One of the most exciting and contemporary cities in China, Shanghai has a
population in excess of 23 million and is China's most developed
city. During the early 20th century it was the dominant force in
the emergence of the Far-East and has undergone a resurgence in the
past 20 years.
The city is built either side of the wide, slow-flowing Huangpu
River. The two sides of the river provide an 'old-meets-new'
cultural division, with the Bund region reflecting the emergence of
Shanghai in the 1920s and the Pudong region in the east
representing the ultra-modern façade of the city, with a booming
Pudong was, until only the mid-1990s, just simple agricultural
land. Within this ferociously developing city there remain pockets
of ancient heritage. The Old City, located behind the main
waterfront, is an area where old traditions and ancient customs
survive and where the residents live as they have done for hundreds
Among the many attractions in the city is the Urban Planning
Museum, which showcases Shanghai old and new, and which is home to
an extraordinary scale model of how Shanghai will look in the
future. In contrast, the Shanghai Museum provides a look into the
city's long history, with as many as 120,000 display pieces.
While in Shanghai, rail enthusiasts should ensure they
experience a ride on the 'MAGLEV' train. China's 'MAGnetic
LEVitation' rail system runs between Shanghai Airport and the city
centre and reaches speeds of up to 431 kilometres per hour - the
Shinkansen (Bullet train) in Japan, the TGV in France and the ICE
in Germany only reach speeds of up to 320 kilometres per hour.