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—  Municipality  —
Municipality of Shanghai · 上海市
Chinese transcription(s)
 - Mandarin (Pinyin) About this sound Shànghǎi
 - Wu (Long-short) Zånhae
 - Shanghainese (IPA) [z̥ɑ̃̀hé]
A view of the Pudong skyline
The Bund in Puxi
Location of Shanghai Municipality within China
Coordinates: 31°12′0″N 121°30′0″E / 31.2°N 121.5°E / 31.2; 121.5
Country  China
Settled 5th–7th century
 - Town

 - County 1292
 - Municipality July 7, 1927
 - County-level
 - Township-level

18 districts, 1 county
220 towns and villages
 - Type Municipality
 - CPC Municipal Sec. Yu Zhengsheng
 - Mayor Han Zheng
Area [1][2]
 - Municipality 7,037 km2 (2,717 sq mi)
 - Land 6,340 km2 (2,447.9 sq mi)
 - Water 679 km2 (262.2 sq mi)
 - Urban 5,299 km2 (2,046 sq mi)
Elevation [3] 4 m (13 ft)
Time zone China Standard Time (UTC+8)
Postal code 200000 – 202100
Area code(s) 21
GDP[4] 2009
 - Total CNY 1.49 trillion
US$ 218 billion (8th)
 - Per capita CNY 78,900
US$ 11,555 (1st)
 - Growth 8.2%
HDI (2006) 0.917 (1st)
License plate prefixes 沪A, B, D, E, F,G ,H, J
沪C (outer suburbs)
City flower Yulan magnolia
This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.

Shanghai (Chinese: Pinyin: Shànghǎi, Shanghainese: Zånhae) is the largest city in China and the largest city proper in the world, with a population of nearly 14 million.[5][6]

Originally a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai grew to importance in the 19th century due to its favorable port location and as one of the cities opened to foreign trade by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking.[7] The city flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became a multinational hub of finance and business by the 1930s.[8] After 1990, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in intense re-development and financing in Shanghai, and in 2005 Shanghai became the world's largest cargo port.[9] Shanghai will hold the World Expo 2010, the largest event in China since the 2008 Olympics.

The city is a tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Bund and City God Temple, its modern and ever-expanding Pudong skyline including the Oriental Pearl Tower, and its new reputation as a cosmopolitan center of culture and design.[10][11] Today, Shanghai is the largest center of commerce and finance in mainland China, and has been described as the "showpiece" of the world's fastest-growing major economy.[12]



"Shanghai" written in Chinese

The two Chinese characters in the name "Shanghai", (, shàng; and , hǎi) literally mean "up, on, or above" and "sea" The earliest occurrence of this name dates from the Song Dynasty (11th century), at which time there was already a river confluence and a town with this name in the area. There are disputes as to how the name should be interpreted, but official local histories have consistently said that it means "the upper reaches of the sea". Due to the changing coastline, Chinese historians have concluded that in the Tang Dynasty Shanghai was literally on the sea, hence the origin of the name.[13] Another reading, especially in Mandarin, also suggests the sense of "go onto the sea," which is consistent with the seaport status of the city. A more poetic name for Shanghai switches the order of the two characters, Hǎishàng (), and is often used for terms related to Shanghainese art and culture.

Shanghai is commonly abbreviated in Chinese as (). The single character Hu () appears on all motor vehicle license plates issued in Shanghai today. This is derived from Hu Du (), the name of an ancient fishing village that once stood at the confluence of Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River back in the Tang Dynasty.[13] The character Hu is often combined with that for Song, as in Wusong Kou, Wu Song River, and Songjiang to form the nickname Song Hu. For example, the Japanese attack on Shanghai in August 1937 is commonly called the Song Hu Battle. Another early name for Shanghai was Hua Ting, now just the name of a four star hotel in the city.[13] One other commonly used nickname Shēn () is derived from the name of Chunshen Jun (), a nobleman and locally-revered hero of the Chu Kingdom in the 3rd century BC whose territory included the Shanghai area. Sports teams and newspapers in Shanghai often use the character Shēn () in their names. Shanghai is also commonly called Shēnchéng (, "City of Shēn"). The city has also had various nicknames in English, including "Paris of the East".Duo to its quick urbanization and expeditious materialized civilization,young generation is now calling Shanghai the Mordor .


The walled city of Shanghai during the Ming Dynasty.

During the Song Dynasty (AD 960–1279) Shanghai was upgraded in status from a village (cun) to a market town (zhen) in 1074, and in 1172 a second sea wall was built to stabilize the ocean coastline, supplementing an earlier dike.[14] From the Yuan Dynasty in 1292 until Shanghai officially became a city for the first time in 1297, the area was designated merely as a county (xian) administered by the Songjiang prefecture.[15]

Two important events helped promote Shanghai's development in the Ming Dynasty. A city wall was built for the first time during in 1554, in order to protect the town from raids by Japanese pirates. It measured 10 meters high and 5 kilometers in circumference.[16] During the Wanli reign (1573–1620), Shanghai received an important psychological boost from the erection of a City God Temple (Cheng Huang Miao) in 1602. This honor was usually reserved for places with the status of a city, such as a prefectural capital (fu), and was not normally given to a mere county town (zhen) like Shanghai. The honor was probably a reflection of the town's economic importance, as opposed to its low political status.[16]

During the Qing Dynasty, Shanghai became the most important sea port in the whole Yangtze Delta region. This was a result of two important central government policy changes. First of all, Emperor Kangxi (1662–1723) in 1684 reversed the previous Ming Dynasty prohibition on ocean going vessels, a ban that had been in force since 1525. Secondly, Emperor Yongzheng in 1732 moved the customs office (hai guan) for Jiangsu province from the prefectural capital of Songjiang city to Shanghai, and gave Shanghai exclusive control over customs collections for the foreign trade of all Jiangsu province. As a result of these two critical decisions, Professor Linda Cooke Johnson has concluded that by 1735 Shanghai had become the major trade port for all of the lower Yangzi River region, despite still being at the lowest administrative level in the political hierarchy.[17]

A view of the Bund in 1928.
Nanjing Road in the 1930s.

The importance of Shanghai grew radically in the 19th century, as the city's strategic position at the mouth of the Yangtze River made it an ideal location for trade with the West. During the First Opium War (1839–1842), British forces temporarily held Shanghai. The war ended with the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing, opened the treaty ports, Shanghai included, for international trade. The Treaty of the Bogue signed in 1843, and the Sino-American Treaty of Wangsia signed in 1844 together allowed foreign nations to visit and trade on Chinese soil, the start of the foreign concessions.

In 1854 the Shanghai Municipal Council was created to manage the foreign settlements. In 1860-1862, civil war had been two times invaded Shanghai(Battle of Shanghai (1861)). In 1863, the British settlement, located to the south of Suzhou creek (Huangpu district), and the American settlement, to the north of Suzhou creek (Hongkou district), joined in order to form the International Settlement. The French opted out of the Shanghai Municipal Council, and maintained its own French Concession, located to the south of the International Settlement, which still exists today as a popular attraction. Citizens of many countries and all continents came to Shanghai to live and work during the ensuing decades; those who stayed for long periods — some for generations — called themselves "Shanghailanders".[18] In the 1920s and 1930s, almost 20,000 so-called White Russians and Russian Jews fled the newly-established Soviet Union and took up residence in Shanghai. These Shanghai Russians constituted the second-largest foreign community. By 1932, Shanghai had become the world's fifth largest city and home to 70,000 foreigners.[19] In the 1930s, some 30,000 Jewish refugees from Europe arrived in the city.[20]

Shanghai has seen massive development over the past 15 years.

The Sino-Japanese War concluded with the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which elevated Japan to become another foreign power in Shanghai. Japan built the first factories in Shanghai, which were soon copied by other foreign powers. Shanghai was then the most important financial center in the Far East.

Under the Republic of China (1911–1949), Shanghai's political status was finally raised to that of a municipality on July 14, 1927. Although the territory of the foreign concessions was excluded from their control, this new Chinese municipality still covered an area of 828.8 square kilometers, including the modern-day districts of Baoshan, Yangpu, Zhabei, Nanshi, and Pudong. Headed by a Chinese mayor and municipal council, the new city governments first task was to create a new city center in Jiangwan town of Yangpu district, outside the boundaries of the foreign concessions. This new city center was planned to include a public museum, library, sports stadium, and city hall.[21]

The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service bombed Shanghai on 28 January 1932, nominally in an effort to crush down Chinese student protests of the Manchurian Incident and the subsequent Japanese occupation of northeast China. The Chinese fought back in what was known as the January 28 Incident. The two sides fought to a standstill and a ceasefire was brokered in May. The Battle of Shanghai in 1937 resulted in the occupation of the Chinese administered parts of Shanghai outside of the International Settlement and the French Concession. The International Settlement was occupied by the Japanese on 8 December 1941 and remained occupied until Japan's surrender in 1945. According to historian Zhiliang Su, at least 149 "comfort houses" for sexual slaves were established in Shanghai during the occupation.[22]

Shanghai today.

On 27 May 1949, the Communist People's Liberation Army took control of Shanghai, which was one of only three former Republic of China (ROC) municipalities not merged into neighbouring provinces over the next decade (the others being Beijing and Tianjin). Shanghai underwent a series of changes in the boundaries of its subdivisions, especially in the next decade. After 1949, most foreign firms moved their offices from Shanghai to Hong Kong, as part of an exodus of foreign investment due to the Communist victory.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Shanghai became an industrial center and center for revolutionary leftism. Yet, even during the most tumultuous times of the Cultural Revolution, Shanghai was able to maintain high economic productivity and relative social stability. In most of the history of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Shanghai has been the largest contributor of tax revenue to the central government compared with other Chinese provinces and municipalities. This came at the cost of severely crippling Shanghai's infrastructure and capital development. Its importance to China's fiscal well-being also denied it economic liberalizations that were started in the far southern provinces such as Guangdong during the mid-1980s. At that time, Guangdong province paid nearly no taxes to the central government, and thus was perceived as fiscally expendable for experimental economic reforms. Shanghai was finally permitted to initiate economic reforms in 1991, starting the huge development still seen today and the birth of Lujiazui in Pudong.

Geography and climate

The urban area of Shanghai can be seen in this false-color satellite image.

Shanghai sits on the Yangtze River Delta on China's eastern coast, and is roughly equidistant from Beijing and Hong Kong. The municipality as a whole consists of a peninsula between the Yangtze and Hangzhou Bay, China's third largest island Chongming, and a number of smaller islands. It is bordered on the north and west by Jiangsu Province, on the south by Zhejiang Province, and on the east by the East China Sea. The city proper is bisected by the Huangpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze. The historic center of the city, the Puxi area, is located on the western side of the Huangpu, while a new financial district, Pudong, has developed on the eastern bank.

The vast majority of Shanghai's 6,218 km2 (2,401 sq mi) land area is flat, apart from a few hills in the southwest corner, with an average elevation of 4 m (13 ft).[23] The city's location on the flat alluvial plain has meant that new skyscrapers must be built with deep concrete piles to stop them sinking into the soft ground. The highest point is at the peak of Dajinshan Island at 103 m (338 ft).[24] The city has many rivers, canals, streams and lakes and is known for its rich water resources as part of the Taihu drainage area.

A park in the center of Shanghai

Public awareness of the environment is growing, and the city is investing in a number of environmental protection projects. A 10-year, US$1 billion cleanup of Suzhou Creek, which runs through the city center, was expected to be finished in 2008,[25] and the government also provides incentives for transportation companies to invest in LPG buses and taxis. Air pollution in Shanghai is low compared to other Chinese cities such as Beijing, but the rapid development over the past decades means it is still high on worldwide standards, comparable to Los Angeles.[26]

Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa) and experiences four distinct seasons. In winter, cold northerly winds from Siberia can cause nighttime temperatures to drop below freezing, although most years there are only one or two days of snowfall. Summer in Shanghai is very warm and humid, with occasional downpours or freak thunderstorms. The city is also susceptible to typhoons, none of which in recent years has caused considerable damage.[27] The most pleasant seasons are Spring, although changeable, and Autumn, which is generally sunny and dry. Shanghai experiences on average 1,878 hours of sunshine per year, with the hottest temperature ever recorded at 40 °C (104 °F), and the lowest at −12 °C (10.4 °F).[28] The average number of rainy days is 112 per year, with the wettest month being June.[28] The average frost-free period is 276 days.[23]

Climate data for 上海 (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.1
Average low °C (°F) 1.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 50.6
Sunshine hours 123.0 115.7 126.0 156.1 173.5 147.6 217.8 220.8 158.9 160.8 146.6 147.7 1,894.5
Source: 中国气象局 国家气象信息中心 2009-03-17


Shanghai municipal government building

Shanghai has been a political hub of China since the 20th century. The 1st National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Shanghai. In addition, many of China's top government officials in Beijing are known to have risen in Shanghai in the 1980s on a platform that was critical of the extreme leftism of the Cultural Revolution, giving them the tag "Shanghai Clique" during the 1990s. Many observers of Chinese politics view the more right-leaning Shanghai Clique as an opposing and competing faction of the current Chinese administration under President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. Shanghai's top jobs, the Party Chief and the position of Mayor, have always been prominent on a national scale. Four secretaries of municipal Party committee or mayors from Shanghai eventually went on to take prominent Central Government positions, including former President Jiang Zemin, former Premier Zhu Rongji, and current Vice-President Xi Jinping. The top administrative jobs are always appointed directly by the Central Government.[citation needed]

The current Shanghai government under Mayor Han Zheng has openly advocated transparency in the city's government. However, in previous years a complicated system of relationships between Shanghai's government, banks, and other civil institutions has been under scrutiny for corruption, motivated by faction politics in Beijing; these allegations from Beijing did not go anywhere until late 2006. Since Jiang's departure from office there has been a significant amount of clash between the local government in Shanghai and the Central People's Government, an evolving example of de facto Chinese federalism. The Shanghai government looks after almost all of the city's economic interests without interference from Beijing.[citation needed]

By 2006, Shanghai's actual level of autonomy has arguably surpassed that of any autonomous regions, raising alarm bells in Beijing. In September 2006, the Shanghai Communist Party Secretary Chen Liangyu, Shanghainese in origin and often clashing with central government officials, along with a number of his followers, were removed from their positions after a probe into the city's pension fund. Over a hundred investigators, sent by the Central Government, reportedly uncovered clues of money diversion from the city's pension fund to unapproved loans and investments. Chen's abrupt removal is viewed by many Chinese as a political manoeuvre by President Hu Jintao to further secure his power in the country, and retain administrative centralism. In March 2007 the central government appointed Xi Jinping, who is not a Shanghai native, to become the Party Secretary, the most powerful office in the city. Xi would eventually be transferred to work for the central government in Beijing and was replaced by Yu Zhengsheng in November 2007.[citation needed]

Administrative divisions

Yangpu District Hongkou District Zhabei District Putuo District Changning District Xuhui District Jing'an District Luwan District Huangpu District Chongming County Chongming County Chongming County Baoshan District Jiading District Pudong Pudong Qingpu District Minhang District Songjiang District Fengxian District Jinshan District
The 18 districts and 1 county that make up the Municipality of Shanghai

Shanghai is administratively equal to a province and is divided into 18 county-level divisions: 17 districts and one county. Even though every district has its own urban core, the real city center is between Bund to the east, Nanjing Rd to the north, Old City Temple and Huaihai Road to the south. Prominent central business areas include Lujiazui on the east bank of the Huangpu River, and The Bund and Hongqiao areas in the west bank of the Huangpu River. The city hall and major administration units are located in Huangpu District, which also serve as a commercial area, including the famous Nanjing Road. Other major commercial areas include Xintiandi and the classy Huaihai Road (or Avenue Joffre before Liberation) in Luwan district and Xujiahui (which used to be translated into English as Zikawei, reflecting the Shanghainese pronunciation) in Xuhui District. Many universities in Shanghai are located in residential areas of Yangpu District and Putuo District.

