Since 1990 Shanghai has grown at a startling rate, to become the largest center of commerce and business in central China and largest cargo port in the world. The city is a huge draw for tourists, who have the chance to connect with more traditional Chinese culture, at places like the Jade Buddha Temple, and also see the ever growing and ever developing Pudong skyline. Undoubtedly one of the world’s most modern and exciting cities, Shanghai’s skyline changes from one year to the next.
Day 1: Modern City
What better way to see Shanghai’s ever-changing commercial region by looking out from the Oriental TV Tower? The outstanding panoramic view will help you appreciate the thriving metropolis that Shanghai is, as well as give you a great view of the banks of the Huangpu River. This tour continues with a cruise down the Huang River to see the cultural district, taking in buildings in Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque styles, also taking in the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, with its exciting vision for the future of the city. The final stop is Nanjing Road, a pedestrianized street that is full of locals, business people and tourists.
Day 2: Water Villages and Rural Life
Before Shanghai’s explosion, the surrounding area was peaceful port town. You can reconnect with these roots by taking a day trip to the water villages of Suzhou and Zhouzhuang. Suzhou was one of the few places in China to escape the ravages of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution and the Net Master Garden has been preserved as a model example of a harmonious Ming Dynasty garden. After lunch, the tour takes you to the water village of Zhouzhuang via gondola. This village is like a time capsule, with 900 year-old buildings and locals still living their daily lives by the rivers.
Day 3: History and Culture
China is rich with history, and the Best of Shanghai tour is a great chance to see some of the city’s history. The tour begins at the Jade Buddha Temple, which was built between 1875 and 1909. It contains a priceless collection of jade statues from Burma and is currently home to the Shanghai Buddhist Institute. This tour also takes in the Fresh Water Pearl Gallery, the Shanghai Museum, the Bund and the Shanghai silk factory.