Shanghai existed as a port long before 1842. It was founded during the Song Dynasty (960-1280), but it attained its international reputation as the richest, most cosmopolitan, most outrageous city in Asia only after it was opened to foreigners by the terms of the Nanjing Treaty that concluded the First Opium War. In the next century it became a major manufacturing center, the “paris of the East” where everything was possible. In recent years Shanghai has regained much of its past reputation as an international, cosmopolitan city.
Zhong Shan Lu (The Bund)
As you walk along this road you come to many parks along the rivers edge. The people of the city come here to read, rest, exercise or just walk and enjoy the flower gardens. You can enjoy the traffic going by on the river or venture to one of the largest Friendship Stores in the country.
Nanjing Lu (Nanjing Road)
This is Shanghai’s busiest street. It starts at the Bund, south of the Peace Hotel, and runs westward. It is the city’s shopping center with small and large stores and department stores, restaurants, theaters, and cinemas.
Museums and Institutes
There are numerous museums in Shanghai. A list includes Lu Xun’s Museum and Tomb, Arts and Crafts Institute, the Shanghai Museum, Museum of Natural Science, and the Children’s Palace. Once the mansion of millionaires, the Children’s Palace provides specialized education to children 7-17. The most popular subjects taught include ballet, music, drama, mechanics, handicrafts, and painting. The children are your tour guides throughout the visit.
Yu Yuan Garden
Translated the Mandarin’s Garden, was originally designed in the 16th century by govenor Pan Yunduan, in honor of his father, Pan En. The construction took over 20 years to complete. It is designed to give a feeling of spaciousness with a small area. It is in fact a garden within a garden.