Nine of the districts govern Puxi (literally Huangpu River west), or the older part of urban Shanghai on the west bank of the Huangpu River. These nine districts are collectively referred to as Shanghai Proper (上海市区) or the core city (市中心):

The Garden Bridge over Suzhou Creek, with the Broadway Mansions on the left.

Pudong (literally Huangpu River east), or the newer part of urban and suburban Shanghai on the east bank of the Huangpu River, is governed by:

  • Pudong New District (浦东新区 Pǔdōng Xīn Qū) — Chuansha County until 1992, merged with Nanhui District in 2009

Seven of the districts govern suburbs, satellite towns, and rural areas further away from the urban core:

Chongming Island, an island at the mouth of the Yangtze, is governed by:

  • Chongming County (崇明县 Chóngmíng Xiàn)

As of 2003, these county-level divisions are further divided into the following 220 township-level divisions: 114 towns, 3 townships, 103 subdistricts. Those are in turn divided into the following village-level divisions: 3,393 neighborhood committees and 2,037 village committees.


The Shanghai Stock Exchange in the Lujiazui financial district.
The Bund at night, the location of several major banking branches.

Shanghai is often regarded as the center of finance and trade in mainland China. Modern development began with the economic reforms in 1992, a decade later than many of the Southern Chinese provinces, but since then Shanghai quickly overtook those provinces and maintained its role as the business center in mainland China. Shanghai also hosts the largest share market in mainland China.

The non-state sector has grown to generate 42 percent of Shanghai's GDP, while the reformed state-sector generates 57.5 percent of GDP.[29] Since 2005, Shanghai has ranked first of the world's busiest cargo ports throughout, handling a total of 560 million tons of cargo in 2007. Shanghai container traffic has surpassed Hong Kong to become the second busiest port in the world, behind Singapore.[30] Shanghai and Hong Kong are rivaling to be the economic center of the Greater China region. Hong Kong has the advantage of a stronger legal system, international market integration, superior economic freedom, greater banking and service expertise, lower taxes, and a fully-convertible currency. Shanghai has stronger links to both the Chinese interior and the central government, and a stronger base in manufacturing and technology. Shanghai has increased its role in finance, banking, and as a major destination for corporate headquarters, fueling demand for a highly educated and modernized workforce. Shanghai has recorded a double-digit growth for 15 consecutive years since 1992. In 2008, Shanghai's nominal GDP posted a 9.7% growth to 1.37 trillion yuan. The Shanghai Stock Exchange is the world's fastest growing, with the Shanghai Composite Index growing 130% in 2006.[31]

As in many other areas in China, Shanghai is undergoing a building boom. In Shanghai the modern architecture is notable for its unique style, especially in the highest floors, with several top floor restaurants which resemble flying saucers. For a gallery of these unique architecture designs, see Shanghai (architecture images). The bulk of Shanghai buildings being constructed today are high-rise apartments of various height, color and design. There is now a strong focus by city planners to develop more "green areas" (public parks) among the apartment complexes in order to improve the quality of life for Shanghai's residents, quite in accordance to the "Better City - Better Life" theme of Shanghai's Expo 2010.

Industrial zones in Shanghai include Shanghai Hongqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone, Jinqiao Export Economic Processing Zone, Minhang Economic and Technological Development Zone, and Shanghai Caohejing High and New Technological Development Zone (see List of economic and technological development zones in Shanghai).


The pedestrian-only Nanjing Road

The population of Shanghai is 19,213,200. The 2000 census put the population of Shanghai Municipality at 16.738 million, including the migrant population, which made up 3.871 million. Since the 1990 census the total population had increased by 3.396 million, or 25.5%. Males accounted for 51.4%, females for 48.6% of the population. 12.2% were in the age group of 0–14, 76.3% between 15 and 64 and 11.5% were older than 65. As of 2008, the population of long-term residents reached 18.88 million, including an officially registered permanent population of 13.71 million, and 4.79 million of registered long-term migrants from other provinces, many from Anhui, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang Provinces. According to the Shanghai Municipal Statistics Bureau, there were 133,340 foreigners in Shanghai in 2007.[32] In addition, there are a large number of people from Taiwan for business (estimates vary from 350,000 to 700,000). By 2009, the South Korean communities in Shanghai also increased to more than 70,000.[33] The average life expectancy in 2006 was 80.97 years, 78.67 for men and 82.29 for women.[34] Average annual disposable income of Shanghai residents, based on the first three quarters of 2009, is 21,871 RMB.[35]


Most Shanghainese residents are the descendants of immigrants from the two adjacent provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang who moved to Shanghai in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, regions that generally also speak Wu Chinese. In the past decades, many migrants from other areas of China have come to Shanghai for work. They often cannot speak the local dialect and therefore use Mandarin as a lingua franca.

The vernacular language is Shanghainese, a dialect of Wu Chinese, while the official language is Standard Mandarin. The local dialect is mutually unintelligible with Mandarin, and is an inseparable part of the Shanghainese identity. The modern Shanghainese dialect is based on the Suzhou dialect of Wu, the prestige dialect of Wu spoken within the Chinese city of Shanghai prior to the modern expansion of the city, the Ningbo dialect of Wu, and the dialect of Shanghai's traditional areas now within the Hongkou, Baoshan and Pudong districts, which is simply called "Bendihua", or "the local dialect". It is influenced to a lesser extent by the dialects of other nearby regions from which large numbers of people have have migrated to Shanghai since the 20th century. Nearly all Shanghainese under the age of 40 can speak Mandarin fluently. Fluency in foreign languages is unevenly distributed. Most senior residents who received a university education before the revolution, and those who worked in foreign enterprises, can speak English. Those under the age of 26 have had contact with English since primary school, as English is taught as a mandatory course starting from the first grade.


Longhua Temple's inner courtyard

Due to its cosmopolitan history, Shanghai has a rich blend of religious heritage as shown by the religious buildings and institutions still scattered around the city. Taoism has a presence in Shanghai in the form of several temples, including the City God Temple, at the heart of the old city, and a temple dedicated to the Three Kingdoms general Guan Yu. The Wenmiao is a temple dedicated to Confucius. Buddhism has had a presence in Shanghai since ancient times. Longhua temple, the largest temple in Shanghai, and Jing'an Temple, were first founded in the Three Kingdoms period. Another important temple is the Jade Buddha Temple, which is named after a large statue of Buddha carved out of jade in the temple. In recent decades, dozens of modern temples have been built throughout the city.

Shanghai is also an important center of Christianity in China. Churches belonging to various denominations are found throughout Shanghai and maintain significant congregations. Among Catholic churches, St Ignatius Cathedral in Xujiahui is one of the largest, while She Shan Basilica is the only active pilgrimage site in China. Shanghai has the highest Catholic percentage in Mainland China (2003).[36] The city is also home to Muslim, Jewish, and Eastern Orthodox communities. A predominant religion in Shanghai is Mahayana Buddhism, and Taoism is also followed by many Shanghai residents.


While Beijing and Hong Kong are considered the educational centers of China, Shanghai is also home to some of the country's most prestigious universities, including Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Tongji University.


The Shanghai Metro is one of the fastest-growing systems in the world.

Shanghai has an extensive public transport system, largely based on buses, trolleybuses, taxis, and a rapidly expanding metro system. All of these public transport tools can be accessed using the Shanghai Public Transportation Card, which uses radio frequencies so the card does not have to physically touch the scanner.

The Shanghai Metro rapid-transit system and elevated light rail has ten lines (lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11) at present and extends to every core urban district as well as neighbouring suburban districts such as Songjiang, Minhang and Jiading. According to the development schedule of the municipal government, by the year 2010, another two lines (numbers 10 and 13) will be built, while extensions are also underway for lines 2, 6, 8, 9. It is one of the fastest-growing metro systems in the world—the first line opened in 1995,[37] and as of 2009, the Shanghai Metro is the 11th busiest system worldwide. Shanghai also has the world's most extensive bus system with nearly one thousand bus lines, operated by numerous transportation companies. Not all of Shanghai's bus routes are numbered—some have names exclusively in Chinese.[38] Bus fares are usually ¥1, ¥1.5 or ¥2, sometimes higher, while Metro fares run from ¥3 to ¥9 depending on distance.

Taxis in Shanghai are plentiful and government regulation has set taxi fares at an affordable rate for the average resident—¥12 for 3 km, ¥16 after 23:00, and 2.4RMB/km thereafter. Before the 1990s, bicycling was the most ubiquitous form of transport in Shanghai, but the city has since banned bicycles on many of the city's main roads to ease congestion. However, many streets have bicycle lanes and intersections are monitored by "Traffic Assistants" who help provide for safe crossing. Further, the city government has pledged to add 180 km of cycling lanes over the next few years. It is worth noting that a number of the main shopping and tourist streets, Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road do not allow bicycles.

With rising disposable incomes, private car ownership in Shanghai has also been rapidly increasing in recent years. The number of cars is limited, however, by the number of available number plates available at public auction. Since 1998 the number of new car registrations is limited to 50,000 vehicles a year.[39]

The Maglev, with a top speed of 431 km/h (268 mph).

In cooperation with the Shanghai municipality and the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co. (SMT), German Transrapid constructed the first commercial high speed Maglev railway in the world in 2002, from Shanghai's Longyang Road subway station in Pudong to Pudong International Airport. Commercial operation started in 2003. The 30 km trip takes 7 minutes and 21 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 431 km/h (267.8 mph). Normal operating speeds usually reach 431 km/h, but during a test run, the Maglev has been shown to reach a top speed of 501 km/h.

Two railways intersect in Shanghai: Jinghu Railway (Beijing–Shanghai) Railway passing through Nanjing, and Huhang Railway (Shanghai–Hangzhou). Shanghai is served by two main railway stations, Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai South Railway Station. Express service to Beijing through Z-series trains is fairly convenient. A maglev train route to Hangzhou (Shanghai-Hangzhou Maglev Train) might begin construction in 2010. A high-speed railroad to Beijing is also in the works.

More than six national expressways (prefixed with "G") from Beijing and from the region around Shanghai connect to the city. Shanghai itself has six toll-free elevated expressways (skyways) in the urban core and 18 municipal expressways (prefixed with "A"). There are ambitious plans to build expressways connecting Shanghai's Chongming Island with the urban core. For a city of Shanghai's size, road traffic is still fairly smooth and convenient but getting more congested as the number of cars increases rapidly.

Shanghai has two commercial airports: Hongqiao International and Pudong International,[40] the latter of which has the third highest traffic in China, following Beijing Capital International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport. Pudong International handles more international traffic than Beijing Capital however, with over 17.15 million international passengers handled in 2006 compared to the latter's 12.6 million passengers.[41] Hongqiao mainly serves domestic routes, with a few city-to-city flights to Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Seoul's city airport. Hongqiao airport is about 10 kilometers west of the downtown. One of the airport's advantages is it is much closer to the city center than Pudong airport.


The Bund at night.

Shanghai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. The Bund, located by the bank of the Huangpu River, contains a rich collection of early 20th century architecture, ranging in style from neoclassical HSBC Building to the art deco Sassoon House. A number of areas in the former foreign concessions are also well preserved, most notably the French Concession. Shanghai has one of the worlds largest number of Art Deco buildings as a result of the construction boom during the 1920s and 30s. One of the most famous architects working in Shanghai was László Hudec, a Hungarian architect who lived in the city between 1918-1947. Some of his most notable Art Deco buildings include the Park Hotel and the Grand Theater. Other prominent architects who contributed to the Art Deco style are Parker & Palmer who designed the Peace Hotel, Metropole Hotel and the Broadway Mansions, and Austrian architect GH Gonda who designed the Capital Theatre.

Despite rampant redevelopment, the old city still retains some buildings of a traditional style, such as the Yuyuan Garden, an elaborate traditional garden in the Jiangnan style.

The lights of the Bund and Puxi skyscrapers at night.

In recent years, a large number of architecturally distinctive, even eccentric, skyscrapers have sprung up throughout Shanghai. Notable examples of contemporary architecture include the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theatre in the People's Square precinct and Shanghai Oriental Arts Center.

