Shanghai Basic Information 上海

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1>General Introduction
Shanghai is China's largest commercial and financial center and is considered by many to be the gateway into China. Historically called the "Paris of the Orient," Shanghai attracts millions of visitors annually from abroad as well as from across China that flock there not only to enjoy its historical sites but also its wide variety of modern entertainment. Western churches and Chinese temples are both shining on Shanghai Bund and Pudong New Area.

With a population of more than 18 million plus over 5.8 million migrants, Shanghai is the largest, one of the most populous, and the most developed city in China. Famous for its riverside scenery, major commercial center, and shopping, Shanghai is a fascinating mix of East and West. It has historic "shikumen" houses that blend the styles of Chinese and European as well as one of the richest collections of art deco buildings in the world. 

Location: Shanghai is located at latitude 31°14′N and longitude 121°29′E. It lies in the east of China and borders on East Sea to the east, Hangzhou Bay to the south, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province to the west and Yangtze River to the north.

Area: Shanghai covers an area of 6.34 thousand square kilometers.

Terrain: The average altitude of Shanghai is 4 meters. The east is a little higher than the west. The highest hill of Shanghai is the Dajin Hill whose altitude is 103.4 meters.

Climate: January, with an average temperature of 3.3℃, is the coldest month and July, with an average temperature of 27.8℃, is the hottest month.

Number of Population: 17 million

Languages: Mandarin and Shanghai Dialect

History of Shanghai: In Yuan Dynasty, Shanghai became an important port of China. After the first Opium War, British army occupied Shanghai. They forced Qing Dynasty to open Shanghai to their merchants. On May, 27th 1949, Shanghai was liberated. In 1980s, the economy of Shanghai developed rapidly and Shanghai became an economic centre of Asia.

Shanghai is located in the southeast China, boarded by the East China Sea to the east, Jiangsu province to the northwest, and Zhejiang province to the southwest. It covers the south portion of the Yangtze Delta.
As the most metropolitan city in China, Shanghai is very accessible. Shanghai can be reachable by air, by land and by water.

Shanghai is served by Pudong International Airport and Hong Qiao Shanghai Airport. They are direct international flights between Shanghai and some European and US cities.

Pudong International Airport  
The Shanghai Pudong International Airport is located on the South coast at the mouth of the Yangtze River, around 30 km (19 miles) away from central Shanghai and 40 km (25 miles) away from the Hong Qiao International Airport, which itself is situated 13 kilometres from the city centre, towards the western suburbs of Shanghai.

Currently, Pudong International Airport has accommodated an average aircraft movements over 400 times per day, already accounting for approx. 60% of the total aircraft movements of Shanghai. And it is serving for about 50 domestic and foreign airlines, connecting with over 70 international and regional destinations and 60 domestic destinations.
Visitor can take a taxi to the airport for about 150 RMB. But now more popular alternative is available: the newly opened magnetic train which can run as fast as 430 km/h and take you from downtown Shanghai to the airport in 7 minutes or so.

Hongqiao Airport
The existing Hongqiao Airport, though slightly down at heel, actually works quite well and is easily accessed from the central business district where many airlines have offices. Twenty-one domestic airlines and 20 foreign airlines now use the airport. The two Shanghai-based airlines, China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and Shanghai Airlines (SAL), have substantial investments at Hongqiao and are probably reluctant to move overnight to Pudong.

Shanghai is the hub of China's railway network. They are daily trains from China's main tourist city, Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Kunming and much more to Shanghai. It is very easy for visitor to take a train from other places to Shanghai or vice verse. They are even train running between Shanghai and Kowloon in Hongkong, which has proved very useful to foreign visitors. The express lines between Shanghai and Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing and Hangzhou are very popular among travelers.

The main railway station is Shanghai Railway Station, near Suzhou Creek. The ticket office is a large building located just east of the main square on the southern side of the station, with at least some windows open at all hours. Foreign visitors can buy tickets in the soft seat waiting room. Many hotels may also reserve train tickets for travelers for a small service charge.

Some trains depart from the Shanghai West Railway Station. Make sure which train station your train will depart from before moving there.

