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Home> Destinations> Asia> Shanghai> Overview


Updated: 2014-06-27 / (wtcf.travel)





City Introduction

In Shanghai, a magic place with the nickname of “Modu” (magic and modern city), the oriental and occidental cultures mingles with each other. The western buildings standing at the Bund and the skyscrapers lying in Pudong enhance the beauty of each other. In Xintiandi, you will find the ancient Shikumen and old foreign-style houses as well as the latest fashion elements. The shopping center of Shanghai is located at Shanghai Road, Huaihai Road, Xujiahui Commercial Center and Yu Garden Shopping Center. The humorous “Huaji Comedy” (local comedy in Shanghai dialect), “Dujiao Comedy” (stand-up comedy in Shanghai dialect), Shanghai Opera played in small theaters and the newly established Shanghai-style talkshow bring much laughter. Authentic Shanghainese cuisine provided in old restaurants, authentic French cuisine and the snacks at Chenghuangmiao Temple are all renowned far and wide. There are also some antique teahouses in old streets and lanes. And in the foreign-style houses on Hengshan Road lie all kinds of amazing bars.





History and Culture

Shanghai, with a long history of over 2000 years, used to be a piece of land within the territory of the State of Wu during the Spring and Autumn period. In the Warning States period, it was built into a city as a manor estate granted to the Lord of Chunshen. “Shencheng” is the earliest city in Shanghai area. In 1843, Shanghai was forced to open its port during the Opium War I. As a result, imperial countries invaded this city in succession. They set up concessions and built a large number of building and facilities. The representatives include the Exotic Building Clusters in the Bund of Shanghai and the demolished Shanghai Race Club lying on the place where People’s Park is located. In July 1921, the Communist Party of China (CPC) was established on the secret in the French Concession of Shanghai and convened the first congress. The place has now served as the site of the “1st congress” of CPC. In 1937, the horrifying Battle of Shanghai broke out.

On May 27, 1949, Shanghai was liberated. After the 1990s, Shanghai gradually regained its position as the most important economic, financial and trade center of China. In 1993, with the development and opening-up of Pudong area, a series of buildings were established in succession, including the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Jinmao Tower, and Global Financial Center. It becomes an integrated area of financial center and tourist attractions. In 2010, the World Expo held in Shanghai helped it catch the most attention from people all over the world. Culture: Exactly, Shanghai began to develop after the Opium War I when China opened up to the world. Grounded on its geographic advantage, Shanghai become the trading port and developed prosperously since then. Therefore, the culture in Shanghai is quite different from traditional Chinese culture. The culture here is mingled with oriental and occidental cultures and western culture has played an important role. As a result, it is always called “Shanghai-style” culture. This kind of culture, which “absorbs different characters of all other cultures and develops in its own way”, has been displayed in various aspects of cultural activities.





Natural Environment

Situated within the range of 120°52′ to 122°12′east longitude and between 30°40′ to 31°53′north latitude, Shanghai stands on the west shore of the Pacific Ocean and the east line of Asia mainland. Right in the middle of China’s east coastline from north to south, it is the junction where the Yangtze River and Huangpu River flow into the sea. It is bordered to the north by the Yangtze River, to the east by the East China Sea and to the west by Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces. Shanghai, with an average altitude of around 4 meters, is a part of the alluvial plain in Yangtze River Delta. In the west lie the monadnocks of Tianma Mountain, Xueshan Mountain, Fenghuang Mountain, etc. Tianma Mountain, with an altitude of 99.8 meters, is the land peak of Shanghai. There lies a stone tablet of “Summit of Sheshan Mountain on it. Within the sea area, there lie several mountains and islands, including the Dajinshan Mountain, Xiaojinshan Mountain, Fushan Mountain, (Turtle Mountain), Sheshan Island and Xiaoyangshan Island. At the mouth of the Yangtze River in the south of Shanghai, there lie three islands of Chongming Island, Changxing Island and Hengsha Island. Chongming Island, the third largest island in China, has been formed by the sediment carried by the Yangtze River. It measures an area of 1041.21 square kilometers with the altitude of 3.5 to 4.5 meters. The area of Changxing Island is 88.54 square kilometers and the area of Hengsha Island is 55.74 square kilometers.






Shanghai has a northern subtropical monsoon climate. It has four distinct seasons with sufficient sunshine and rainfall. In Shanghai, with a moderate and humid climate, the seasons of spring and autumn last for a shorter period while the seasons of summer and winter last longer. In 2013, the annual temperature of the city reached 17.6 ℃, with a total duration of 1885.9 hours of sunshine and a total amount of 1173.4 mm of precipitation. Over 60% of the rainfalls occurs during the flood season from May to September.