Renovated shikumen lanes in Xintiandi, now a high-end restaurant and shopping center.

One uniquely Shanghainese cultural element is the shikumen (石库门) residences, which are two or three-story townhouses, with the front yard protected by a high brick wall. Each residence is connected and arranged in straight alleys, known as a lòngtang (弄堂), pronounced longdang in Shanghainese. The entrance to each alley is usually surmounted by a stylistic stone arch. The whole resembles terrace houses or townhouses commonly seen in Anglo-American countries, but distinguished by the tall, heavy brick wall in front of each house. The name "shikumen" literally means "stone storage door", referring to the strong gateway to each house.

The shikumen is a cultural blend of elements found in Western architecture with traditional Lower Yangtze (Jiangnan) Chinese architecture and social behavior. All traditional Chinese dwellings had a courtyard, and the shikumen was no exception. Yet, to compromise with its urban nature, it was much smaller and provided an "interior haven" to the commotions in the streets, allowing for raindrops to fall and vegetation to grow freely within a residence. The courtyard also allowed sunlight and adequate ventilation into the rooms.

The Shanghai International Exhibition Center, an example of Soviet neoclassical architecture in Shanghai.

The city also has some beautiful examples of Soviet neoclassical architecture. These buildings were mostly erected during the period from the founding of the People's Republic in 1949 until the Sino-Soviet Split in the late 1960s. During this decade, large numbers of Soviet experts poured into China to aid the country in the construction of a communist state, some of them were architects. Examples of Soviet neoclassical architecture in Shanghai include what is today the Shanghai International Exhibition Center. Beijing, the nation's capital, displays an even greater array of this particular type of architecture.

Skyscrapers in Pudong

The Pudong district of Shanghai displays a wide range of supertall skyscrapers. The most prominent examples include the Jin Mao Tower and the taller Shanghai World Financial Center, which at 492 metres tall is the tallest skyscraper in mainland China and ranks third in the world. The distinctive Oriental Pearl Tower, at 468 metres, is located nearby toward downtown Shanghai. Its lower sphere is now available for living quarters, at very high prices. Another tall highrise in the Pudong area of Shanghai is the newly finished Development Tower. It stands at 269 meters.[42]

Also in Pudong, a third supertall skyscraper topping the other Shanghai buildings called the Shanghai Tower is under construction. With a height of 632 metres (2074 feet), the building will have 127 floors upon planned completion in 2014.


The Shanghai Museum, located in People's Square.

Because of Shanghai's status as the cultural and economic center of East Asia for the first half of the twentieth century, it is popularly seen as the birthplace of everything considered modern in China. It was in Shanghai, for example, that the first motor car was driven and the first train tracks and modern sewers were laid. It was also the intellectual battleground between socialist writers who concentrated on critical realism, which was pioneered by Lu Xun (zh:鲁迅), Mao Dun (zh:茅盾),Nien Cheng and famous French novel the Man's Fate, and the more "bourgeois", more romantic and aesthetically inclined writers, such as Shi Zhecun (zh:施蛰存), Shao Xunmei (邵洵美), Ye Lingfeng (葉靈鳳) and Eileen Chang (zh:张爱玲).

Besides literature, Shanghai was also the birthplace of Chinese cinema and theater. China’s first short film, The Difficult Couple (難夫難妻, Nanfu Nanqi, 1913), and the country’s first fictional feature film, An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather (孤兒救祖記, Gu'er jiu zuji, 1923) were both produced in Shanghai. These two films were very influential, and established Shanghai as the center of Chinese film-making. Shanghai’s film industry went on to blossom during the early Thirties, generating Marilyn Monroe-like stars such as Zhou Xuan. Another film star, Jiang Qing, went on to become Madame Mao Zedong. The talent and passion of Shanghainese filmmakers following World War II and the Communist revolution in China contributed enormously to the development of the Hong Kong film industry. Many aspects of Shanghainese popular culture ("Shanghainese Pops") were transferred to Hong Kong by the numerous Shanghainese emigrants and refugees after the Communist Revolution. The movie In the Mood for Love, which was directed by Wong Kar-wai (a native Shanghainese himself), depicts one slice of the displaced Shanghainese community in Hong Kong and the nostalgia for that era, featuring 1940s music by Zhou Xuan.

Although often viewed as a modern metropolis, Shanghai still contains some picturesque rural suburban areas.

Shanghai boasts several museums of regional and national importance. The Shanghai Museum of art and history has one of the best collections of Chinese historical artifacts in the world, including important archaeological finds since 1949. The Shanghai Art Museum, located near People's Square, is a major art museum holding both permanent and temporary exhibitions. The Shanghai Natural History Museum is a large scale natural history museum. In addition, there is a variety of smaller, specialist museums, some housed in important historical sites such as the site of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea and the site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

No. 4 of Hundred Thousand Scenes (十萬圖之四). Painting by Ren Xiong, a pioneer of the Shanghai School of Chinese art; ca. 1850.

The Shanghai School (海上画派, Haishang Huapai, which is shortened to 海派, Haipai) is a very important Chinese school of traditional arts during the Qing Dynasty and the whole of the twentieth century. Under efforts of masters from this school, traditional Chinese art reached another climax and continued to the present in forms of the "Chinese painting" (中国画) or guohua (国画) for short. The Shanghai School challenged and broke the literati tradition of Chinese art, while also paying technical homage to the ancient masters and improving on existing traditional techniques. Members of this school were themselves educated literati who had come to question their very status and the purpose of art, and had anticipated the impending modernization of Chinese society. In an era of rapid social change, works from the Shanghai School were widely innovative and diverse, and often contained thoughtful yet subtle social commentary. The most well-known figures from this school are Qi Baishi (齊白石), Ren Xiong (任熊), Ren Yi (任伯年), Zhao Zhiqian (赵之谦), Wu Changshuo (吴昌硕), Sha Menghai (沙孟海, calligraphist), Pan Tianshou (潘天寿), Fu Baoshi (傅抱石) and Wang Zhen (Wang Yiting) (王震). In literature, the term was used in the 1930s by some May Fourth Movement intellectuals, notably Zhou Zuoren and Shen Congwen, as a derogatory label for the literature produced in Shanghai at the time. They argued that so-called Shanghai School literature was merely commercial and therefore did not advance social progress. This became known as the Jingpai (Beijing School) versus Haipai (Shanghai School) debate.

Songjiang School (淞江派) is a small painting school during the Ming Dynasty. It is commonly considered as a further development of the Wu School, or Wumen School (吴门画派), in the then cultural center of the region, Suzhou. Huating School (华亭派) was another important art school during the middle to late Ming Dynasty. Its main achievements were in traditional Chinese painting, calligraphy and poetry, and especially famous for its Renwen painting (人文画). Dong Qichang (董其昌) is one of the masters from this school.

Modernity meets tradition at Jing'an Temple in downtown Shanghai.

Shanghai's parks offer some reprieve from the urban jungle. Due to the scarcity of play space for children, nearly all parks have a children's section. Zhongshan Gongyuan in Downtown Shanghai is famous for its monument of Chopin, the tallest statue dedicated to the composer in the world. Built in 1914 as Jessfield Park, it once contained the campus of St. John's University, Shanghai's first international college; today, it is known for its extensive rose and peony gardens, a large children's play area, and as the location of an important transfer station on the city's metro system. One of the newest is in the Xujiahui District, Xujiahui Gongyuan, built in 1999 on the former grounds of the Great Chinese Rubber Works Factory and the EMI Recording Studio (today's glamorous La Villa Rouge restaurant), with entrances at Zhaojiabang Lu and in the west at the intersection of Hengshang Lu and Yuqin Lu. The park has a man-made lake with a sky bridge running across the park, and offers a pleasant respite for Xujiahui shoppers.

Two women wear Shanghai-styled qipao while playing golf in this 1930s Shanghai advertisement.

Other Shanghainese cultural artifacts include the cheongsam (Shanghainese: zansae), a modernization of the traditional Chinese/Manchurian qipao (Chinese: 旗袍; fitting. This contrasts sharply with the traditional qipao which was designed to conceal the figure and be worn regardless of age. The cheongsam went along well with the western overcoat and the scarf, and portrayed a unique East Asian modernity, epitomizing the Shanghainese population in general. As Western fashions changed, the basic cheongsam design changed, too, introducing high-necked sleeveless dresses, bell-like sleeves and, the black lace frothing at the hem of a ball gown. By the 1940s, cheongsams came in transparent black, beaded bodices, matching capes and even velvet. And later, checked fabrics became also quite common. The 1949 Communist Revolution ended the cheongsam and other fashions in Shanghai. However, the Shanghainese styles have seen a recent revival as stylish party dresses. The fashion industry has been rapidly revitalizing in the past decade, there is on average one fashion show per day in Shanghai today. Like Shanghai's architecture, local fashion designers strive to create a fusion of western and traditional designs, often with innovative if uncontroversial results.

Shanghai has hosted a number of world events, including the 2007 Summer Special Olympics and a Live Earth concert.[43] The Shanghai International Film Festival is annually held in the city. The city will be the host of the Expo 2010 World's Fair between May and October 2010. Shanghai is also home to a number of professional sports teams, including Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League, the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, China Dragon of Asia League Ice Hockey and the Shanghai Golden Eagles of the China Baseball League. The city has also hosted the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit every year since 2004.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Shanghai is twinned with:




North America


South America

See also



  1. ^ "Land Area". Basic Facts. Shanghai Municipal Government. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  2. ^ "Water Resources". Basic Facts. Shanghai Municipal Government. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  3. ^ "Topographic Features". Basic Facts. Shanghai Municipal Government. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Shanghai posts 8.2% growth in GDP". Shanghai Daily. 
  5. ^ Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Statistics, Shanghai Statistical Yearbook 2009, Total of permanent population (including "floating population"). Retrieved on 2009-07-17. Total population as of 2008-12-31 of the following districts (core city + inner suburbs): Pudong New Area, Huangpu, Luwan, Xuhui, Changning, Jing'an, Putuo, Zhabei, Hongkou, Yangpu, Baoshan, Minhang, and Jiading.
  6. ^ "Population". Municipality of Shanghai. Retrieved 14 December 2009.  Permanent population used.
  7. ^ Mackerras, Colin (2001). The New Cambridge Handbook of Contemporary China. Cambridge University Press. pp. 242. ISBN 0521786746. 
  8. ^ "A Glimpse at 1930s Shanghai". Yoran Beisher. 2003-09-24. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  9. ^ "Shanghai now the world's largest cargo port". Asia Times Online. 2006-01-07. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  10. ^ Caroline Bremner (2009-01-07). "Trend Watch: Euromonitor International’s Top City Destinations Ranking". Euromonitor International. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  11. ^ "Look! It's the brand new face of China". The Guardian. 2008-03-09.,,2263632,00.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  12. ^ "Shanghai: China's capitalist showpiece". BBC News. 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
    "Of Shanghai... and Suzhou". The Hindu Business Line. 2003-01-27. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  13. ^ a b c Danielson, Eric N., Shanghai and the Yangzi Delta, 2004, pp.8-9.
  14. ^ Danielson, Eric N., Shanghai and the Yangzi Delta, 2004, p.9.
  15. ^ Danielson, Eric N., Shanghai and the Yangzi Delta, 2004, p.9, pp.11-12, p.34.
  16. ^ a b Danielson, Eric N., Shanghai and the Yangzi Delta, 2004, p.10.
  17. ^ Danielson, Eric N., Shanghai and the Yangzi Delta, 2004, pp.10-11.
  18. ^ Shanghai: Paradise for adventurers. CBC – TV. Legendary Sin Cities.
  19. ^ "All About Shanghai. Chapter 4 – Population ". Tales of Old Shanghai.
  20. ^ "Shanghai Sanctuary". TIME. July 31, 2008.
  21. ^ Danielson, Eric N., Shanghai and the Yangzi Delta, 2004, p.34.
  22. ^ « 149 comfort women houses discovered in Shanghai », Xinhua, 16 June 2005.
  23. ^ a b "Shanghai Statistical Yearbook". Shanghai Municipal Government. 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  24. ^ "Shanghai travel guide - Geography". 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  25. ^ "Suzhou Creek clean-up on track". People's Daily Online. 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  26. ^ "Environmental Protection in China's Wealthiest City". The American Embassy in China. July 2001. Archived from the original on 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  27. ^ "1.6m flee Shanghai typhoon". The Daily Telegraph. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  28. ^ a b "BBC - Average Conditions Shanghai, China". BBC. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ ["" "Shanghai port TEU throughput ranks 2nd largest in the world"]. Hong Kong Trade Development Council. "". 
  31. ^ "Shanghai Stock Exchange announces 2007 strategy". Hong Kong Trade Development Council. 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  32. ^ "Expat Evolution: Is Shanghai's full-package expat going extinct?". City Weekend Guide.
  33. ^ "在华居住韩国人达百万 北京人数最多达二十万". 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  34. ^ "Shanghai Basic Facts". Shanghai Municipal Statistics Bureau. 
  35. ^ "Average income hits 21,871 yuan". Shanghai Daily. 
  36. ^ According to Johnstone, Patrick; Schirrmacher, Thomas (2003). Gebet für die Welt. Hänssler. ISBN 978-0813342757.
  37. ^ "Shanghai Subway - Metro". UrbanRail.Net. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  38. ^ "Personal Cars and China (2003)". 
  39. ^ Sperling, Daniel and Deborah Gordon (2009), Two billion cars: driving toward sustainability, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 219–220, ISBN 978-0-19-537664-7 . See on Chapter 8 Stimulating Chinese Innovation. 
  40. ^ Transportation - Shanghai Focus
  41. ^ Pudong airport has most passengers from abroad (The Business Times: 9 January 2007)
  42. ^ Emporis GmbH. "One Lujiazui, Shanghai". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  43. ^ Collier, Robert (2007-07-08). "Warming strikes a note in China". pp. A4. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  44. ^ "Eight Cities/Six Ports: Yokohama's Sister Cities/Sister Ports". Yokohama Convention & Visitiors Bureau. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  45. ^ Staff, Hamburg und seine Städtepartnerschaften (Hamburg sister cities), Hamburg's official website [1],, retrieved 2008-08-05  (German)
  46. ^ "International Relations of the City of Porto". © 2006-2009 Municipal Directorateofthe PresidencyServices InternationalRelationsOffice. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  47. ^ "Barcelona internacional - Ciutats agermanades" (in Spanish). © 2006-2009 Ajuntament de Barcelona.,4022,229724149_257215678_1,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 


  • Danielson, Eric N. (2004). Shanghai and the Yangzi Delta. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish/Times Editions. ISBN 981-232-578-2. 
  • Elvin, Mark (1977). "Market Towns and Waterways: The County of Shanghai from 1480 to 1910," in The City in Late Imperial China, ed. by G. William Skinner. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 
  • Johnson, Linda Cooke (1995). Shanghai: From Market Town to Treaty Port. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 
  • Johnson, Linda Cooke (1993). Cities of Jiangnan in Late Imperial China. Albany: State University of New York (SUNY). 
  • Horesh, Niv (2009). Shanghai's Bund and Beyond. New Haven: Yale University Press. 
  • Erh,Deke and Johnston, Tess (2007). Shanghai Art Deco. Hong Kong: Old China Hand Press. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : East Asia : China : East : Shanghai
The skyline of Pudong
The skyline of Pudong

Shanghai (上海 Shànghǎi) [1], with a population of more than 18 million (and over 5.8 million migrants), is one of the most populous and most developed cities in the People's Republic of China.