Shanghai's ideal location by the Yangtze River makes it easily accessible by boat or vice verse.The main passenger port is the Shiliupu Passenger Port, Which is located at Zhongshan Nan Road, about 1 km south of the Bund. There are boats from Shanghai along the Yangtze River up to Jiujiang, Wuhan and Chongqing. There are also boats between Shanghai and some of China's neighboring countries such as South Korea and Japan.

There are two main long distance bus stations in Shanghai. Buses depart from shanghai heading along the east coast to Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing, Hangzhou and other cities. More high expresses linking Shanghai and some other major cities are under construction will be put into use in the near future.

Local Transportation
Shanghai boasts one of the finest city transportation in China. There are the following options for visitors to get around Shanghai.

Public bus
Public buses in Shanghai are often packed but they are the most convenient and cheap way to loop the city. There are more than 1,100 bus lines in Shanghai which run into each corner of the city proper.

Shanghai's public bus system is quite comprehensive. Buses preceded by the number"2" , "3",  "9" are rush-hour, night service buses, double-decked/ tourism buses, respectively, and buses 1-199 run from 5 am to 11 pm.

Fares rang from 1 Yuan to 3 Yuan depending on the length of routes or bus conditions: as a rule, 1 Yuan for routes less than 1.3 km long, 1.5 for routes over 1.3 km and 2 Yuan for air-conditioned buses (indicated by a snowflake besides the bus number).
Shanghai Railway Station, People's Square, Xujiahui, and Zhongshan Park, are hubs of the public buses network.

Public buses in China are often crowded and Shanghai is no exception. If you choose to take a bus to travel around, please take especial attention to your belongings for pickpockets usually take advantage of the crowded condition to steal stuffs.

There are 4 main subway lines in Shanghai.
Line No 1: Shanghai Railway Station-XinZhuang.
Line No. 2: Zhongshan Park-Zhangjiang Gaoke(high-tech zone)
Line No. 3: Shanghai South Railway Station- JIangwan Town
Line No. 4: Nan Shan Road- Da Mu Qiao Road
Shanghai Metro is comfortable and convenient and it is the best way to explore the city.

There are plenty of taxis in Shanghai (about 50,000). Simply wave your hand at one and it will stop for you, or order a taxi from your hotel.

Price for Daytime: Flag fall is 10 Yuan from 3 km, after which it costs 2 Yuan for 1 km increment within 10 km; 3 Yuan for 1 km increment exceeding 10 km.

Prices At night:(23:00-5:00): starting price is 13 Yuan for 3 km, after which it costs 2.6 Yuan for 1 km increment within 10 km; 3.9 Yuan for 1 km increment exceeding 10 km.

There are more than 20 ferry lines linking Shanghai's Pudong and Puxi Areas. Fare is flat, 1 Yuan/per person; 1.3 Yuan/per bike, 2 Yuan/per motorcycle

3> Food and Restaurants
Shanghai boasts one of China's best and most distinctive cuisines. Influenced by its position just south of the Yangtze and at the mouth of the Huangpu, the region abounds in a selection of freshwater fish and shellfish. Dishes from this area are lightly and delicately seasoned. Shanghai's people have a 'sweet tooth', and more sugar is used in Shanghai than in any other part of China. Shanghai's neighbors also contribute to the diversity of the area's cuisine: Hangzhou, known for its West Lake carp; Zhejiang to the west, for its vinegar; and Shaoxing, for its warmed rice wine.

Featured Restaurants

1221 Restaurant in Shanghai
The décor is modern and stylish and the menu offers a mix of traditional and innovative Shanghai cuisine that is very tasty. Try the 'la la ji ding' or spicy cold chicken noodles or any other of their fabulous cold appetizers. An unique dish is the stir fried beef with deep fried dough sticks, a mix of crispy and soft textures. Service is friendly and attentive.
A. Opening Hours: 11:00-14:00,17:00-23:00
B. Add: 1221 Yanan Xi Road

Mei Long Zhen Restaurant in Shanghai
Traditional Shanghai food in an authentic Shanghai restaurant founded back in the 30s. Service with a scowl but very efficient. A good place to try lots of local specialities - shi zi tou (lionhead meatballs) and of course Shanghai dumplings (they even have crabmeat filling!). Prepare to be amazed by the guys who fill your teapot and sit back and enjoy a little old world Chinese style.
A. Opening Hours: 11am-2pm, 5pm-10pm
B. Add: Lane 1081 22 Nanjing Road