1. Try not to visit Shanghai during the plum rain season (usually in June and July) or in Winter. It is recommended to visit here in Spring or Autumn

2. If tourists would like to stay in Shanghai for a longer period of time, it is recommended to buy a multi-function transportation card, which is widely used on most buses, rail transits and ferries.

3. At present, several rail transit lines have been established and the base fare is RMB 3 Yuan. Taking a metro is the best way of transportation within the city. Due to the large scale of the city, the traffic is quite busy during the rush hours. Please arrange your time in a more reasonable way.

4. There are a number of one-way streets in the old city areas in Shanghai. Please be mindful of the different routes when you drive by yourself or take the bus.

5. The ancient buildings, such as Shikumen, old foreign-style houses, will help you understand the cultural deposits of old Shanghai.

6. In Shanghai, there are abundant recreational activities. After enjoying the supper, tourists are recommended to visit the Bund of Shanghai to have a look at the brightly-lit buildings on both banks.

7. The Shanghainese cuisine is expert in braised and stir-fried food and sugar is an indispensable seasoning. The famous dishes include the “duck stuffed with eight treasure”, “sautéed shrimps”, “chicken, mushroom, ham threads in consommé”, “steamed turtle in crystal sugar soup", etc.

8. Shanghai is the paradise for shopaholics. Tourists can shop around the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Walkway, Middle Huaihai Road Commercial Street, Xujiahui Commercial Zone, etc.





Festivals(Important/Historical/Folks Ones)

Chenghuangmiao Temple Lantern Festival Fair

Time: Around the Lantern Festival on January 15 of the lunar calendar

Every year around the Lantern Festival on January 15 of the lunar calendar, a grand lantern show will be held in Chenghuangmiao Temple. The whole temple will be decorated with colorful lanterns with soft rays of light. And every street will have been dressed out with pentachromic flower lanterns and antique palace lanterns, while the houses have been decorated by glittering colored lamps on the roof. As well, the Chenghuangmiao Temple has become the ocean of lantern since it has been decorated by colored lanterns in various shapes and models, such as the mouse celebrating the New Year, the flying dragon soaring in the sky, the flying birds with the wings unfolded, the joyous lions jumping up, etc.

Shanghai Peach Blossom Festival

Time: In March and April every year

It has long been a custom for local citizens in Shanghai to enjoy the peach blossoms in Spring. Nanhui is one of the major places to admire the beauty of peach blossoms. In recent years, Nanhui Peach Blossom Festival has become a hot spot for spring outing for local citizens. When spring comes in each March, tens of thousands mu of peach blossoms in Pudong begin to blossom, which has attracted countless tourists for sightseeing, tourism, relaxing and vacationing. During the Peach Flower Festival, tourists can enjoy the beautiful flowers. Besides, you can enjoy yourself and participate in a variety of activities in neighboring scenic spots, including Nanhui Peach Flower Village and the neighboring Xinchang Ancient Town of Peach Flowers, Binhai Shiwaitaoyuan, Shanghai Port, Shanghai Animal Park, Binjiang Golf Club and Pudong Shooting Club, etc.

Shanghai International Film Festival

Time: 9 days in each June.

Founded in 1993, Shanghai International Film Festival is the first international film festival held in China. It is of great significance. Four major activities in Shanghai International Film Festival include: “Golden Goblet Award” for selecting international films, international film exhibition, international film trade markets and Golden Goblet International Film Forum & “Asian New Talent Award”. It the sole and unique annual assembling of international films for the half-opened Chinese film market. Therefore, the annual Shanghai International Film Festival is undoubtedly a film pilgrimage for film audience in Shanghai and neighboring cities.

Shanghai Tourism Festival

Time: It starts from the first Saturday in each September and lasts for over 20 days.

Shanghai Tourism Festival has covered around forty projects in the category of sightseeing, relaxing, entertaining, recreation & sports, exhibitions, gourmet and shopping. There are many traditional representative activities, including opening cruise, float competition, Barge Cruising on Huangpu River, Shanghai International Music and Fireworks Festival, etc.

The New Year Countdown Celebrations at the Bund of Shanghai

Time: December 31th of each year

The annual countdown celebration is one the busiest festivals around the years. To celebrate the coming new year, people gather at the Bund of Shanghai, one of the classical landmarks, to attend the grand New Year Countdown Celebration. This celebration enjoys the background of international building clusters and the splendid night views on both sides of Huangpu River. Wall perspective project has been applied throughout the activity and images and entity performance have been integrated by means of 4D technology. All these will provide a brand new audio & visual feel for audience with unprecedented and shocking visual presentation. During the celebration, many celebrities will perform for the audience and lead them to listen to the bell, enjoy the visual feast and make New Year wishes.


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