Shanghai was the largest and most prosperous city in the Far East during the 1930s, and has remained the most developed city in China. In the past 20 years Shanghai has again became an attractive city for tourists worldwide. The world will once again have its eyes on the city when it hosts the 2010 World's Fair.


Shanghai is split in two by the Huangpu River (黄浦江 Huángpǔ Jiāng). On the west bank is Puxi (浦西 Pǔxī), the older city center, while the newer sky-rise development on the east side is called Pudong (浦东 Pǔdōng).

Areas within Puxi:

  • The Bund (外滩 wàitān) - The colonial riverside of old (and reborn) Shanghai. The Bund has dozens of historical buildings lining the Huangpu River, which once housed numerous banks and trading houses from Britain, France, the U.S., Russia, Germany,and many other countries. A building boom at the end of 19th century and beginning of 20th century led to the Bund becoming a major financial hub of East Asia.
  • French Concession Area - Comprises Luwan District (卢湾区; Lúwānqū) and Xuhui District (徐汇区; Xúhuìqū) which is generally bound by Shanxi Rd to the east, Jian Guo Rd to the south, Huashan Rd to the west and Chang Le Rd (长乐路) to the north. This leafy district once known as the "Paris of the East", includes the refurbished shikumen houses of Xintiandi and Shanghai Stadium. The blending of architecture styles, bustling street life, and wealth of international Shanghai fusion culture make the former French Concession area one of Shanghai's most rich and vibrant neighborhoods.
  • Jing'an District (静安区; Jìngānqū)- Commercial area on Nanjing Road West, most upscale shopping malls in the city. Nanjing Road, one of China's most famous shopping streets, passes Jing'an Temple (静安寺 Jìng'ān Sì​), leading to People's Park (人民公园 Rénmín Gōngyuán) and The Bund.
  • Huangpu excluding the Old City (黄浦区; Huángpǔqū)
  • Putuo (普陀区; Pǔtuóqū)
  • Zhabei (闸北区; Zháběiqū)
  • Hongkou (虹口区; Hóngkǒuqū) - Home of Lu Xun Park, the famed writer Lu Xun, now including a Memorial Park and a museum, as well as a football (soccer) stadium. Once home to Shanghai's substantial Jewish population in the first half of the 20th century.
  • Yangpu (杨浦区; Yángpǔqū) - Where the famous Fudan University and Tongji University are located. Also contains the excellent and spacious GongQing forest park (共青森林公园 gòngqīng sēnlín gōngyuán).
  • Changning (长宁区; Chángníngqū) - Hongqiao International Airport sits here in addition to the Shanghai Zoo.

Across the river:

  • Pudong (浦东 or 浦东新区; Pǔ​dōng​ or Pǔ​dōng​xīn​qū​) - The skyscraper-laden financial and commercial district on the east bank of the river with museums and shopping throughout, and a traveler's likely first district to experience considering Pudong International Airport rests in the district.

Outlying districts:


Shanghai is a fascinating mix of East and West. It has historic shikumen (石库门) houses that blend the styles of Chinese houses with European design flair, and it has one of the richest collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. As there were so many concessions (designated districts) to Western powers during the turn of the 20th century, at times the city has a cosmopolitan feel. From classic Parisian style, to Tudor style buildings that give an English flair, while the 1930s buildings put you in New York or Chicago.

In the beginning of the 1990s, the Shanghai government launched a series of new strategies to attract foreign investments. The biggest move was to open up Pudong, once a rural area of Shanghai but now a business center countries the world over may envy. The strategies for growth have made tremendous gains and now Pudong is home to many of the duties which used to take place across the Huangpu in The Bund, housed in numerous skyscrapers - including the 3rd biggest in the world - the World Financial Center.

Citizens have a saying, "Shanghai is heaven for the rich, hell for the poor," which reflects the resurgence Shanghai has made since the new government was put into place more than 60 years ago.

Today, Shanghai's goal is to develop into a world-class financial and economic center of China and Asia. In achieving this goal, Shanghai faces competition from Hong Kong, which has the advantage of a stronger legal system and greater banking and service expertise. Shanghai has stronger links to the Chinese interior and to the central government in addition to a stronger manufacturing and technology base. Since the return of Hong Kong to China, Shanghai has increased its role in finance, banking, and as a major destination for corporate headquarters, fueling demand for a highly educated and cosmopolitan workforce.

Shanghai is one of the least polluted major cities in China, although the degree of pollution might be more severe when using international comparisons. For this reason, coupled with a lesser degree of focus placed on national politics, visitors will find a much difference experience than visiting Beijing.

Get in

Shanghai is one of China's main travel hubs and getting in from pretty much anywhere is easy.

By plane

Shanghai has two main airports [2], with Pudong the main international gateway and Hongqiao serving mostly domestic flights. Be sure to check which one your flight is leaving from, and allow at least one hour, preferably 1.5 hours, to transfer if needed!

Domestic airplane tickets are best booked in advance at one of the many travel agencies or online, but can also be bought at the airport on the day of departure. Fares are generally cheap, but vary depending on the season; figure on ¥400-1200 for Beijing-Shanghai. When backpacking, it may often be cheaper to book a flight along a big traffic line (Shanghai-Beijing, Shanghai-Guangzhou, Shanghai-Shenzhen, etc.) and travel the rest by bus or train.

Pudong airport is one of several airports serving destinations to Taiwan.

The city of Hangzhou, about a 90-min train ride from Shanghai, should also be considered if having a difficult time finding tickets to Pudong or Hongqiao.

Pudong International Airport

Shanghai Maglev Train at Longyang Station
Shanghai Maglev Train at Longyang Station

Pudong (浦东机场, IATA: PVG, [3]) is Shanghai's main international airport, located 40 km to the east of the city. Arrivals are on the first floor, departures on the third, and the airport has all the features you'd expect. There are two gigantic terminals (T1 and T2), so check which one you're going to. A free shuttle bus service connects the two in case walking a few minutes (or using the conveyor belts) are too cumbersome.

  • Terminal 1 Air France, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Express, Gulf Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Japan Airlines, Juneyao Airlines, Korean Airlines, Mandarin Airlines, Royal Dutch Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Spring Airlines, Tianjin Airlines
  • Terminal 2 Aeroflot Russian Airlines, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air Macau, All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Dragonair, Emirates Airlines, Eva Air, Finnair, Garuda Indonesia, Hong Kong Express, Lufthansa, New Zealand Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Shandong Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss International, Thai Airlines, TransAsia Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic

The most convenient but also most expensive way to get to central Shanghai is by taxi, but figure on ¥130 and about an hour to get to the center of the city (People's Square). They are more convenient than buses because they take you to your final destination, only make one stop and you're guaranteed a seat (additionally, it's a flat fee that can be split up if traveling with others). Depending on your final destination, it may be just as quick as using the Maglev train since the end of the Maglev journey requires a combination of walking, public transport or a taxi and this transfer time and cost should be considered. Head for the official taxi line to the far right of the arrival terminal. Taxi drivers seldom speak any English so have your destination in writing (or use an airport attendant's how-to) and fare estimate before agreeing on a driver. Estimates are also posted near the exit doors on the first floors near the pick-up area and bus station area. It is not advisable to use a driver outside the queue unless there are two of you and someone speaks good Shanghainese or Mandarin. Use caution and double check the charges as some drivers may try to scam you, but not many. It is against local law to pick up other passengers not affiliated with your party so reject this if attempted by the driver.

A compromise of time, ease and cost is the Transrapid Maglev train, the world's fastest train and an attraction in itself. Services currently operate from 6:45AM-9:30PM daily and cost ¥50 one way (¥40 if you have a flight ticket) or ¥80 for a round-trip ticket (good for up to 7 days from date of purchase). You can also opt to pay double for "VIP Class", which gets you a soft drink and bragging rights but no different of an environment. It shuttles from the airport to the middle of Pudong in 8 minutes flat at a blazing speed of 433 kph (270 mph), although during many parts of the day it goes "only" 301 kph. If your final destination is Pudong, only a short subway or taxi ride remains; however, if you're like most travelers looking to cross into Puxi, plan on 20 min or more on the Metro to People's Square or a taxi fare from ¥20-60. On the 2nd floor of the airport you can purchase Maglev tickets from the ticket counter. The wait for a train is typically no longer than 15 min. Riders can be seen whipping out cameras while aboard, marveling at the speed of the train. Once you've arrived at the end station, walk downstairs and a few meters away is the Longyang Lu Metro station (Line 2) and a taxi queue. Note that between the baggage claim and the Maglev station, people may tell you the Maglev is "broken" or "shut down because of weather" but they may just be trying to get you in their taxi. Pay them no mind, upon arriving at the station you will see the trains are running.

Airport buses are cheaper (¥15-30 depending on destination) but take up to 90 min (to city center) and operate less frequently starting at 11PM. Additionally, your final destination may require use of mass transport or a taxi to get you there. They are incredibly convenient, however, if the route runs close to your final destination (but sadly not as convenient if wanting to go from the city to the airport, for the pick-up locations are far fewer). There are a number of routes, but two particularly convenient ones connect to the City Air Terminal (Jing'an Temple) (#2) and People's Square (#5, ¥22) (and like all the other routes, any stops between Pudong Airport and final stop). Budget travelers may also consider buses stopping at Longyang Rd (1#/#5, ¥12) from where you may transfer to Metro line 2. For a link to Metro lines 3/4, #6 (¥20) goes to Zhongshan Park station (actually a few blocks off- change to the local 947 bus and take it one stop or walk the distance). If arriving to Pudong airport after 11PM, there is only one shuttle route offered.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport

Shanghai's older airport Hongqiao (虹桥机场 IATA: SHA) [4] services domestic flights, the only exception being the city shuttle services to Tokyo-Haneda and Seoul-Gimpo. 12 km away from the city center, a taxi can manage the trip in 20 minutes on a good day but allow an extra 30 minutes for the taxi queue, especially when arriving after 7PM.

The 'Hongqiao Airport Special Line' bus (机场专线) goes directly to Jing'an Temple every 10-30 min for ¥4. Due to the long taxi queues this is by far the quickest option, albeit at times crowded. There is no sign posting in English so it is advisable to print out the Chinese characters and then consult one of the airport staff, or look for one of the buses without a bus number (only Chinese Characters). Tickets are purchased inside the bus shortly before it departs, once departed there are no stops until arriving right in front of Jing'an Temple Metro Station (Line 2).

Bus: Although Hongqiao airport has fewer airport bus lines than Pudong, more public bus lines are linked to Hongqiao. No. 806: These buses run from Hongqiao airport to the Lupu Bridge between 6AM-9:30PM at intervals of 5-15 min. The line also has a stop at Xujiahui, and the whole trip costs ¥5. No. 807: These buses operate between 6AM-9:30PM from Hongqiao airport to the Zhenguang New Village in Putuo District. ¥4. No. 925: Most of the route is along Yang'an Road and the buses link Hongqiao airport and People's Square between 6AM-9PM. ¥4. No. 938: These buses run from Hongqiao airport to Yangjiadu in Pudong at intervals of 5-15 min, and the one-way fare is ¥7. This service operates from 6am until the arrival of the last passenger flight. No. 941: Linking Hongqiao airport and Shanghai Railway Station, the line runs from 6:30AM-8:30PM. ¥4. Interval between services is 10-12 min.

The taxi queue usually takes 20-30 min.

By train

Shanghai has a few major train stations including:

  • Shanghai Railway Station (上海站). Shanghai's largest and oldest, located in Zhabei district, on the intersection of Metro Lines 1, 3 and 4. Practically all trains used to terminate here, including trains to Hong Kong. However, southern services are being shifted out to the new South Station. This station is currently undergoing a major modernisation and construction and as a result many facilities are restricted at present, resulting in longer queues, more crowds and more delays (not to mention a less-than-stellar first view of Shanghai if arriving by train). Also the North Exit of the station (which leads directly to Lines 3 & 4 of the subway) is closed for the forseeable future.
  • Shanghai South Railway Station (上海南站). A new, greatly expanded terminal opened in July 2006 and and is set to take over all services towards the south. On Metro lines 1 and 3.
  • Shanghai West Railway Station (上海西站) More than 100 years old, the station is scheduled to be undergo remodeling until sometime in 2010.

