"Shanghai" Shanghai by al2401

Shanghai Travel Guide: 3,200 reviews and 8,337 photos

A fishing village for many years, Shanghai's rise to greatness started as late as 1842. After winning the first Opium War the British established a concession in Shanghai, soon to be followed by the French, Japanese and the USA.

In the 1930's Shanghai was the most important port in Asia with world banking and trading firms establishing themselves along the Bund. Exports of tea, silk and porcelain were paid for by imports of opium. As the most modern city in Asia it was also the most licentious. No passports or visas were required and opium dens and brothels flourished.

Between 1931-41 many Jews fled Nazi persecution and settled in Shanghai but many foreigners evacuated during the Japanese bombings of 1937.

After WWII the allied forces signed Shanghai over to Chiang Kai-Shek and the Kuomintaing government and by 1949 most foreigners had left the city and its privately owned businesses in the hands of the Chinese Communist state. The Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 caused industry to flounder until the introduction of Deng Ziaopeng's open door policy when a commercial revival began.

Shanghai is one of the most diverse cities in the world and has a fascinating mix of old and new, east and west.

  • Last visit to Shanghai: May 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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