Shanghai, with a population of more than 18 million (and over 5.8 million migrants), is one of the most populous and most developed cities in the People’s Republic of China. Shanghai was the largest and most prosperous city in the Far East during the 1930s, and remained the most developed city in Communist China. In the 1990s Shanghai again became an attractive spot for tourists worldwide.
Shanghai is split in two by the Huangpu River, with the older town on the west bank known as Puxi and the brash new development on the east side being Pudong. Shanghai is a fascinating mix of East and West. It has historic shikumen houses that blended the styles of Chinese houses with European design flair, and it has one of the richest collections of art deco buildings in the world.
Where in Shanghai you go depends largely on your time period of interest. For 1920s Shanghai, head for the stately old buildings of the Bund. Or pay a visit to The French Concession (close to Huai Hai Park). For 21st-century Shanghai, cross the river to gawk at the skyscrapers of Pudong.
Shop until you drop on China’s premier shopping street Nanjing Road, or head for the Yuyuan Bazaar for Chinese crafts and jewelry not far from the Bund. Nanjing Road is a wide boulevard and is often packed with people on weekends and holidays. The shops are often targeted at domestic tourists, so the prices are surprisingly reasonable.