Self-serve automated ticket booths are prevalent and would likely be the easiest mode of purchasing tickets and checking train schedules for those without an ability to utilize Chinese as the devices have an English mode. Tickets are also conveniently booked in advance at one of the many travel service agencies. There are queues with English speaking staff, although this is not likely outside of Shanghai so it's best to buy a return ticket at the same time (not only because English won't be as easy to find outside if the city, but also seats may be sold out if attempting to purchase at a later date). It is advisable to prepare a paper with your destination displayed in Chinese characters if needed or should an itinerary need adjustment. Not all tickets are sold using the automated or staffed methods, for example tickets to Hong Kong (Jiu Long) you would need to go to a similar ticket office near the main ticket office. To get there, exit the main ticket office and go left (towards one of the Metro exits and parallel to the train station), the ticket office is just across the road after the Metro exit. You have to pass through a security check to get to the ticket office.

  • Beijing (北京)- There are a number of brand new night sleep trains running daily from Shanghai to Beijing, starting at 7PM in 10 minute intervals to 8PM and arriving at 7-8AM in Beijing. Fare is around ¥500 for a softsleeper, very clean and the four-person cabins are quite comfortable. In the same new train, normal hardseaters are available for around ¥250. Food is now served when traveling in both directions, and there is a drinks and snacks trolley that comes past occasionally that you can purchase snacks from. For a regular normal sleeper in a standard train, which takes 13 hours from Shanghai to Beijing, expect to pay ¥200-300 with no food.
  • Hong Kong (香港)- The T99/T100 train to and from Hong Kong runs every other day (alternating between Shanghai->Hong Kong and Hong Kong->Shanghai) from Shanghai Railway Station (T99 leaves here at 5:15PM, T100 arrives here around noon), arriving at Hung Hom station in Kowloon(T99 arrives here around noon, T100 leaves here at 3:15PM). If traveling alone, expect to pay ¥800 each way for the soft sleeper, but discounts are given for group purchases (¥364 each way per person in a soft sleeper if purchased in a group of 4, for instance). Unless you are on a very tight budget, try to get the 'Deluxe Soft Sleeper' which facilitates compartments of 2 beds and a private mainland-style mains socket (but with the introduction of new train cars, the regular soft sleeper also has a private mains socket for each room as well as one in the corridor of each car). Spaces are limited, so book well in advance. Keep in mind that you will still have to go through Customs and thus need a new visa for reentry into mainland China (unless you have a multiple-entry visa). However, going through Customs at the train station is much quicker than Customs at the airport.

The new fast (200+ km/hr) CRH trains go south from Shanghai to Hangzhou, west to Nanjing, and north to Qingdao. These are very comfortable and convenient. Train route codes being with D in this instance.

By car

In recent years many highways have been built, linking Shanghai to other cities in the region, including Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, etc. It only takes 2 hours to reach Shanghai from Hangzhou.

By bus

There are several long-distance bus stations in Shanghai. You should try to get the tickets as early as possible.

  • Beiqu Long-distance Passenger Station - 80 Gongxing Lu
  • Hengfeng Road Express Passenger Station 270 Hengfeng Lu - This is one of the largest and is just north of the main railway station. It serves most destinations in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces as some more remote cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou. It's well organized but can be a little hard to find - particularly with the major rebuilding of the North Station Square. From Shanghai Railway Station (North) subway station (Lines 3 & 4) take exit No. 1. You'll come out in the middle of a construction site - head left and keep walking straight and eventually (after an unpleasant 10-minute walk) you'll find it. Motorcycle-taxis will loiter around the station exit and will take you there for around 5 yuan if you bargain hard - howver they can be pushy and aggressive.
  • Zhongshan Beilu Long-distance Passenger Transport Station 1015 Zhongshan Bei Lu
  • Xujiahui Passenger Station 211Hongqiao Lu
  • Pudong Tangqiao Long-distance Passenger Station 3842 Pudong Nan Lu

By boat

There are ferry services from Kobe and Osaka (Japan) weekly and Hong Kong.

  • Shanghai Ferry Company, (), [5]. Once a week service from Shanghai to Osaka and vice versa. Takes two nights. ¥1,300-6,500.  edit
  • The Japan-China International Ferry Company has similar service as the Shanghai Ferry Company but alternates each week with Osaka and Kobe as the Japanese departure/arrival city.
  • Suzhou-Shimonoseki: Shanghai-Shimonoseki Ferry, 083-232-6615 (Japan) or 0512-53186686 (China), thrice weekly service. ¥15,000.

Get around

If you intend to stay in Shanghai for a longer time the Shanghai Jiaotong Card [6] (上海公共交通卡) can come in handy. You can load the card with money and use it in buses, the metro and even taxis. You can get these cards at any metro/subway station, as well as some convenience stores like Alldays and KeDi Marts. These come in regular, mini, and "strap" size (the latter being made for hanging on mobile phones), with various limited editions available for each. Only regular-sized cards can be loaded at machines (with a few exceptions, mainly at line 6/8 stations which have a special type of recharge machine made to take all sizes of cards) and only in multiples of ¥50 or ¥100 (this applies to the big blue machines- certain smaller machines mostly located in line 8 stations will accept any bills the service counter will as well as most sizes of SPTC). Most likely you will need to go to the service counter to recharge if you have an irregularly-shaped card or you want to recharge in multiples of ¥10 or ¥20.

Also, this card allows you to transfer lines at Yishan Rd, Shanghai Train Station, and Hongkou Football Stadium stations, as well as discounts for bus<->bus and metro<->bus transfer (the fare is discounted ¥1 each time you transfer).

Shanghai metro map as of Dec 2007 (note: Lines 7, 11 and 9's expansion not shown)
Shanghai metro map as of Dec 2007 (note: Lines 7, 11 and 9's expansion not shown)

The fast-growing Shanghai Metro [7] (website in Chinese) network has 10 lines with another 9 under construction (and expansions to existing lines, such as Line 2 which will eventually connect to Pudong Airport), with nearly all lines operating underground (Line 3 operates above ground). The Metro is fast, cheap, air conditioned and fairly user-friendly with most signs and station arrival announcements in English, but the trains can get very packed during rush hour. Fares range from ¥3-9 depending on distance. Automatic ticket vending machines take ¥1 or ¥0.5 coins and notes and have services in English. Most stations on lines 1-3 will also have staff selling tickets, but on the newly-completed lines 6, 8, and 9 ticket purchasing is all done by machine (in both Chinese and English) with staff there only to assist in adding credit to cards or if something goes wrong. You can now transfer between lines freely with a single ticket (except at Shanghai Railway Station, Hongkou Football Stadium, and Yishan Lu where a subway pass/Shanghai public transportation card is required for transfer). Metro rides can be paid for using use Shanghai's public transportation card (non-contact). Be careful; certain stations exist on two different lines with the same name but are located in different places (Yishan Lu- Line 3/9 and line 4 are separate stations- transfer between these stations is only possible with a subway pass; Pudian Lu- line 4 and line 6; go to either Century Ave or Lancun Lu to transfer between these lines; Hongkou Football Stadium, Line 3 and 8- transfer is only possible with a Metro pass).

If there are seats available but more passengers boarding than seats, be prepared to see a mad dash (literally) for the available seats. This is the norm so move quickly if you want a seat. Be mindful of pickpockets who may use this rush to their advantage.

By bus

The bus system is much more extensive (and typically cheaper) than the Metro, and some routes even operate past the closing time of the Metro (route numbers beginning with 3 are the night buses that run past 11PM). Here is a handy list of bus routes and stops in English. Most buses do not require any conversation with a driver and/or conductor, while others depend on you knowing your destination and the conductor charging you accordingly. For the latter, pay the conductor directly and you'll get a paper ticket (and change, if any). The former bus types do not have a conductor but instead a driver only; there is a fixed price for the route, usually ¥2 and the buses are air-conditioned (¥1.5 on some routes running on old buses without; the signpost at that stop will tell you). Prepare exact change beforehand and drop it into the container next to the driver. It's best to have exact fare or go to a convenience store it needing change, otherwise you may depend on stating your situation to the driver or other passengers. If you change buses with an SPTC you will get a ¥1 discount on your second bus fare (and all subsequent transfers; there is a 90-minute window to do this on so if you're not spending too much time at the destination your transfer discount will apply to the start of your return journey too).

By taxi

Taxi is a good choice for transportation in the city, especially during off-peak hours. It is affordable (¥12 for the first 3km, ¥2.3/km up to 10km, and ¥3.5/km after; when wheels aren't rolling, time is also tracked and billed but first 5 min. are free) and saves you time, but try to get your destination in Chinese characters or available on a map as communication can be an issue. As Shanghai is a huge city, try to get the nearest intersection to your destination as well since even addresses in Chinese are often useless. If the driver does not speak any English and you do not have the address written in Chinese, there is a phone number displayed in the back of the taxi (you'll need a mobile phone for this). Dial the number and tell the agent where you want to go (English is the only foreign language offered currently). The agent will then, on your behalf, explain where you wish to go. The agent will even find out the address of bars and other spots for you if applicable and this service has very good remarks. (If without a mobile phone, try to get a business card of your destination or of something nearby.)

Drivers, while generally honest, are sometimes genuinely clueless and occasionally out to take you for a ride. The drivers are very good about using the meter but in case they forget, remind them. It's also the law to provide a receipt for the rider but if your fare seems out of line, be sure to obtain one as it's necessary to receive any compensation. If you feel you have been cheated or mistreated by the driver, you (or a Chinese-speaking friend) can use the information on the printed receipt to raise a complaint to the taxi company about that particular driver. The driver will be required to pay 3x the fare if ordered by the taxi company so normally they're very good about taking the appropriate route. The printed receipt is also useful to contact the driver in case you have forgotten something in the taxi and need to get it back.

If you come across a row of parked taxis and have a choice of which one to get in to, you may wish to check the driver's taxi ID card that is posted next to or near the meter on the dash in front of the front passenger seat. The higher the number, the newer the driver, thus the likelihood that your driver will not know where he or she is going. Taxi driver ID numbers between 10XXXX and 12XXXX are likely to be the most experienced drivers (just make sure to match the picture on the ID card with that of the driver). A number of 27XXXX to 29XXXX is probably going to get you lost somewhere. Another way is to check the number of stars the driver has. These are displayed below the driver's photograph on the dashboard in front of the passenger seat. The amount of stars indicates the length of time the driver has been in the taxi business and the level of positive feedback received from customers, and range from zero stars to five. Drivers with one star or more should know all major locations in Shanghai, and those with three stars should be able to recognize even lesser-known addresses. Remember that it takes time to build up these stars, and so don't panic if you find yourself with a driver who doesn't have any - just have them assure you that they know where they are going and you should be fine.

If you need to cross from one side of the Huangpu River to the other by taxi, especially from Pudong (浦东) to Puxi (浦西), you may want to make sure your driver will make the trip, and knows where he or she is going. Some drivers only know their side of the town and will be as lost as you are once they leave their side of town. Taxis are notoriously difficult to get on rainy days and during peak traffic hours, so plan your journeys accordingly. As the crossings between Pudong (浦东) and Puxi (浦西) are often jammed with traffic, taking a taxi may be a more expensive and less time-efficient alternative to using the Metro to cross. It may be better to take the Metro between both sides, and then catch a taxi on the side that your final destination is on.

Taxi colors in Shanghai are strictly controlled and indicate the company the taxi belongs to. Turquoise taxis operated by Dazhong (大众), the largest group, are often judged the best of the bunch. Another good taxi company, "Qiangsheng" (强生), uses gold-colored taxis. Watch out for dark red/maroon taxis, since this is the 'default' color of small taxi companies and includes more than its fair share of bad apples. Also private owned taxis (You can recognize them easily as they have an 'X' in their number plate and may not be the standard Volkswagen Santana used by most taxi companies) are among them. The dark red/maroon taxis will also go "off the meter" at times and charge rates 4x-5x the normal rate - especially around the tourist areas of the Yuyuan Gardens. Bright red taxis, on the other hand, are unionized and quite OK, furthermore there are more 3-star and above taxi drivers working for this company. The dark-green taxis cover suburban areas only and are not allowed within the "city" area, but their meters start at ¥9 so they're somewhat cheaper if you're not trying to get downtown (rule of thumb- if you're trying to go somewhere within the Outer Ring highway, don't get one, but if your journey ends just within it you may be able to find a driver willing to bend the rules).

Always try to avoid using ¥100-bills to pay for short rides. Taxi drivers are not keen on giving away their change, and it is not uncommon to get counterfeit smaller notes for change. Taxis are very hard to come by during peak hours and when it's raining so be prepared to wait for a while or walk to a busy pick-up location. Foreign visitors might be surprised at the "lack" of courtesy or lines while waiting for a taxi, so don't be afraid to "jump in" and get one--it's first come, first serve. There are some taxi stops where attendants maintain a well-ordered line; this may be the fastest way to get a taxi in a busy part of town, but there are not very many of them, so expect to walk a ways to get to one.

By sightseeing bus

There are several different companies offering sightseeing buses with various routes and packages covering the main sights such as the Shanghai Zoo, Oriental Pearl Tower, and Baoyang Road Harbor. Most of the sightseeing buses leave from the Shanghai Stadium's east bus station.

On foot

Shanghai is a good city for walking, especially in the older parts of the city, such as The Bund, but be aware this city is incredibly dynamic and pavements can be obstructed or unpleasant to walk through when near construction areas. Look for subway tunnels when needing to cross busy streets as these are usually open despite the roadwork. Given the population demands and constant maintenance thus required, add extra time to allow you to arrive on time. Be sure to bring an umbrella for rain (available throughout many stands and stores for ¥15).

Be advised that during the run-up to World Expo 2010, many streets and pavements have been dug up and are being re-laid. It's not that pleasant walking around due to dust and noise from the work. Construction is proceeding at such a pace that often a tarmac on a street can be completely re-laid in one day, resulting in chaos for 24 hours and then total calm.

