The former French Concession, is the area around Huaihai Lu and the Jinjiang
Hotel, fast becoming the place to explore - especially for foodies. Huaihai
Lu is all about shopping. Huge department stores blot out the sun along
a road colourfully lined with flower boxes. The area around the hotel
is littered with cafes, boutiques and the odd antique shop. Head down
the side streets off Yan'an Lu for the tatty, down-at-heel fin de siècle
architecture that is so evocative of yesteryear.
Nearby, the Yuyuan Gardens & Bazaar area of the Old Town offers some
delicious lunchtime snacks and welcome greenery. The Pan family, rich
Ming Dynasty officials, founded the gardens, which took 18 years (from
1559 to 1577) to be nurtured into existence, only to be decimated during
the Opium War in 1842. Today they've been restored and attract hordes
of Chinese tourists. The Mid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse, one of China's most
famous Teahouses, is another attraction in the bazaar area. In the Yuyuan
Bazaar itself, more than 100 specialty shops and restaurants jostle shoulders
over narrow laneways and small squares in a mock 'olde Cathay' setting.
Nanjing Donglu (Nanjing Road East) has long been China's golden mile.
Once supreme, it's looking a bit frayed and has slipped a few notches
to the emerging luxury option of Huaihai Lu, but laden shoppers still
traipse past its cathedrals of commerce. A late 1990s renovation project
pedestrianised the street from Xizang Lu to Henan Lu; tired shoppers can
catch the tourist train that runs along its length.
Even back in the dull Communist era, Nanjing Donglu had a distinctly
'shop till you drop' feel about it. Nowadays, Esprit, Benetton and McDonald's
have shouldered Marx and Mao into the draughty halls of little-visited
museums - which was where the capitalist state was meant to end up.
Of the Shanghai Museum's 120,000 works of art, one-third have never before
been shown. While guiding you through the craft of millennia, the museum
simultaneously draws you through the pages of Chinese history. Expect
to spend half, if not a whole day here - it's one of the city's highlights.
Formerly a towpath, the Bund gets its name from the Anglo-Indian term
for the embankments used to prevent flooding. To the Europeans, the Bund
was Shanghai's Wall Street, a place of feverish trading and an unabashed
playground for Western business sophisticates. It remains the city's most
impressive mile and is an eloquent reminder that Shanghai is a very foreign
Still a grand strip of hotels, shopping streets and nightclubs, the Bund
remains an intrinsic part of Shanghai's character. Constant throngs of
Chinese and foreign tourists pad past the porticos of the Bund's grand
edifices while the buildings themselves loom serenely, a vagabond assortment
of neoclassical 1930s downtown New York styles, with a touch of monumental
antiquity thrown in for good measure. The building identified by a crowning
dome is the former Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) building,
completed in 1923 with much pomp and ceremony. For many years it has housed
the Shanghai People's Municipal Government. The HSBC has long been negotiating
to get it back. Other Bund fixtures are being sold off, and will no doubt
be dusted off and cleaned up.
Shanghai Great World
Shanghai Great World, a yellow pinnacled building, stands at the city's
central crossroad of Yanan Road and Xizang Road. It has had a history
of 81 years and is well known both at Shanghai and abroad. With a long
history, Great World enjoys its characteristic architectural style and
is noted for its inner artistic design. The 100 meters long overpass connecting
the main building with the attached building circles and takes a bird's
eye view of the central roofless ring. Therefore Great World has been
registered special building as cultural relics by the Shanghai Municipality.
The People's Square is located in downtown Shanghai. Before liberation,
it was a racecourse. Now, you will find here the Municipal City Hall,
Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theater, No. l subway People's Square
stop, the underground shopping street, the underground transformer house,
the largest in Asia, an underground parking ground, the largest in Shanghai,
able to accommodate 600 cars. On both sides of the 600-m long and 32-m
wide People's Avenue are 5.5-m wide green belts and 6.5 -m wide passages
for non-motorized vehicles. In the middle of the square is a 320-sq.m.
round fountain and a landscaped lawn of 80,000 sq.m. In the western part
of the square are kept 1,000 pigeons. On holidays and at weekends the
square is crowded with people, enjoying the peaceful and pleasant scene
on the square.
