China


I visited Shanghai to get a taste of "mainland" China, after enjoying Hong Kong and Macau on a previous trip. As expected, Shanghai was just as mindblowing with its fabulous skyscrapers and infrastructure, cool people, culture and food, excellent shopping and some nicely preserved traditional sites. The home of skyscrapers is Pudong, which features Shanghai Tower - the world's second tallest building at 632 metres with fantastic views all around and the world's fastest elevator (at 18 m/s). You can also enjoy the nearby Shanghai World Financial Center (492m), Jin Mao Tower (383m) and the scifi-looking Oriental Pearl Tower. All of these look even more impressive at night. Another cool piece of technology is the Shanghai Maglev Train, the fastest commercial hi-speed electric train in the world with a maximum operational speed of 431km/h.

Shanghai is a shopping paradise with countless malls and shopping centres. A good place to start is the pedestrian East Nanjing Road (which is a sight in itself at night with all the neon signs and people enjoying a walk). Another cool place for a walk is The Bund for nice buildings and great views of Pudong. I also loved Tianzifang and its nice little alleys full of shops, cafes and restaurants.

Two enjoyable places with a more traditional feel were Qibao ancient water town and Yuyuan Gardens, while Xintiandi is a modern quarter that was also delightful to explore. The legendary Shanghai smog will be present, but it was nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be; China's pollution reduction measures in major cities seem to be working.

Shanghai also features some nice temples. I visited Jing'an and Jade Buddha temples and was impressed. The Science and Technology Museum features some exhibits on China's space program as well as a very cool section dedicated to robots (the space exhibits would benefit from an update, though). The Natural History Museum hosted in an impressive building is very cool as well. I also visited the Shanghai Aerospace Enthusiasts Center (which includes Mao Zedong's airplane!) as well as the former Shanghai residence of Mao Zedong (all explanations in Chinese, though). A trip to Shanghai Disney Resort is lots of fun, as you can imagine.

There's lots more stuff to do in Shanghai. A traditional acrobatics show at the Oriental Charm theater was absolutely mind-blowing (and included an unbelievable show of five motorcycles in a globe of death). M1NT Club is one of the trendiest clubs in Shanghai where you'll find cool people and a vibrant atmosphere. Finally, don't miss a traditional (and incredibly relaxing) foot massage at one of the many spas.

- China entry on Wikipedia
- China entry on Wikivoyage

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China

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