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Travel Blog: Shanghai

Commonly named “Paris of the East”, Shanghai is a buzzing metropolis located on the Pacific coast of China. It is the most populous city within the People’s Republic of China and became a hub of international business activity during the early tea and opium trade. It still attracts a widely diverse international crowd, as like Hong Kong it is infamous for the rich banking crowd.

Whilst it is famous for it’s skyline, the French Concession (divided into two sections, East and West) is by far the most beautiful area of the city. Tree lined streets are full of small cafes and boutique shops, so reminiscent of Europe that if you squinted hard enough you could be in France!

However as a city Shanghai is at best at night, during which the warm lights and starry backdrop mask all the imperfections a developing city inevitably has. Whilst there it is compulsory to visit at least one of the bars-with-a-view, whilst you will pay high amounts for one cocktail the surrounding will make it worth every penny. (Whilst there I visited the Cloud 9 bar on the 87th floor of the Hyatt Hotel and Bar Rouge located on the Bund.) Another activity which is totally free, and best to get in before 10pm which is when they turn all the lights off, is a walk down the Bund as this area has one of the highest ratios of high-rise buildings to space.

There are also a few touristy day-time activities that you won’t want to miss including People’s Square, Shanghai Mueseum and either the Shanghai Tower or the Oriental Pearl Tower. Also whilst in this are of town head down to Yuyuan gardens and bazaar which are full of traditional markets selling souvenirs and top quality local food.

For people staying in the city for longer than a few days there are some more traditional Chinese attractions including the magnificent Jade Buddha Temple to the north of the city. Or even take a day trip to the West Lake in Hangzhou, 45 minutes away by high-speed train, as it is supposedly the join first most beautiful place in China.

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