Although now famous for its modern architecture and futuristic skyline, Shanghai still has its old world charm. Shanghai’s Old City is one of the most picturesque areas with preserved buildings and alleys in its traditional Chinese form. The surviving old town area caught my imagination of the old Shanghai with famous landmarks, City God Temple and Yuyuan Garden, at its center. Apart from the temple and the garden itself, the neighborhood has large ponds, teahouses, interesting old buildings, and extensive tourist-oriented shopping.
— YU GARDEN & YUYUAN BAZAAR —
The exquisite layout, scenery, and artistic style of the garden architecture have made Yu Garden one of the highlights of Shanghai. The garden is unique in its design as it perfectly blends decorative halls, elaborate pavilions, pools, zigzag bridges, pagodas, and impressive rockeries. For those looking for a glimpse into ancient China when in Shanghai, this is the perfect place to go to. Despite now being a crowded area, it was still a pleasant experience exploring the garden’s archways as well as the pavilions, halls, rockeries, and cloisters as they all have unique characteristics.
Yuyuan Bazaar is also right next to Yu Garden. It has a great number of small streets and lanes where you can find local restaurants and shops. The street-front shops sell mostly tea, sweets, silk, Shanghai cuisines, snacks, and local products. To be honest, we spent more time here than the actual garden. :p The Yuyuan Bazaar is a great place to sample some local snacks and buy some souvenirs (just brace yourselves with the huge crowd on all areas of the market).
- Location: It is located in the center of Shanghai’s Old City, just a few blocks south of The Bund
- Transport: Take subway Line 10 and get off at Yuyuan Station (Exit 1)
- Open: 8am–5pm
- Admission Fee: 30-40 Yuan
— PEOPLE’S SQUARE —
Hailed as Green Lung of Shanghai, People’s Square is a garden-style park and is one of the key landmarks of the city. People’s Square is sandwiched by the busy streets of Nanjing Road and Yanan Road. The southern part is home to Shanghai Museum, one of the largest museums in China, and the largest underground shopping mall in the country. Many exhibitions from the Shanghai Museum have been put on show to Hong Kong, Japan and America and other countries. It was also in People’s Square where I saw a marriage market in action. This is where parents auction their son/daughter up for marriage (in a not so fancy way through memos posted on umbrellas).
There are numerous sites in the square and you’ll find yourself hard-pressed to see everything People’s Square has to offer. We were able to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is right at the center of the park. The northern part include the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, Shanghai Municipal Government Building and Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. The top of theShanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center is made up of four large connected crust, just like the blooming White Yulan, the city flower of Shanghai. The Shanghai Municipal Government Building is one of the landmark buildings in Shanghai, home to the offices with the capacity of 2500 people at work for Shanghai Municipal Government. The Shanghai Grand Theater, on the other hand, is listed as one of the largest and best-equipped automatic stages in the world. If your heavily schedule doesn’t allow you to visit any attractions in the square, it still doesn’t deter you from a troll on the square, just like what we did, allowing you to feel the modern chic and refined elegance of Shanghai.
— THE BUND —
Indeed, when I arrived into to the city center of the megacity of Shanghai, I was bombarded with trendy and futuristic skyscrapers as well as amazed by the colonial buildings and elegant architectures. Shanghai has many superlatives, including its ambitious skyline, and The Bund is where you can check that out.
The Bund is a mile-long stretch of waterfront promenade along the Huangpu River. To the west of this stretch stand 50+ buildings of various architectural styles, including gothic, baroque, and neoclassical styles. It is often referred to as “the museum of buildings”. The best way to appreciate the buildings is to have a walk along The Bund. Roaming among the architectural complexes, I had a better understanding of the century-long charm of this city.
There are 3 ideal locations to see the full view of the Bund:
- Pudong Binjiang Avenue
- On a Huangpu River Cruise
- In one of the skyscrapers in Pudong (Shanghai World Financial Center, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai Tower)
The modern skyline is sharply contrasted by the elegant historic Concession buildings on the Bund. A daytime walk on the Bund gave us a clear picture of the Pudong Skyline, a remarkable achievement in the past decade. Here you can see the second highest building in the world (Shanghai Tower) plus plenty of dazzling skyscrapers.
- Location: Extends from Jinling Road in the south to the Waibaidu Bridge over Suzhou Creek in the north, on the western bank of the Huangpu River
- Transport: Take Metro Line 2 or Line 10 to East Nanjing Road Station and then walk for about 10 minutes going to The Bund
SHANGHAI, CHINA 2017