area that has changed most dramatically in the city in recent years is
the eastern bank of the Huangpu River, the district known as Pudong.
Only ten years old this year, Pudong symbolizes everything that is new
and exciting about Shanghai. The Oriental
Pearl TV Tower, is a recent construction, which heralded the
beginning of the Special Economic Region over the river. Development
here is occurring at an incredible rate.
The International Conference
Center has been completed recently, just in time for the
Fortune 500 conference which attracted literally thousands of
investors to the city. Shanghai¡¯s Wall Street is
also over here and hundreds of commuters make the trip under the river
every day to work. The Jinmao
Tower, the tallest building in China and the third tallest in the
world, now soars above even the TV Tower, skyscrapers are shooting up
all over the place, and what were empty fields only one year ago, are
now homes to offices and luxury hotels. Work on what is planned to be
the tallest building in the world, the Shanghai World Financial Center
is due to begin any day.
The area also however, epitomizes all
that is dangerous about this chameleon of a city. Over seventy percent
of the brand new office space constructed lies empty and the cost of
living here is shooting up. The gap between the rich and poor is huge,
unemployment is high and pollution in the city is choking Shanghai
And yet, after spending a little time in
the city, the overall feeling is clearly optimistic. Shanghai
residents have a very strong minded and almost arrogant approach to
their city. They know it is advanced, economically rich and an
exciting place to be. This city has achieved so much already and looks
like continuing to do so well into the 21st century.
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a tour along the Huangpu River (also known as the Pujiang) is
the best way to enjoy the scenery on both sides of the river.
On the eastern side of the river stand
the magnificent architecture of the buildings along the Bund, as well
as other sites like the Monument to the Peoples' Heroes; on the
western side are the Oriental
Pearl TV Tower, the rapidly developing Pudong New Area, and the
skyscrapers of the Lujiazui area, including the Jinmao
Ships of all size travel the river
passing under the magnificent Yangpu and Nanpu Bridges that span the
river. Going upstream, you may also catch sight of bustling ports and
Bao Steel works (the largest of their kind in China). At the river's
mouth, you can see the great river merging with the sea.
Address: 239 Zhongshan Dong'er Road
(Bund at Jinling Dong Road)
Opening hours: 9am-10pm
Public Transport: Bus No.20, 22, 37, 42, 65, 71, 123, 135, 145,
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Located in the northwest of People's Square is the Shanghai Grand Theatre. This dazzling new building was designed by a French architect who came up with a complete design scheme including materials and lighting. The building seems to be made almost entirely from glass and the reflections of artificial and natural light are simply stunning.
The structure of the Grand Theatre is simple but smooth and compliments the flush lines of the museum and the polished look of the Exhibition Hall at the opposite end of the Square. The roof of the building is an upturned arc, resembling a treasure bowl and said to symbolize Shanghai's openness and progressive spirit.
An immense chandelier is suspended from the ceiling of the theatre which sparkles and glistens across the entire square. In the lobby itself hangs a fresco by a Chinese artist, Ting Shaokuang, entitled "The Art Muse".
The main theatre auditorium provides a stage for artists from throughout the world and it is always worth checking it out to see who is performing. The Theatre has played host to various Chinese stars and more recently, to western operas, plays and musicians.
There is a good restaurant in the Theatre, Maxim's of Paris and a bar at the top of the building which affords great views over the Square. The Grand Theatre box office is underneath and to the west of the building itself.
How to get there: Take the subway to People's Square station or Tunnel Bus No. 3, 4, 5 or 6.
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The Shanghai Museum was originally housed within the City Library on Nanjing Road until 1995. This spectacular building is now the centerpiece of People's Square. The Museum is a harmonious combination of square shapes and circular ones, epitomizing the Chinese traditional concept which imagines heaven as round and earth as square.
The design is also in keeping with Feng Shui principles and this perfectly symmetrical building is said to resemble a large Chinese cooking pot with two handles protruding from either side. In the evenings, smoke bellows out of the vents in the building, making the museum literally appear to be simmering away in the center of the city.
As well as embodying the modern spirit of the city, the museum also houses a great permanent collection and hosts various exhibitions throughout the year. Even if you are not a big museum fan, this place is worth a visit. The displays are well presented and labeled in English and Chinese and it's an excellent indication of the cultural wealth existing in the city.The museum boasts over 120,000 pieces, including bronze, ceramics, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, ancient Chinese coins, jade furniture, and western art.
Opening hours: Daily 9am-5pm
How to get there: Take the subway to People's Square station
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Shanghai Stadium is a fantastically modern and slightly surreal
construction. The roof of the building resembles snow capped peaks on
a mountain range and is shaped like a saddle! The stadium can
accommodate up to 80,000 people and has in the past hosted many
national and international tournaments. Recently, Manchester United
reserves team were beaten by Shanghai reserves here and the teen boy-
band "911" have also performed on stage.!
This is a great building to look at and
worth taking a trip to even if you are not interested in sports! There
are restaurants and bars in the stadium including China's first
"Boxing Pub" where you can buy a drink and take part in a
boxing match all in the same night. Bungee jumps are also available
from the stadium roof for those who have not had the energy boxed out
The stadium is situated in the Xujiahui
district and a trip down here could be combined with a visit to the St.
Opening Hours: 9:00
AM--11:00 AM, 13:00 PM--16:00 PM
How to get there: Take the subway to the Shanghai
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