Shanghai, sometimes called 'Paris of the Orient', is China's commercial and financial centre. Its modern, international and fashionable reputation entice travelers and visitors from all over the world, who come to delight in its shopping heavens and wide variety of entertainment or simply to experience the glitz of China's most cosmopolitan city.
Shanghai, also named "Hu" or "Shen" in short, is situated at 31"14' north latitude and 121"29' east longitude, and in the middle of China's east coastline. It occupies a total area of 6,341sq.km. (of which Pudong new Area occupies 523sq.km.), with a total resident population of 33,000,000. It has a pleasant climate, with four distinct seasons. The average temperature is around 18C and the annual precipitation is 1,240mm. Shanghai, an open city on the coast and a famous historical and cultural city, is a gate to the Yangtze River delta.
It is a municipality under the direct jurisdiction of the Central Government, the largest economic and trade center, a comprehensive industrial base and the leading port in China. Shanghai is well known in the world not only for its prosperous cosmopolitan feature but also for its rich humanistic resources. In recent years, a number of modem buildings have been added to the city, such as the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Library, Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Shanghai Circus City, Shanghai City-Planning Exhibition Hall and Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai Science & Technology Museum. They have become new scenic sights in Shanghai.
Shanghai's restaurants are among the finest in China, offering quality food and superior service. A wide variety of foods can be found in the city and today Shanghai offers a plethora of culinary delights focusing on the traditions of Beijing, Sichuan, Hunan, Guangzhou and of course the local Benbang dishes. Food of authentic western style is quite available especially in the downtown area.
Known as the 'Oriental Paris', Shanghai is a shopper's paradise. There are various bustling commercial streets and shopping centers waiting for you. One of the musts for tourists is the Nanjing Road. Huaihai Road intrigues those with modern and fashionable tastes, while North Sichuan Road meets the demands of ordinary folk. In addition, Xujiahui Shopping Center, Yuyuan Shopping City, and Jiali Sleepless City are thriving and popular destinations for those who are seeking to buy something special as a memento of their visit.
Shanghai is a fascinating city for the owls. The night piece at the Bund is a must for visitors. The rippling Huangpu River, characteristic buildings on the west bank, and extraordinarily modern skyscrapers on the east bank all becomes more enchanting with the decoration of sparkling colored lights at night. A night cruise on the Huangpu River is highly recommended. For the art lovers, Shanghai Grand Theater, Oriental Art Center and many other performance venues will delight the nightlife. For those seeking relaxation, the ideal choice should be Hengshan Road and Xin Tian Di which are thronged with a variety of nightclubs, discos, bars, coffee houses and teashops.