Shanghai Disneyland is Disney’s newest and biggest park in Asia. Since it opened its doors, it has been my goal to visit this park one day. As the sixth in the world and the first in mainland China, Shanghai Disneyland creates many records including the tallest and most interactive Disney castle, the first pirate-themed land of Disney, and the grandest fireworks and laser show display at night. With tickets priced at around 60 USD (cheaper than the neighboring Disney parks in Asia), it’s a steal and worth visiting for the iconic castle and exclusive themed attractions. We visited the park on a weekday and the waiting time for most rides is bearable. I actually enjoyed Shanghai Disneyland much more than I expected and it definitely is worth flying to Shanghai just for Disneyland, whether you’re a Disney fan or not.
Shanghai, China’s largest city, has incredibly developed into one of the most modern and largest financial centers in the world. Its skyscrapers and modern appearance are symbols of its economic development. Wandering around the Pudong district and appreciating Shaghai’s modern marvels made me feel like I got to travel to the future for a few days. I also checked out the busy Nanjing Road, the relaxing streets of Xin Tian Di, and ended my trip to Shanghai with a bang by watching an intense acrobat show at the Circus World. Indeed, Shanghai has become a multi-cultural metropolis with plenty to do from one sunrise all the way through to the next.
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.
Just 2 hours away from the bustling city of Shanghai is the enchanting Suzhou (苏州) — greatly admired for its beautifully landscaped classical gardens, winding canals, traditional waterside architecture, and the nearby water town of Zhouzhuang that is one of China’s prettiest and was also the highlight of my day trip to Suzhou. If Shanghai represents the future of China, Suzhou is where one can experience the nation’s past and present between sipping green tea and munching on rice cakes.