1 - Shanghai Financial Center
Night life in Shanghai is perhaps best experienced from the world’s 2nd tallest building. The bar on the 91st level caters well to Westerners and expats, and the venue at nighttime can’t be beat. Sure, the ten-dollar martinis may seem a little steep, but it’s worth the marvelous view and big-city ambience.
2 - Shanghai Architecture and Planning Museum
At first glance this trip may seem like more of a bore if you’re not into architecture or engineering. But once you get a chance to tour all three levels of this museum and hover over the scale size model of the city which takes up an nearly an entire floor, this excursion will spark your interest. Features include city layout plans, airport and seaport details, greenbelts, layouts for future developments, and the projection for a new tower, one that will be taller than the Shanghai Financial Center. This museum is among the best in Shanghai!
3 - Former French Concession Area
This area was a race track during the 1930’s and was inhabited by numerous Westerners. The Astor Hotel is worth a look- Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein both stayed there. It is also one of the oldest hotels in Shanghai today and features a restored historical tribute to its past as well as renovated rooms which are still available for reservation. The Former French Concession area also contains the Bund, or riverside promenade, which boasts Shanghai’s famous waterway skyline and Pudong area. There are also several western stores closer to the mall area, and a jazz club tucked away on the mall leading to the river, proof of the former Western presence in the region.
4 - Yuyuan Market in Old Shanghai
This market area is a return to the older neighborhoods of Shanghai and boasts a large market. Although not immune to westernization and commercialism, it prominently features the old-school architecture and design of China 100 years ago. The market has excellent shopping for tourists and plenty of good Cantonese snacks for those seeking a bit more traditional Chinese experience.
5 - Open Space in Shanghai
Once you visit the Architecture and Planning museum, you will have had a chance to get a glimpse of the vast greenery and parks that exist planned throughout the city. There are numerous small parks and greenbelts, but also larger parks and nature preserves in or near the city. These gems of quiet space are welcome oases if you need a break from the buzz of city life. You can also find groups of morning exercisers in the local parks-potentially another fun venture.
Interested in visiting these places up close and personal? Make your dream come true by teaching English in China!
This post was written by Lisa Buckman.