By ferry

A useful ferry runs between the Bund (from a ferry pier a few blocks south of Nanjing Road next to the KFC restaurant) and Lujiazui financial district in Pudong (the terminal is about 10 minutes south of the Pearl TV Tower and Lujiazui metro station) and is the cheapest way of crossing the river at 2 yuan per person. The ferry is air-conditioned and allows foot-passengers only (bikes are not allowed except for folding models). Buy a token from the ticket kiosk and then insert it into the turnstile to enter the waiting room - the boats run every 10 minutes and take just over 5 minutes to cross the river. This is a great (and much cheaper) alternative to using the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel.

Cyclist zooming past cars stopped by impromptu maintenance
Cyclist zooming past cars stopped by impromptu maintenance

For locals, bicycles are slowly being eclipsed by electric scooters but they still remain an easy means of transportation for visitors who may be hesitant to communicate with drivers or board crowded mass transit--or simply to soak up some sunshine. Go to Baoshan Metro station and get a vintage bicycle for approx ¥300; they are also easily found for sale on the street around Suzhou Creek or in the residential part of the old town. Beware of the driving habits of locals: the biggest vehicles have the priority and a red light does not mean you are safe to cross the street. Note: a few streets are not allowed for bicyclists and signs will designate this.

By car

Driving is definitely not recommended in Shanghai for a variety of reasons, even for those with driving experience in the country. Not only do you have to cope with seemingly perpetual traffic jams, but also Chinese driving habits and ongoing construction. Bicycles, scooters and pedestrians are also all over the place--a city with a real metropolitan feel. It is also not unheard of for cyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians to suddenly dash in front of a car without any warning. In short, do not drive if you can help it and make use of public transport instead.

See also Driving_in_China.

By sidecar

Vintage motorbikes with sidecars are used by a limited number locals, including artists, military personnel (for private usage),expats and may be of some use to tourists. Changjiang sidecars were used by the Chinese army until 1997. There are a few sidecar owners club in Shanghai (Black Bats, People's Riders Club), shops (Yiqi, Cao, Fan, Jack, Jonson, Leo) and a tour operator (Shanghai Sideways) which are worth checking out.

See also Driving_in_China#Sidecar_rigs.

By sightseeing tunnel

A bit of a misnomer, as the entire journey is underground and doesn't reveal any real sights of the city. This is the fastest way of crossing between the Bund in Puxi and the Pearl TV Tower in Pudong but also the most expensive (¥40Y one way/¥50 return) and is essentially a tourist trap--but may also be a good bet for the directionally-challenged or those struggling to find a taxi during rush hour. Glass pods running on train tracks take a few minutes to run through a tunnel under the Huangpu River lined with a psychedelic light show and some bizarre commentary in English and Chinese. After arriving you'll be dropped off in a hall full of tourist-trap shops, which should come as no surprise since the entrance is a few meters from the TV Tower and is by no means a practical mode of transportation for locals. Avoid if possible - it's a very tacky experience and unless your prepared to some cash to look at some flashing lights instead of walking 5 min to the south and take the aforementioned ferry or walking 5 min west to Nanjing East Rd subway station and take the Metro.


The language of the streets is Shanghainese, part of the Wu group of Chinese dialects, which is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin, Cantonese, Minnan (Taiwanese/Hokkien) or other Chinese dialects. However, with Shanghai having been the commercial centre of China since the 1920's, Mandarin is understood and spoken fluently by almost everybody, including most of the elderly.

While you are more likely to encounter an English speaker in Shanghai than in any other mainland Chinese city, they are by no means common so it would be wise to have your destinations and hotel address written in Chinese so that taxi drivers can take you to your intended destination. Likewise, if planning to bargain at shops, a calculator would be useful.

Jing'an Temple, Jing'an District (Air City Terminal found here)
Jing'an Temple, Jing'an District (Air City Terminal found here)

Where to go in Shanghai depends largely on your time period and interests. See Shanghai for the first-timer for a sample itinerary.

  • Yuyuan Gardens, (in Old City). For a feel of the China of yesteryear loaded with classical Chinese architecture (the countless vendors just outside the gardens may lead to some frustration, so don't come here thinking 'tranquility'). ¥40.  edit
  • Classic (Western) architecture. For a taste of 1920s Shanghai, head for the stately old buildings of the The Bund or the French Concession--too many to list here! Some of the best sections are along Hunan Rd (湖南路), Fuxing Rd (复兴路), Shaoxing Rd (绍兴路) and Hengshan Rd (衡山路). The area is fast becoming famous for boutique shopping along Xinle Rd, Changle Rd and Anfu Rd (安福路), all of which also have interesting restaurants.  edit
  • Modern architecture. Some of the tallest and most inspiring structures in Asia and the world can be found along the Huangpu River bank in Pudong's Lujiazui District. Two of considerable mention are Oriental Pearl Tower, one of the tallest structures in Asia, providing visitors with city views (different tours available) or light shows (at night) from below (free), Jin Mao Tower, which is staggering 88-story behemoth, and the Shanghai World Financial Center, the second largest building in Asia and the world, and world's largest by roof height, containing the world's highest observation deck, at 474 meters (1555 feet) .  edit
  • Shanghai Museum, S side of People's Square. 9AM-5PM. The Ancient Bronze exhibit is particularly impressive. Audio guides available. Also, there are often volunteer guides providing free service. Some of them speak English. Free.  edit
  • Temples. Some of the more popular ones include the Jade Buddha Temple, Jing'an Temple and Longhua Temple.  edit
  • Drink at a tea house. Visit Shanghai's many tea houses, including Tang Yun tea house (199 Hengshen Lu, Hengshen Lu stop on Line 1). Tang Yun serves many varieties of tea along with traditional Chinese delicacies. Many of the snacks served with the tea are gratis. Be careful not to order too much food.  edit
  • Shanghai Happy Valley, 888 Linhu Rd, Songjiang (上海松江区林湖路888号), [8]. Theme park. ¥160.  edit
  • Jinjiang Amusement Park, No. 201 Hongmei Rd (in Xuhui District, Line 1 to Jinjiang Park).  edit
  • Edible Shanghai, [9]. Make the most of Shanghai's myriad food culture and seek out culinary gems and organic farms, or take a self guided Shanghai culinary tour. No "canned routes," and no limits, grab your chopsticks or slip on your hiking boots for an adventure.  edit
  • Shanghai Sideways, [10]. Tour on a vintage 1930's sidecar motorbike. Flexible on the tours you want to do.  edit


Shanghai urban development is all about the 'five year plan'. Visit the Urban Planning Museum in People's Square for a fascinating look into Shanghai's colourful past, and learn about development strategies for the future. There is a heavy focus on eco-friendly satellite cities with spacious public centres and loads of greenery. The trip is worth it just for the scale model of Shanghai in ten years. All is located on the fourth floor, including a virtual tour of up-and-coming large scale public projects, which encompasses the World Expo 2010 site. It is located just across from the Shanghai Museum.


Shop until you drop on China's premier shopping street Nanjing Road (南京东路), or head for the Yuyuan Bazaar for Chinese crafts and jewelry not far from the Bund. Nanjing Road is a long street. The more famous part lies in the east near the Bund (Nanjing Road East), with a 1-km long pedestrian boulevard (Metro line 2 at Nanjing Road East station, formerly called Henan Road station) lined with busy shops. The wide boulevard is often packed with people on weekends and holidays. The shops are often targeted to domestic tourists, so the prices are surprisingly reasonable. Local people often look down on Nanjing Road and shop at Huaihai Road (another busy shopping boulevard with more upscale stores) instead.

For the high end boutiques, go to the west end of Nanjing Road West (南京西路) near Jing'an Temple. Several large shopping malls (Plaza 66 aka Henglong Plaza, Citic Plaza, Meilongzhen Plaza, and others being built) house boutiques bearing the most famous names in fashion. No. 3 on the Bund is another high-end shopping center featuring Giorgio Armani's flagship store in China.

For those interested in boutique shopping, head to the French Concession Streets Xinle Lu (新乐路), Changle Lu (长乐路) and Anfu Lu (安福路) starting from east of Shaanxi Lu (陕西路) (nearest Metro station is South Shanxi Rd on line 1). This section of low rise building and tree-lined streets bustles with small boutiques of clothing and accessories, where young Shanghainese looking for the latest fashions shop. The overhauled, cozy alleyways of Tian Zi Fang" is also extremely popular and is a bit more elbow-to-elbow than Xintiandi.

Shanghai Foreign Languages Bookstore (Shanghai Book Traders) at 390 Fuzhou Rd (near People's Square) offers a lot of books in English and other major languages, especially for learning Chinese. Just around the corner at 36 South Shanxi Rd you will also find a small but well-stocked second-hand foreign-language bookshop. If you're searching for computer or business related books, head to the biggest store in Fuzhou Rd: Shanghai Book Town (上海书城). You'll find special editions targeted at the Chinese market. The only difference to the original version is the Chinese cover and the heavily reduced price. Fuzhou Road is also a good street to wander around and find stationary and Chinese calligraphy related shops.

Those interested in DVDs of movies and television shows have a wide variety of options. Aside from the people selling DVDs out of boxes on street corners you can also find a good selection of movies at many local DVD shops in most neighborhoods. Perhaps the best way to score a deal with a shop is to be a regular. If you provide them repeat business they are usually quite happy to give you discounts for your loyal patronage. Typically DVDs can cost anywhere from ¥5 for standard disks to ¥10-12 for DVD-9 format disks.

However, if you are short on time in Shanghai and don't have the means to form a relationship with a shop, many people recommend the Ka De Club. An expat favorite for years, they have two shops: one in 483, Zhenning Rd and the other one in 505, Da Gu Rd (a small street between Weihai and Yan'an Rds). While the selection at the Ka De Club isn't bad the downside of this store's popularity is that with so many foreigners giving them business, you tend to get somewhat higher prices than at local shops and haggling and repeat customer bargains are pretty much non-existent.

Antiques, jade and communist China memorabilia can be found in Dongtai Road Antiques Market, where you must bargain if you want to get a fair deal. Yuyuan Gardens is another good option for antiques as well as all manner of cheaply made and priced souvenirs (teapots, paintings, "silk" bags, etc.). There are two basement markets. You will have to hunt for them, but they are worth the effort. As with any market in China, don't be afraid to bargain to get a fair price.


Xujiahui Metro station is the place to go if you're after game consoles (the Wii is available here in relative abundance), computers, computer accessories, or the like. You'll find pretty much everything electronic there, but the cellphone selection is a bit lacking.

  • Bu Ye Cheng Communications Market (不夜城), (Shanghai Railway Station, exit 4 from line 1 side, turn left and it's the large gold building). 10AM-6PM. This is the one of the best-known open-style market for cellphones in Shanghai. 1F/2F for new phones (two-way radios too), 3F for various collectibles. They have pretty much everything under the sun. Any reputable vendor that sets up shop here will allow you to try before you buy- if they don't, leave. Best way to get a good (or uncommon) phone for cheap.  edit


The infamous Xiangyang Market was finally shut down for good in 2006. The biggest "replacement" market is in the Metro station (Line 2) at the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum (上海科技馆). The most common name for the market is "A.P. New XinYang Fashion Market." There are a number of variations, and the name really doesn't even matter. The easiest way to get here is by Metro and there you can purchase all your knock-off products. The place is much more overrun by foreigners than Qipu Lu (below), and as such the prices are much higher.

The horrendously crowded Qipu Lu clothing market is a mass of stalls jammed into a warehouse sized building which would take the casual stroller most of a day to look through. You'll find the cheapest clothes in the city here, but even the trendiest styles are clearly Chinese. Bargain hard, in Chinese if you can and make friends with the shop owners. Many of them have secret stashes of knock-offs in hidden rooms behind the stall "walls." Avoid this place on weekends at all costs.

Another option is the Pearl Plaza located on Yan'an Xi Lu and Hongmei Lu as well as the unassuming shopping center located on the corner of Nanjing Xi Lu and Chongqing Lu. Haggling can be fun for those who are accustomed to it, but those sensitive to the pressure might want to steer clear. Not only can it be stressful to haggle, but just walking in to the buildings can bring a horde of people upon you trying to sell you bags, watches, DVDs and all assortment of goods.

But rather than pursuing knock-offs of Western brands, one of the more interesting things to do in Shanghai is to check out the small boutiques in the French Concession area. Some of these are run by individual designers of clothing, jewelry, etc and so the items on sale can truly be said to be unique. Visitors from overseas should expect the usual problem of finding larger sizes.

One exception to the rule is Dutch Items Shanghai[11]. The label was founded by Dutch designer Jolie van Beek in 2006 due to her frustration with the lack of affordable, high-quality clothing that fit her. The D.I.S boutiques carry their own label as well as a selection of imported European clothing and shoes. D.I.S focuses on womenswear and carries EU sizes 34-46, UK 4-18, U.S. 2-18.

  • Shanghai South Bund Material Market: 399 Lujiabang Rd (陆家浜路). 10AM-6PM. You can take bus #802 or #64 from the Shanghai Railroad Station and stop at the final stop: Nanpu Bridge Terminal or you can take the Metro Line 4 to the Nanpu Bridge (南浦大桥) Station (exit from gate #1, make a left from the exit and then left again on the light. You will see it to your right after walking about 200 to 250 m. Three floors of tailors and their materials including silk, cashmere, merino wool. Have items measured, fitted and finished within two days or bring examples, samples or pictures. Bargain hard with the friendly tailors.
  • A smaller and less crowded tailor market can be found under the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (Metro Line 2).


Shanghai's cuisine, like its people and culture, is primarily a fusion of the forms of the surrounding Jiangnan region, with influences sprinkled in more recently from the farther reaches of China and elsewhere. Characterized by some as sweet and oily, the method of preparation used in Shanghai, it emphasizes freshness and balance, with particular attention to the richness that sweet and sour characteristics can often bring to dishes that are otherwise generally savoury.

Chinese-style flat bread (dà​bǐng)
Chinese-style flat bread (dà​bǐng)

The name "Shanghai" means "above the sea", but paradoxically, the local preference for fish often tends toward the freshwater variety due to the city's location at the mouth of China's longest river. Seafood, nonetheless, retains great popularity and is often braised (fish), steamed (fish and shellfish), or stir-fried (shellfish). Watch out for any seafood that is fried, as these dishes rely far less on freshness and are often the remains of weeks' old purchases.

