"Shanghai - The future of a whole country" Shanghai by Willettsworld

Shanghai Travel Guide: 3,163 reviews and 8,254 photos

In China there is a saying that 'Xian has witnessed 2,000 years of history, Beijing has witnessed 1,000 years of history while Shanghai bears witness to the last 100 years.' For anyone who is interested in the history of modern China, Shanghai serves as an ideal starting point. Regarded as the 'Oriental Pearl', the city has a unique and important place in modern China and is where all eyes are looking in terms of the country's future.

The city's current status and future dominance is governed by its past. Situated on the estuary of Yangzi River, Shanghai was also going to attract attention and this came in the 19th century from Europeans seeking to impose their exports on the Chinese Empire. The city and then the country opened up to them following the Opium Wars and the city then flourished and it became an important international trade centre. The evidence of this is clear to see by the buildings on the world famous Bund. With its advantaged natural conditions, rapid development and splendid oriental culture, Shanghai was famed as the 'Oriental Paris' and attracted many entrepreneurs and established businesses. In addition, many foreign scientists, literary figures and artists chose to live, give lectures or just experience the Chinese charm in Shanghai. However, all of this started to decline during the rise of the Communists in the 1950s. They then realised Shanghai's economic potential based on its history and so offered reforms and open-ness to those seeking the city's riches once more. Today, the city is regarded as the driving force behind the country's economy which cannot be bettered anywhere else on the planet. Skyscrapers such as Jinmao Tower and Shanghai Global Financial Centre dominate the skyline, while landmark constructions like the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Pudong International Airport and Shanghai International Convention Centre offer the finest and best of modern facilities.

Shanghai offers tourists the chance to see for themselves its great economic impulse, distinctive attractions and to savour its blend of Eastern and Western cultures. In the eyes of westerners, Shanghai has special oriental charm; while in the eyes of Chinese, Shanghai has a fresh western style. Wherever you come from and whoever you are, you will find Shanghai an ideal tour destination.

  • Last visit to Shanghai: May 2008
  • Intro Written Jun 22, 2009
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