I have been to Asia many times, but never in China. So this time I wanted to visit Shanghai and Bejing. In my article I would like to give you some impressions of both cities I will start with Shanghai…
I was very excited to visit this city for the first time as I have seen and heard about it in many movies and documentaries. My first feeling was that the city is very crowded, very modern, yet traditional at the same time and therefore controversial.
I started my sightseeing tour at the Jing´an Temple which is a Buddhist temple on the West side of Nanjing Road and one of the biggest in China. From here I took a taxi to the Old Town (Nanshi) and Yuyuan Garden. It´s Old Shanghai and the architecture is traditional Chinese but very touristic. The area is full of souvenir shops, tea stores and Chinese restaurants and you have to be careful not to step into traps as vendors inflate their prices for tourists. It´s defiantly worth a visit but I recommend to go early as otherwise it gets very busy.
I found the Old French Concession very interesting, it is quite small, but a magnificent contrast to the modern skyscrapers of the city as it´s a former residential area turned into a tourist spot giving home to restaurants and stores. As it was about to get dark I decided to have a walk around The Bund which is probably the most famous place in Shanghai due to its amazing view over Hangpu River and over the skyline of Pudong. The contrast is incredible, as on one side the architecture is colonial due to its British Concession and the other, over the river at Pudong, very modern with some of the highest skyscrapers such as the Pearl Oriental Tower, the World Financial Center and Bank of China, the bank with the highest cash reserves in the world.
Interesting to visit, and a recommendation from me, is the Shanghai Qibao Town, it´s a day trip and gives you a great impression of the origins of Shanghai as this is the ancient Old Town approx. 90 minutes drive away towards the sea. I decided to spend one day in the just recently opened Disneyland Shanghai, as I have been in the ones in Paris, Hongkong and also Tokyo. If you like this kind of ‘adventure’ you should start the day early as many Chinese families come here to see Mickey Mouse & Co.
Travelling and sightseeing makes you hungry and I would like to suggest you a few places I have been eating in. For me the best placee and highlight was Din Tai Fung at the Portman Ritz Carlto, which makes Dim Sum and it was super delicious. Another restaurant I enjoyed was the Yé Shanghai were I have been before in Hongkong and Taipei and now try their food here. It was very good, offering typical Shanghainese food. Defiantly interesting and a must do for foreign tourists. Other good choices are the Goodfellas close to the Bund, Hakkasan and Lost Heaven.