International Convention Center
Shanghai International Convention Center is located in the southwest of
the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong. It covers an area of 45,000-sq.m.
with a landscaped square of 30,000-sq.m. Its total floor space is 110,000-sq.m.
It consists of several modernized halls: a 42,000-sq.m. multi-functional
hall, able to accommodate 3,000 diners for banquet and 4,000 attendants
for meetings, and serve as an exhibition hall, a 25,000-sq.m. exhibition
hall, a 11,000-sq.m. underground exhibition hall, an 800 seat-capacity
meeting room, two 200 seating capacity meeting rooms, 20 meeting rooms
of different sizes, accommodating 50 or 100 people. There are 259 guest
rooms, including presidential suites, executive suites, standard rooms,
Chinese and Western restaurants, a coffee room, a nightclub, a show room,
a gym, a swimming pool, a bowling room, a billiard room, a sauna bath
and a shopping arcade. The underground parking lot can accommodate 600
cars. Shanghai International Convention Center was opened for business
in August 1999. The '99 Fortune Global Forum was held here.
Longhua Tourist City
Located in the southern part of Shanghai, the tourist city is built around
Longhua Temple and together with Longhua Martyrs' Cemetery, it occupies
an area of 31.17 hectares. The planned area for the tourist city is 8.47
hectares. The first phase of the project with an area of 4.22 hectares
will be completed and opened to the public at the end of 1999. The buildings
in the tourist city will be reproduction of the architecture of folk dwellings
south of the Changjiang River, with black tiles and whitewashed walls,
covered corridors around the Longhua Pagoda, little alleyways and winding
paths, shops in the city and streets through the shops.
The tourist city, complete with the functions of sightseeing, shopping,
catering, and amusement,
facilities supplying tourist souvenirs, arts and crafts, folk collections,
minority nationality ornaments, vegetarian food and tonic food, native
and special products, different styles of Chinese food, special flavored
snacks, an ideal place for rest and recreation, and cultural exhibition
will soon be completed. Once completed, the tourist city will be a typical
tourist attraction featured by Chinese Buddhist culture and folk custom
south of the Changjiang River.
and Nanpu Bridges
The Yangpu and Nanpu bridges are, at 7,658 and 8,346 metres respectively,
among the longest bridges of the world. Both are of the double cable-stayed
suspension type with a long span. Open 8:30-17:00.
Off the Beaten Track
Huangpu River Cruise
There are three main perspectives on Shanghai - from the gutters, from
the battlements of the tourist fortresses and from the water. The Huangpu
River offers some remarkable views of the Bund and the riverfront activity
at night as well as during the day. Tour boats leave for 1, 2 and 3.5-hour
tours from the dock on the Bund.
Both day and night tours offer excellent sights. The best but dearest
choice is the three and a half hour, 60km (38mi) round-trip cruise, which
takes you up the Huangpu to Wusongkou, the junction with the Yangzi River,
Huzhou Pagoda, built in 1079 AD, is the leaning tower of China, with an
inclination now exceeding the tower at Pisa by 1.5 degrees - at last count.
The 19m (62ft) tower started tilting about 200 years ago. It's on Tianmashan
in Songjiang County, 20km (12mi) southwest of Shanghai. Bus No 113 from
Shanghai train station terminates there.
Yunnan Road Night Market
A good stroll west of the Bund on Nanjing Lu, the night market is a nightly
mini-festival of food at very reasonable prices. If you're feeling queasy,
stay away from Nanjing Lu. It's pretty much Shanghai's prime eating strip
- and just about anything gets eaten here.