is best to queue for one of the airport taxis rather than hail a cab as this generally more expensive.
Discover the Oriental Pearl Tower’s viewing deck for magnificent vistas of Shanghai. For more vertigo-inducing fun visit the World Financial Centre and stand on the world’s highest outdoor observation deck. It takes about 1 minute to the 95th floor in the elevator and is quite an experience. Once you’re down, you’ll need to settle your stomach, so head to Huxingting Teahouse. This beautiful old teahouse floats on a lake in the Old Town and is simply stunning. For anyone interested in shopping, there are some lovely boutiques on Xinle Lu, Changle Lu and Anfu Lu streets.
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