After arriving to Shanghai on a sleeper train from Beijing, I navigated towards a friend’s apartment. Kai from Petaluma, CA was my college roommate and now we had the chance to catch up in Shanghai, China. It was great having a tour guide for the city, a place to crash, and a chance to see a good friend.
My first impression of Shanghai is that it is a very international city, more so than Beijing. Beijing had many tourists; however, most tourists were from other parts of China and therefore did not contribute to the diversity of the city. In Shanghai, there was greater diversity from different Asian counties as well as western countries, although this may have been party because they were less diluted by other Chinese tourists coming to visit. Also when comparing Shanghai to Beijing, Shanghai is a much much newer city. Most of its history comes from 300 years ago when Shanghai started to rapidly grow due to opium trade with Britain. Being near the mouth of the Yangtze River provided many trading resources for the city, and Britain eventually realized that with opium from India, they could trade for those resources. Now, Shanghai is filled with huge skyscrapers and high-end luxury shopping malls, selling goods with such high luxury taxes that most people just window shop and wait to purchase the items in Hong Kong. In addition, Shanghai is home to the second tallest building in the world.
While in Shanghai, I visited some of the common tourist sites as can be seen through my photos below and I also had a chance to visit where Kai went to University a year ago and several parks around the city. The Chinese truly take advantage of their public parks. There was dancing, singing, card-playing, and calligraphy writing to name a couple activities that I witnessed while strolling through the park.
As seen in the French Concession Area, an artist at work:
Also seen near the French Concession part of town:
Common scene in Shanghai:
The crowds in Shanghai were big:
Shanghai Yuyuan Garden:
A famous Shanghai landmark, the Pearl Tower:
The impressive Shanghai skyline:
The Shanghai World Financial Center:
The view as seen from the top of the Shanghai World Financial Center, the 2nd tallest building in the world: