Is Shanghai worth a trip?

View of the Bund from Shanghai World Financial Center in Lujiazui district
View of the Bund from Shanghai World Financial Center in Lujiazui district

Do you want to see a different kind of life?  Is Shanghai worth a trip? Than try it! During the last few years I have read a lot about China and especially about Shanghai. That country has always fascinated me and due to this fact I had decided to go on a journey!

Keep this in mind before your adventure starts!

Chinese people have a different culture than European people and sometimes it could be difficult for you. The following paragraphs present some of the typical behavior of the Chinese People:
If you want to greet Chinese people, please keep in mind that they normally don’t shake hands, as they keep a physical distance from each other. Also you have to know that holding direct eye contact is impolite and unpleasant for them.
If you want to ask something of the Chinese people, don’t forget that you have to be insistent and ask them up to 2 or 3 times, this shows them that you are interested and that you are genuine. Did somebody invite you out? Don’t say directly no, make sure you give face to the other person! Attention to cleanliness is very important for Chinese people! This means if you want to visit somebody at their home, remember to take off your shoes before you enter the house. You want to bring some gifts for your Chinese friends? Don’t forget, to wrap up it with red or gold paper. Chinese people would usually like alcohol, or sweet things like foreign chocolate. Definitely don’t give away flowers, clocks or umbrellas.

The adventure starts

After arriving in Shanghai I immediately got the impression that I had expected. Shanghai is a place with different type of amazing architecture and multicultural people. It is amazing to see the skyscrapers on one side of the city, and then cultural, more traditional Chinese buildings on the other side. You can feel and see the contrast between the modern and the traditional culture.  Particularly at night, Shanghai is like a dream! Everywhere you can see different colored lights and everything sparkles and glitters in the night. To cut a long story short, it is a unique city!
Above all, I was inspired by the polite and helpful nature of the Chinese people. If you ask somebody for help, be sure that someone will! Furthermore I have learnt that Chinese people are hard working and due to this, they can build a medium-high skyscraper just in a few weeks. It is impressive too see that kind of lifestyle and character.

What about the traffic?

The traffic in Shanghai is typical for metropolis city. I would say it is a little bit confusing and sometimes a bit stressful.   For European people, who are from a calm and quieter country – be sure that sometimes it will be very funny and shocking for you! The drivers in Shanghai can easily surprise or, scare people if they are not prepared for the aggressive driving style.
But don’t worry, if you prefer to use the subway it is definitely easier to achieve each subway station and place by your own. Just consider that Shanghai has an amazing subway system.

What do you have to visit

As a foreign, you have to visit different a variety of places to truly understand Shanghai.  If you want to see traditional Chinese buildings, you have to visit the Yuyuan Garden. The Yuyuan Garden is a famous classical garden located in Anren Jie, Shanghai. It was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty named Pan Yunduan. Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying, and this garden was specially built for Pan’s parents as a place for them to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age. Another place to visit is the East Nan Jing Road. The Nan Jing Road is the synonym of flourish. People say that ‘You have never been to Shanghai unless you go to the Nan Jing Road’. Keep in mind that Nan Jing Road is China’s premier shopping street! You also have to visit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. This is thelandmark tower that you always see in photos of Shanghai. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is located in Pudong Park in Lujiazui, Shanghai. The tower, surrounded by the Yangpu Bridge in the northeast and the Nanpu Bridge in the southwest, creates a picture of ‘twin dragons playing with pearls’. The entire scene is a photographic jewel that excites the imagination and attracts thousands of visitors year-round.

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