4 Surprising Reasons You Must Visit Shanghai, China - My Family Travels

Shanghai, China’s largest metropolis, exists in a contradiction. One half of this major megalopolis is wealthy and attractive, while the other half is old and rustic. That contradiction may change soon.

Visitors line up to meet costumed Disney characters at Shanghai Disneyland.
Visitors line up to meet favorite costumed Disney characters on parade at the new Shanghai Disneyland. Photo by Attapon Pongpitak for pixabay.

That’s because dynamic Shanghai is addicted to change. Even if you return to the city every two years, there is always something new to see. Just look at the numerous new development projects that take place regularly. For example, your family may not even realize that a very modern Shanghai Disneyland opened in 2016.

Shanghai is part of China’s modern yet traditional aesthetic and therein lies the contradiction. Apart from the fast-paced nature of changes, this metropolis is home to historical attractions such as the City God Temple, Yuyuan Garden and many others. Therefore, you will undoubtedly come across the contrast between the old and the new while exploring the city.

Notice the conflicting manners and contradictory lifestyles that distinguish Shanghai from other modern cities. When you visit Shanghai, you may either choose to live on a budget or spend lavishly. A China Visa is required to experience these contradictions for yourself; click here for more visa information. Read one for four surprising places to learn about Shanghai today.

The Bund

The coastline of Shanghai, China with the round Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower among the skyscrapers of the skyline.
The riverside part of Shanghai, The Bund, with the Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower among the dramatic skyscrapers and ever-changing skyline. Photo by Vineet Pal for pexels.

Your vacation to Shanghai, China should begin in The Bund, where you can join the locals for a promenade or simply observe them practicing Tai Chi. Start your touring early. There are numerous stores, restaurants, pubs and galleries in this area to relax in. The crowds start to build throughout the end of the day. This is for a good reason.

Everyone wants to see the magnificent skyline in Pudong, which is lit up in neon colors. There are thousands of things to do in the neighborhood of the French Concession. Stroll through narrow alleyways and visit various art galleries. You can also eat at one of the area’s many cafes. The French Concession is the perfect place to spend some time as night falls.

People’s Park of Shanghai, China

An old man sits on a park bench thinking about the marriage market that takes place in Peoples Park, Shanghai, China.
People’s Park in Shanghai, China is used by locals for relaxation, play time, sports and — surprise — a marriage market. Photo by Mucahit Inci for pexels.

People can be spotted walking, playing cards, and exercising at People’s Park, which is located in the city’s downtown district. During the weekend afternoons, this park transforms into a marriage market.

Marriage is extremely important in China, and relatives with unmarried offspring in their 20s will be concerned about their children’s future. As a result, the Chinese organize an event that may seem peculiar to outsiders, a marriage market.

At People’s Park, relatives and parents of unmarried adults congregate to participate in an unofficial marriage market. Parents have an important role to play in finding a good mate for their children in Shanghai, China. Be sure to watch as locals gather in the park and use this ceremony to preserve that custom.

Old City of Shanghai

The Old City or Huangpu section of Shanghai, China with the illuminated stone Customs House.
The Old City or Huangpu section of Shanghai, China with the illuminated stone Customs House. By Dylan Chan for pexels.

The Old City or Huangpu is the area of Shanghai, China where you will encounter the city’s traditional architecture and style. Walk around the skyscrapers and see the older, poorly constructed buildings just behind them.

This part of Shanghai may soon succumb to the glitz and glamour of Shanghai’s addiction to change. Already, Huangpu is falling into the arms of a more modern way of life. Apartment towers, skyscrapers, and shopping malls have replaced some parts of the surrounding communities.

In addition, there is a garden in Old Shanghai called the Yuyuan Garden, which was built as an entertainment center more than 400 years ago. Nearby is the Yuyuan Bazaar full of small shops and teahouses. This area of Shanghai, China is known as the “showpiece” of the country’s growing economy.

Traditional Temples of Shanghai, China

The Moller Villa is among the old temples of the Old City in Shanghai, China.
The Moller Villa, among the old temples of the Old City, highlights the contradiction between old and new in Shanghai. Photo by Zifeng Xia for pexels.

The Jade Buddha Temple and the Longhua Temple are two notable temples to visit while in the city. Go to the Jade Buddha Temple located in the Anyuan Lu area because it stands out among the city’s temples. The design and gilded statues of this shrine are well-known. It’s hard to take your eyes off the Reclining Buddha statue because this is one of the city’s most revered temples.

Longhua Temple was built during the Song Dynasty and has been well preserved. For obvious reasons, the temple’s architecture is influenced by the Song dynasty. Look for the style that features pointed roofs and unique pagodas.

Trip Planning Details for Shanghai, China

The Chinese Imperial Palace in Shanghai, China.
The Chinese Imperial Palace is among the most traditional of Chinese buildings. Photo by Zhang Kaiyv for pexels.

Visit these temples and other classic sites to gain a better understanding of the contradictions in the Shanghainese way of life. Even while the country strives to develop a modern lifestyle, the people of Shanghai place a high value on tradition.

The Shanghainese make the city a unique blend of modern and traditional. Shanghai has the country’s largest population so it is one spot you’ll be sorry to not include on your China itinerary. Apply for a Chinese Visa now to experience the city’s traditional elements of Chinese culture.

The months of October and November are the best time to travel in the city because it is autumn in Shanghai. The temperatures during this period are comfortable and there are fewer crowds than during the summer holidays and Chinese New Years.

Maria Jones, a travel blogger and freelance writer, wrote this post for sponsor VisaExpress.com. On her blog Wonderful World, she takes readers with her on her travels in Russia and beyond, combining the must-sees with those things that characterize a destination. She only functions after a cup of caffeine and

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