Shanghai's preference for meat is unquestionably pork. Pork is ubiquitous in the style of Chinese cooking, and in general if a mention refers to something as "meat" (肉) without any modifiers, the safe assumption is that it is pork. Ground pork is used for dumpling and bun fillings, whereas strips and slices of pork are promulgated in a variety of soups and stir-fries. The old standby of Shanghainese cooking is "red-cooked [braised/stewed] pork" (红烧肉), a traditional dish throughout Southern China with the added flair of anise and sweetness provided by the chefs of Shanghai.

Chicken takes the honorable mention in the meat category, and the only way to savor chicken in the Chinese way is to eat it whole (as opposed to smaller pieces in a stir-fry). Shanghai's chickens were once organic and grass-fed, yielding smaller birds offering more tender and flavorful meat than its hormone-injected Western counterparts. Unfortunately, these hormones have found their way to China, and today most chickens are little different from what can be found elsewhere. Still, the unforgettable preparations (drunken, salt-water, plain-boiled with dipping sauce, etc.) of whole chickens chopped up and brought to the table will serve as a reminder that while the industrialization of agriculture has arrived from the West, the preservation of flavor is still an essential element of the local cooking.

Those looking for less cholesterol-laden options need not fret. Shanghai lies at the heart of a region of China that produces and consumes a disproportionately large amount of soy. Thinking tofu? There's the stinky version that when deep-fried, permeates entire blocks with its earthy, often offensive aroma. Of course there are also tofu skins, soy milk (both sweet and savory), firm tofu, soft tofu, tofu custard (generally sweet and served from a road-side cart), dried tofu, oiled tofu, and every kind of tofu imaginable with the exception of tofurkey. There's also vegetarian duck, vegetarian chicken, and vegetarian goose, each of which looks and tastes nothing like the fowl after which it is named but is rather just a soy-dish where the bean curd is expected to approximate the meat's texture. Look out also for gluten-based foods at vegetarian restaurants, which unlike tofu, do not come with the phyto-estrogens that have recently made soy controversial within American vegetarian circles. If you are vegetarian, do be conscious that tofu in China is often regarded not as a substitute for meat (except by the vegetarian Buddhist monks) but rather as an accompaniment to it. As such, take extra care to ensure that your dish isn't served with peas and shrimp or stuffed with ground pork before you order it.

Some other Shanghainese dishes to look out for:

  • xiǎo​lóng​bāo​ (小笼包, lit. buns from the little steaming cage, or little dragon buns; fig. steamed dumpling). Probably the most famous Shanghai dish: small steamed buns - often confused for dumplings - come full of tasty (and boiling hot!) broth inside with a dab of meat to boot. The connoisseur bites a little hole into them first, sips the broth, then dips them in dark vinegar (醋 cù​) to season the meat inside. Of special mention is Din Tai Feng, an ever-popular Taiwanese restaurant boasting its designation as one of The New York Times 10 best restaurants in the world, with a handful of locations in Puxi and one in Pudong.
  • shēng​ jiān​ bāo​ (生煎包, lit. raw fried buns). Unlike steamed dumplings, these larger buns come with dough from raised flour, are pan-fried until the bottoms reach a deliciously crispy brown, and have not made their way to Chinese menus around the world (or even around China). Still popular with Shanghainese for breakfast and best accompanied by vinegar, eat these with particular care, as the broth inside will squirt out just as easily as their steamed cousins.
  • Shàng​hǎi​ máo​ xiè​ (上海毛蟹; Shanghai hairy crab). Best eaten in the winter months (Oct-Dec) and paired with Shaoxing wine to balance out your yin and yang.
  • xiè​fěn​ shī​zi​tóu​ (蟹粉狮子头; lit. crab meat pork meatballs).


Prices of drinks in cafes and bars vary like they would any major metropolis. They can be cheap or be real budget-busters, with a basic coffee or beer costing ¥10-40. There are internationally-known chains, like Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, as well as popular domestic and local java joints to satisfy those looking to relax.

Tsingtao, Snow and Pearl River beer are widely available. Major foreign brands are produced domestically and smaller brands are typically imported. There is also a local brew known as REEB (beer spelled backwards). A large bottle (640 ml) of any of these costs anywhere from ¥2-6.

Shanghai is filled with amazing nightlife, complete with both affordable bars and nightclubs that pulsate with a city energy.

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget ¥250
Mid-range ¥250-500
Splurge ¥500-3000

Accommodation in Shanghai can be rivaled by few cities in China, in terms of both variety and services. There are establishments for all types of travelers, from backpacker options for the weary to top of the line hotels and villas for those wishing to be spoiled. Puxi has both new and old hotels with class architectural styles and charm, some of them described in stories when Shanghai may have been the only place in China known to much of the rest of the world, while modern amenities commonly found in Pudong rival many hotels in Asia and beyond.


Shanghai's area code for landlines is 21, adding a "0" at the beginning if calling outside of the city.

Stay safe

Shanghai is a fairly safe city and violent crime is rare. However, the ever-increasing divide between the haves and have-nots has created its fair share of problems. Petty crimes like pickpocketing exist, and sexual harassment has been reported on crowded public transport. Be mindful during the months and weeks preceding the Chinese New Year (in Jan or Feb depending on lunar calendar) as thieves may be looking to make a little money before they have to buy a train ticket home. Also be careful during Chinese New Year as thieves prey shoppers seeking gifts for the upcoming holiday.

Various tourist-oriented scams, long practiced in Beijing, are unfortunately spreading to Shanghai as well. Be cautious if you meet a group of overly friendly students, women or new "friends" who insist on dragging you along to an art gallery, tea shop or karaoke parlor - you're unlikely to be physically harmed, but the bill may well be more than you bargained for. Police can help to recover some part of your money. Art scams can be found around People's Square near the entrances/exits of the museums and art galleries.

Foreign males may attract unsolicited attention from female sex workers at nightspots. Prostitution is illegal throughout all of China.

Be careful of people who approach and offer to polish your shoes, even if they are obviously a type which don't need polishing. Often when you refuse they'll squirt some hard-to-remove substance on them or the agreed upon price will change without warning.

Hawkers are a nuisance, particularly in areas such as Old Town and Science Museum in Pudong where there are shops in the subway selling fake designer goods. The most effective way to deal with them is to ignore them. Shouting a rude bu yao ("I don't want it") may help.

Be wary also of the "booths" at the Bund area (and the new waterfront development on Pudong side) offering photo services. They will offer to take your picture with the scenic background (and sometimes with costumes) for ¥50, but once you have contracted their services, several cohorts will arrive to "assist" the photographer. They may force you to buy all the snapshots and try to gather crowds to increase pressure.

As for passports, it may be best to have your passport at-hand. Chinese law requires that foreigners have their passports with them, but this is rarely enforced. Hotels will often recommend you leave your passport in their safe, though foreigners may want to consider the hotel and how much they trust it to hold their most important documents. Always carry copies of your passport and visa in a separate place in case they are lost or stolen.

Stay healthy

Drinking tap water is safe when boiled, however tap water is also said to contain high amounts of heavy metals. When buying bottled water, you will come across a whole range of mineral water brands. Cheaper brands cost ¥1-2.50 and are in all the convenience stores and street stands.

Individuals with asthma or respiratory issues should be prepared when visiting due to the air pollution that plays a role in Shanghai's landscape, as would any city in the world with more than 20 million inhabitants and break-neck construction taking place.

  • Shanghai Daily, [12]. English-language newspaper and website.  edit


For visitors unused to travel in China the language barrier is likely to be the biggest obstacle, as English ability tends to be very limited in all but the largest tourist draws and establishments that cater specifically to Westerners. Mandarin-learners need to be aware that Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, is the language of the streets and very different from Mandarin, although most Shanghainese under the age of 50 speak Mandarin to one degree or another. The use of Shanghainese as the de facto 'first' language of the city has been discouraged by the government and its use is decreasing both due to the effect of the paramount use of Mandarin in mass media and by the large-scale influx of out-of-town Chinese moving to Shanghai to work in recent years.

In addition, Shanghainese speakers have a particular accent when speaking Mandarin. Mandarin is heavily tone-based and speakers from Beijing can easily be understood (most textbooks are based on their accent or an approximation). Shanghainese speakers, as second-language learners of Mandarin themselves, have appropriated some of the features of the Shanghainese language onto their Mandarin. While in other languages this would not be a problem, given the phonemic and tonal nature inherent to Mandarin, the slightest shift in pronunciation can make it much more difficult to understand. The best thing to do is say "Shuo man yi dian" which means "speak a little slower".

Also, many unskilled laborers from western China, where local languages dominate ("dialect" in government jargon) and Mandarin level is sometimes adequate at best, have moved into Shanghai. They often suffer as do foreigners visiting Shanghai as these laborers ("country-side people, as the Shanghainese call them) have problems with Mandarin, speak little to absolutely no English, and coincidentally, often are in the streets selling.

Rudimentary Chinese and/or pattern matching ability for character recognition will help, as will getting your destination and some simple directions to it written in Chinese characters, particularly when traveling by taxi. Some taxi drivers know English, but not much. Make sure to not waste time with difficult grammatical constructions and pleasantries such as "Oh I was wondering if you could help me find..." It is too confusing. Just say "The Bund" or "Nanjing West". Though it may seem rude to an English speaker, this is EXACTLY how Chinese would say it in Mandarin and is much more effective.


Pushing in subways is the rule, especially the chaotic People's Square Station 人民广场站 where lines 1, 2, and 8 intersect. Just dig in and push, don't feel sorry. Bumping into people in streets is commonplace and should not be a reason to get angry. It is not considered impolite to brush against the side of someone or have feet stepped on (considering the population, this may not be surprising).

Shopping tips

If you're after a new cellphone, go to the Shanghai Railway Station. You can find good deals on secondhand phones as well as new phones (the selection is a mixed bag; you'll find Chinese off-brands mixed with reliable big-name brands as well as cutting-edge Japanese phones; if you live in North or South America be careful about buying the off-brand phones as most do not support the necessary frequencies for use there. Also, in the secondhand section of the market some of the phones are of dubious origin; CDMA phones may have their ESNs blacklisted in their home countries, but for GSM/3G phones the only issue is an ethical one. Be careful about prices that are too good to be true.

  • Entry-Exit Bureau, 1500 Mingsheng Rd, Pudong District.  edit
  • Australian Consulate-General, Level 22, Citic Sq, 1168 Nanjing W Rd, +86 021-22155200 (fax: +86 021-22155252).  edit
  • British Consulate-General, Ste 301, Shanghai Centre, 1376 Nan Jing Xi Lu, +86 021-32792000 (fax: +86 021-62797651), [13]. M-Th 8:30AM-5PM, F 8:30AM-3:30PM.  edit
  • Canadian Consulate General, 604, West Tower, 1376 Nanjing Rd (W), +86 021-32792800 (, fax: +86 021-32792801). 1PM-4:30PM.  edit
  • Consulate General of India, 1008, Shanghai International Trade Centre, 2201 Yan'an Xi Lu, +86 021-62758882 / 8885 / 8886 (, fax: +86 021-62758881), [14].  edit
  • Consulate General of Ireland, Ste 700A West Tower Shanghai Centre, 1376 Nanjing Rd W, +86 021-62798729 (fax: +86 021-62798739), [15]. M-F 9:30AM-12:30PM, 2PM-5:30PM.  edit
  • Honorary Consulate of Jamaica, 989 Dong Fang Lu, Zhong Da Plaza, 16F, +86 021-58313553 (, fax: +86 021-68763299), [16].  edit
  • Consulate General of Pakistan, Ste 0, 7F Hongqiao Business Center, 2272 Hongqiao Rd, +86 021-62377000 (, fax: +86 021-62377066), [18]. 8:30AM-5:30PM.  edit
  • Singapore Consulate-General, 89 Wan Shan Rd, +86 021-62785566 (, fax: +86 021-62956038), [20]. M-F 8:30AM-noon, 1PM-5PM.  edit
  • South African Consulate-General, 27F, Rm 2705/5, 222 Yan'an Rd E, +86 021-53594977 (, fax: +86 021-63352980).  edit
  • Consulate General of the United States, American Citizen Services, Westgate Mall, 1038 W Nanjing Rd, 8F, +86 021-32174650 ext. ext. 2102,2103,2114 (, fax: +86 21-62172071), [21]. M-F 8:30AM-11:30AM, 1:30PM-3:30PM, Closed Tu afternoons.  edit
  • Jiading, an historic town about an hour NW of Shanghai by bus from Nanjing Xi Lu and Cheng Du Lu. The sights to see are Shanghai's F1 track, a Confucian garden, and a pagoda.
  • Shanghai F1 Circuit, special buses run from Shanghai Stadium metro stop and a few others around the city. They cost Y50 return and leave every few minutes when they fill up. On Friday and Saturday it takes an hour or so each way (so if you are staying somewhere in the centre of Shanghai budget 2 hours door to door), on Sunday it is significantly quicker. They also drop you as far away from the main stand as it is possible to get, so budget on another 20-30 minutes to get to your seats depending on where your seats are. On the way back, you are better off just to jump on any bus as they all take you back to a metro station and your door to door travel time should be about the same.
  • Qibao, a small ancient town, about 15km from Shanghai city, just in between the city and Minhang district. It resembles the more famous water town, Zhouzhuang.
  • Songjiang 松江, a county in Shanghai province, some 30km southwest of Shanghai city. It is less crowded than Shanghai and is a good daytrip. It is also now much more accessible with the opening of the new Metro line 9.
  • Xitang, an historic town SW of Shanghai. A few scenes from Mission Impossible 3 were filmed here. A picturesque canal town with old bridges and houses lining the canal lit up at night with red lanterns. You can even stay a night in one of the old houses and sleep in an old bed.
  • Zhujiajiao 021-59240077, 021-59245559, [22]. An historic town an hour by bus west of Shanghai. Another of those picturesque canal towns dating from the Ming dynasty (14th to 17th centuries). The first modern post office in China was established here. Some bars have opened recently, and the town is becoming increasingly bohemian. Worth a look in spite of the abundance of souvenir stores, although not overrun with tourists.
  • Nantong, north of Shanghai, a newly developing city. The city has a natural and open atmosphere. Nantong is a modern as well as historic city.