M on The Bund
One of Shanghai best restaurant. The large terrace offers unparalleled views of Pudong and the Bund. The food has been described as "eclectic European" and has strong Turkish, Lebanese, French and Italian influences. Great care is given to freshness, quality and presentation. There is an excellent selection of wines to complement your meal and the dessert, especially the pavlova is superb. If you can't get a table, enjoy the scene at the very cool bar. Conde Naste magazine considers it one of the best 100 restaurants in the world.
A. Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.15pm-10.30pm
B. Add: 7/F 20 Guangdong Road

4> Shopping
Shanghai is one of the most prosperous cities in the world where you can buy almost anything. The main shopping streets, Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road offer so many international brand-names. But if you are not interested in fashion and prefer shopping at outdoor markets, try Shanghai's numerous flee markets. Beneath Shanghai's magnificent shopping malls, department stores and boutiques, flourish numerous flee markets. The outdoor bazaar at Yuyuan Garden sells various souvenirs and art & crafts while the markets the "Cultural Street Market" on Fuzhou Road, the "Antique Street Market" on Dongtai Road and " Clothes street market on Shimen Road are traditional Chinese open-air markets. Have a unique shopping experience as well as see old traditional side of Shanghai, opposite to its glorious appearance.

Clothes & shoes
Check the shopping malls at Nanjing Road or Huaihai Road for world renowned brand fashion items and try the Changle Road and Miaoming Road if you want boutiques, especially if you would like to purchase a Qibao (Chinese Cheongsam). The Chinese Cheongsam street in Changle Road contains about 20 cheongsam shops. Most of the shops provide tailoring services. It can be found close to Jingjiang Hotel.  Shaanxi Road and Huacao Road are crowded with small shoe shops with cheap prices. 

Shanghai is close to Suzhou-home to the finest silk products in the world so it possible to find fine silk products at good prices. Silk at the Shanghai Silk Building is excellent quality and many local residents shop there. The company has branches in Huaihai Road (add: 226 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Huating Lu) and Nanjing Road: No, 588 East Nanjing Road.

Shanghai Museum has some of the best Porcelain on offer. Location: No.201 Renming Da Dao. In some big department stores, you may find porcelain made in Jingdezhen.
Souvenirs, art & crafts & antiques

Yuyuan Bazaar
Yuyuan Bazaar has an amazing array of traditional Chinese items including paintings by folk artists, pearls from the Taihu Lake, calligraphy, old bank notes and wood carvings.

Curio Street at Dongtai Road
The Curio Street at Dongtai Road is the antique-hunter's mecca. Slightly over-200-meter long, the street is lined with more than 125 small shops selling a mind-boggling variety of items. The main products are China wares, bronze wares, jade pieces, bamboo and wood carvings, calligraphy, paintings, badges, Chairman Mao memorabilia ancient ink, paper, brush pen and inkslabs. The place remains as one of the most popular markets among expats and locals alike. The main fact to remember is that most of the items are not genuine. The fun of the place may not in finding a real antique, but seeing all of interesting items and the haggling experience. Haggle hard if  you want to purchase something.

Books and Videos
Shanghai Xinhua Book Store has over 4,000 branches throughout the city. The one close to east Nanjing Road is on the 5th floor at No. 221 Middle Henan Road.

5>Nightlife & Activities:
Era Intersection of Time:
As a multimillion-dollar stunning acrobatic extravaganza, the first of its kind in China, ERA is a multimedia odyssey whose inspiration is a direct result of the combination of traditional Chinese acrobatic arts and modern technology.

Shanghai Acrobatic Show HuangPu Sensation
Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe has grown into a world-class circus and acrobatic troupe of high reputation with its well-trained cast of super talents plus its full range of programs. It has enjoyed popularity over the past years when making more than 100 tours in U.S.A, Canada, Germany, Spain, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, etc.

Evening Huangpu River Cruise and Bund City Lights
The tour starts with an evening cruise on the Huangpu River. From the deck of your riverboat watch the buildings of the Bund slip past, and the glittering cityscapes of east and west. City lights at night provide a glorious technicolour spectacle. After the cruise, you will enjoy a walk along the Bund.

Last Updated ( Friday, 19 June 2009 17:37 )  

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