A look at the ShangHai metro system

The world's largest, with BeiJing a close second.

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And ShenZhen ...

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Shanghai is one of China's most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities, blending a rich history with modern skyscrapers and vibrant culture. Here's what you need to know as a tourist visiting Shanghai:

Historical and Cultural Landmarks:
The Bund: This iconic waterfront promenade along the Huangpu River features colonial-era buildings on one side and futuristic skyscrapers on the other, offering stunning views of Shanghai's skyline.

Yu Garden: Dating back to the Ming dynasty, Yu Garden is a classical Chinese garden with pavilions, ponds, and rockeries. The nearby Yu Garden Bazaar is a great place to shop for souvenirs and traditional crafts.

Shanghai Museum: Home to an extensive collection of Chinese art and artifacts, including bronzes, ceramics, paintings, and calligraphy, the Shanghai Museum is a must-visit for history and art enthusiasts.

Jing'an Temple: One of Shanghai's most famous Buddhist temples, Jing'an Temple is known for its beautiful architecture, peaceful atmosphere, and towering golden Buddha statue.

Modern Attractions:
Shanghai Tower: Ascend to the observation deck of this iconic skyscraper, the tallest in China and the second-tallest in the world, for panoramic views of the city.

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower: Another iconic landmark, this futuristic tower offers observation decks, a glass-bottomed skywalk, and a revolving restaurant.

Shanghai Disneyland: Located in the Pudong district, Shanghai Disneyland offers a magical experience for visitors of all ages with its themed lands, attractions, and entertainment.

Shopping and Entertainment:
Nanjing Road: One of the world's busiest shopping streets, Nanjing Road is lined with department stores, boutiques, and restaurants. Don't miss the nearby pedestrian-friendly Nanjing Road East, known for its lively atmosphere and street performers.

Xintiandi: This upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment district features a mix of traditional Shikumen-style buildings and modern amenities, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

French Concession: Explore this historic neighborhood known for its tree-lined streets, charming cafes, boutiques, and art galleries.

Culinary Delights:
Shanghai Cuisine: Sample local specialties such as xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), shengjianbao (pan-fried dumplings), and Shanghai-style noodles.

Street Food: Wander through the city's bustling food markets and snack streets to taste a variety of street foods, from savory pancakes to grilled skewers.

Practical Tips:
Transportation: Shanghai has an efficient public transportation system, including the subway, buses, and taxis. Consider purchasing a rechargeable transportation card for convenience.

Language: While Mandarin is the official language, English is widely spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants.

Weather: Shanghai experiences four distinct seasons, with hot, humid summers and chilly winters. The best times to visit are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and comfortable.

Etiquette: Respect local customs and traditions, such as using polite language and avoiding loud behavior in public places.

Shanghai offers a captivating blend of old and new, with its historic landmarks, modern skyscrapers, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine. Whether you're interested in history, architecture, shopping, or dining, Shanghai has something to offer every type of visitor.

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Despite its northern location, Beijing, the blue sky city, is one of the sunniest places in China and, in summer, also one of the hottest. Although around 1,000 miles north of Shanghai, and some 2,000 miles north of Hong Kong and tropical Hainan, Beijing is hotter through the summer months (mid-may to mid-September). Generally a dry heat, tropical thunderstorms can appear on occasion, and with night time temperatures in the 70s you'll be dancing in the rain ;) Excursion ideas : the in-the-mountains Buddhist temples of JieTaiSi and TanZheSi (bus, from the western end of metro line 1), the coastal city of TianJin (train), the beach at BeiDaiHe (train) and the nearby eastern end of the Great Wall (QinHuangDao), the imperial summer resort of ChengDe (combine with a visit to Simatai / JinShanLing Great Wall; coach or train), LongQing Gorge (LongQing Xia), the Spirit Way and general countryside at the Ming Tombs. TianJin can be a day trip as it is connected by high-speed rail, but two days would be great too. For ChengDe or BeiDaiHe, two or three days is best. Remember to take your passport in order to check in to a hotel. Or (more locally) visit the beach / pool at ChaoYang Park. Also, consider the Summer Palace (YiHeYuan), YuanMingYuan (the 'old' / original Summer Palace), BeiHai and JingShan Parks, the Ethic Culture Park (MinZu), the Olympic Forest Park, and these places in the Western Hills: XiangShan Park, Beijing Botanical Garden, BaDaChu (Eight Great (Buddhist) Sites area).
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