Nearby cities

Several other major Chinese cities are near Shanghai and conveniently reachable on the new high speed (over 200 km/hr) trains. These are comfortable and reasonably priced and except at holidays, are not too crowded since other trains are cheaper. Look for the separate ticket windows with "CRH" on the signs.

  • Hangzhou 杭州, about 75 minutes away by CRH, is China's number one domestic tourist attraction featuring the famous Xihu Lake.
  • Suzhou 苏州, a historic town under an hour away from Shanghai by express train. The city has long been lauded by emperors, ancient poets, and scholars alike for its beauty and vitality. Due to its many canals and bridges, Suzhou has also sometimes been referred to as the "Venice of the East". Suzhou has many gardens and pagodas worth visiting. The "Venice of the East" parts of Suzhou have all been over run with agressive beggars and pan handlers. The city may be suitable for those wanting to mix the metropolitan feel of Shanghai and small town-feel of Suzhou (even though the population is quite sizeable). Reserve Suzhou if it can be combined with a tour of other historic areas.
  • Nanjing 南京, about two hours away, is a great place to escape the pace of citylife. It's also a great place to get a Chinese history lesson. From the city walls to the Presidential Palace, its a walkable, friendly place with a variety of hotels for all budgets. Well worth the effort. It is also home to the tombs of three prominent figures in Chinese history.
  • Shaoxing 绍兴, about three hours away, is traditional Chinese tourist attraction featuring the famous fish and rice hometown. The ancient quarry of Keyan is an incredible site. Be sure to take a trip on the local rowboat on the lake surrounding the rocky cliffs. The Jianhu Lake is another beautiful area. Lan Ting is a nice park with lots of stone monuments engraved with historical Chinese calligraphy. The Dayu Ling (Tomb of the Great Yu) is nice although feels disappointingly unauthentic.
  • Wuzhen is one of the water towns close to Shanghai, easy to reach on a day trip. Busses depart e.g. from Shanghai Stadium. Go and see how daily life was/is - weaving and coloring fabric, pottery, the Shadow Puppet Theatre is a great spectactle as well, with traditional Chinese stories and music played on traditional instruments. Well worth a visit, though it can be crowded at weekends..Wuzhen (乌镇) is located on the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and also around a net-work of other smaller canals and rivers. The town has numerous bridges, ancient harbors and water-side pavilions, and makes an excellent complimentary side-trip for visitors staying in nearby Hangzhou. Buses ply the route from Hangzhou to Wuzhen.
Routes through Shanghai
BeijingZhenjiang  W noframe E  END
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SHANGHAI, a city in the Chinese province of Kiang-su. The native city of Shanghai is situated in 31° 15' N., 121° 27' E. and stands on the left or W. bank of the Hwang-p'u river, about 12 m. from the point where that river empties itself into the estuary of the Yangtsze-kiang. The walls which surround it are about 32 m. in circumference, and are pierced by seven gates.. The streets and thoroughfares may be said to illustrate all the worse features of Chinese cities; while the want of any building. of architectural or antiquarian interest robs the city of any redeeming traits. On the E. face of the city, between the walls and the river, stands the principal suburb, off which the native shipping lies anchored. Situated in the extreme E. portion of the province of Kiang-su, and possessing a good and commodious anchorage, as well as an easy access to the ocean, it forms the principal port of central China. From the W. wall of the city there stretches a rich alluvial plain extending over 45,000 sq. m., which is intersected by waterways and great chains of lakes and bears a population of 800 to the sq. m. The products of this fertile district, as well as the teas and silks of more distant regions, find their natural outlet at Shanghai. The looms of Suchow and the tea plantations of Ngan-hui, together with the rice of this "garden of China," for many years before treaty days, supplied the Shanghai junks with their richest freight. But though thus favourably situated as an emporium of trade, Shanghai did not attract the attention of foreign diplomatists until the outbreak of the War of 1841, when the inhabitants purchased protection from the attacks of Admiral Parker by the payment of a ransom of X145,000. In the Nanking treaty, which was signed in the following year, Shanghai was included among the four new ports which were thrown open to trade. In 1843 Captain (afterwards Sir) George Balfour was appointed British consul, and it was on his motion that the site of the present English settlement, which is bounded on the N. by the Suchow creek, on the S. by the Yang-king canal, and on the E. by the river, was chosen. The site, thus defined on its three sides (on the W. no boundary was marked out), is three-fifths of a mile in length, and was separated from the native city by a narrow strip of land which was subsequently selected as the site of the French settlement. Later again the Americans established themselves on the other side of the Suchow creek, on a piece of land fronting on the river, which there makes a sharp turn in an easterly direction.

A handsome bund runs along the river frontage of the three foreign settlements, and the public buildings, especially in the British settlement, are large and fine. The cathedral, which is built in the Gothic style, is a notable example of Sir G. Gilbert Scott's skill, and the municipal offices, club-house and hospitals are all admirable in their way. The climate is somewhat trying. Shanghai lies low, and, though the early winter is enjoyable, snow and ice being occasionally seen, the summer months are excessively hot. Cholera occurs in the native city every summer, malarial fever exists and dysentery is apt to become chronic in spring and autumn on account of the sudden changes of temperature - a fall of 20° to 30° taking place in a few hours - and the moisture-laden atmosphere. Smallpox is endemic in the Chinese city during the autumn and winter, and enteric is common in the autumn. In the foreign settlements, owing to sanitary enactments, cholera is rare, and Europeans who adopt ordinary precautions "have nothing to fear from the climate of Shanghai" (China Sea Directory, vol. iii., ed. 1904).

At first merchants appeared disinclined to take advantage of the opportunities offered them at Shanghai. "At the end of the first year of its history as an open port Shanghai could count only 23 foreign residents and families, i consular flag, 11 merchants' houses, and 2 Protestant missionaries. Only forty-four foreign vessels had arrived during the same period." 1 By degrees, however, the manifold advantages as a port of trade possessed by Shanghai attracted merchants of all nationalities; and from the banks of the Hwang-p'u arose handsome dwellinghouses, which have converted a reed-covered swamp into one of the finest cities in the East.

The number of foreigners, other than British, who took up their abode in the British settlement at Shanghai made it soon necessary to adopt some more catholic form of government than that supplied by a British consul who had control only over British subjects, and by common agreement a committee of residents, consisting of a chairman and six members, was elected by the renters of land for the purposes of general municipal administration. It was expected when the council was formed that the three settlements - the British, French and Americans - would have been incorporated into one municipality, but international jealousy prevented the fulfilment of the scheme, and it was not until 1863 that the Americans threw in their lot with the British. In 1853 the prosperity of the settlements received a severe check in consequence of the capture of the native city by the T'ai-p'ing rebels, who held possession of the walls from September in that year to February 1855. This incident, though in many ways disastrous, was the cause of the establishment of the foreign customs service, which has proved of such inestimable advantage to the Chinese government. The confusion into which the customs system was thrown by the occupation of the city by the rebels induced the Chinese authorities to request the consuls of Great Britain, France and the United States to nominate three officers to superintend the collection of the revenue. This arrangement was found to work so well that on the reoccupation of the city the native authorities proposed that it should be made permanent, and H. N. Lay, of the British consular service, was in consequence appointed inspector of the Shanghai customs. The results of Mr Lay's administration proved so successful that when arranging the terms of the treaty of 1858 the Chinese willingly assented to the application of the same system to all the treaty ports, and Mr Lay was thereupon appointed inspector-general of maritime customs. On the retirement of Mr Lay in 1862 Sir Robert Hart was appointed to the post.

From 1856 to 1864 the trade of Shanghai vastly ncreased, and its prosperity culminated between 1860 and 1864, when the influx of Chinese into the foreign settlement in consequence of the advance E. of the T'ai-p'ing rebels added enormously to the value of land. Both in 1860 and again in 1861 the rebels advanced to the walls of Shanghai, but were driven back by the British troops and volunteers, aided by the naval forces of England and France. It was in this .connexion that General Gordon assumed the command of the Chinese force, which under his direction gave a reality to the boastful title of "ever-victorious army" it had assumed under the two American adventurers Ward and Burgevine. To Shanghai the successful operations of Gordon brought temporarily disastrous consequences. With the disappearance of the T'ai-p'ings the refugees returned to their homes, leaving whole quarters deserted. The loss thus inflicted on the municipality was very considerable, and was intensified by a commercial crisis in cotton and tea, in both of which there had been a great deal of over-speculation. But, though the abnormal prosperity was thus suddenly brought to an end, the genuine trade ' of the port has steadily advanced, subject of course to occasional fluctuations. For example, in 1880 the value of trade was 8,223,017, .and in 1908 it was £40,400,000. The total burthen of foreign steamers which entered and cleared at Shanghai during 1884 was 3,145,242 tons, while in 1908 it was over 15,000,000 tons. The principal items of import are cotton yarns, metals, sugar, petroleum and coal; of export, silk, representing in value 34% of the total exports, cotton, tea, rice, hides and skins, wool, wheat and beans. Great Britain and the British colonies supply nearly 31% of the imports, Japan 121%, and the United States 12%; and of the exports 'Great Britain and the British colonies take 18%, the United States 12% and Japan io %. Shanghai, moreover, is not only a port of trade, but is rapidly becoming a large manufacturing and industrial centre. In this category the first place must be given to cotton mills, which, though not very numerous, give promise of considerable development. The demand in China for cotton yarn, chiefly the produce of the Bombay mills, has been steadily on the increase. On the other hand, China produces raw cotton in indefinite quantity, and has hitherto been the main source of supply for the Japanese mills. Cloth weaving has been tried in two of the mills, but abandoned in favour of spinning. Next in importance is the 1 The Treaty Ports of China and Japan, by W. F. Mayers.

reeling of silk cocoons by machinery. This is gradually supplanting the wasteful method of native reeling, giving a much better finished and consequently more valuble article. Shanghai also contains three large establishments for docking, repairing and building ships. Among minor industries are match factories, rice and paper mills, ice, cigarette, piano, carriage and furniture factories, wood carving, &c.

The vastness of British interests in China and the large British population at Shanghai gave rise in 1865 to the establishment of a British supreme court for China and Japan, Sir Edmund Hornby, then judge of the British court at Constantinople, being the first judge appointed to the new office. Now, by virtue of extra-territorial clauses in the various treaties, all foreigners, subjects of any treaty power, are exempted from the jurisdiction of the Chinese authorities, and made justiciable only before their own officials. As there are now fourteen treaty powers represented at Shanghai, there are consequently fourteen distinct courts sitting side by side, each administering the law of its own nationality. In addition, there is also a Chinese court, commonly called the Mixed Court, though it is no more mixed than any of the others in an international sense, except that a foreign assessor sits with the Chinese judge in cases where any of his own nationality are interested as plaintiffs. At first sight this arrangement seems somewhat complicated, but the principle is simple enough, viz. that a defendant must always be sued in the court of his own nationality In criminal cases there is, of course, no difficulty. For the British, English law alone prevails, and they can only be tried and punished in the British court, and so on for every nationality. In civil cases, where both parties are of the same nationality, there is also no difficulty, e.g. for British subjects the British court is the forum, for German subjects it is the German court. In cases involving cross actions with mutual accounts, say between an Englishman and a German, if the German constitutes himself plaintiff he must sue his opponent before the British court, and vice versa. The greatest anomaly, however, in respect of the government of Shanghai is the local municipal control. This is exercised by the foreign community as a whole without regard to nationality, and is a share of the power which properly belonged to the Chinese local authorities, but which by convention or usage they have allowed to fall into foreign hands. It is exercised only within the area termed the foreign settlements, which were originally nothing more than the "area set apart for the residence of foreign merchants." Of these "settlements" there were and are still only three - the British, acquired in 1845, the French, acquired in 1849, and the American, acquired in 1862. At an early date, as a foreign town began to spring up, the necessity of having some authority to lay out and pave streets, to build drains, &c., for the common benefit, became evident, and as the Chinese authorities shirked the work and the expense, the foreigners resolved to tax themselves voluntarily, and appointed a committee of works to see the money properly laid out. In 1854 the consuls of Great Britain, France and the United States drew up a joint code of regulations applicable to both the then settlements, British and French, which being ratified by the respective govermnents became binding on their respective subjects. The two areas thus became an international settlement, and the subjects of all three nationalities - the only powers then interested - acquired the same privileges and became liable to the same burdens. The code thus settled was acquiesced in by the Chinese authorities and by other nationalities as they came in, and it conferred on the foreign community local self-government, practically free from official control of any description. In 1863 the area covered by the regulations was extended by the addition of the American settlement, which meanwhile had been obtained by that government from the Chinese. But about the same time, 1862, the French decided to withdraw from the joint arrangement, and promulgated a set of municipal regulations of their own applicable to the French area. These regulations differed from those applicable to the joint settlement, in that a general supervision over municipal affairs was vested in the French consul-general, his approval being made necessary to all votes, resolutions, &c., of the ratepayers before they could be enforced at law. Since the above date there have, consequently, been two municipalities at Shanghai, the French and the amalgamated British and American settlements, to which the original regulations continued to apply. The area of the latter now amounts to some 9 or 10 sq. m. The regulations have been altered and amended from time to time, and they have been accepted expressly or impliedly by all the treaty powers which have since come into the field. The settlements have thus lost their original character of British or American, and become entirely cosmopolitan. The consuls of all the treaty powers rank equally, and claim to have an equal voice in municipal affairs with the British or American consuls.

The powers of self-government thus conferred on the foreign community consist in exclusive police control within the area, in draining, lighting, maintenance of streets and roads, making and enforcement of sanitary regulations, control of markets, dairies and so forth. To meet these expenses the foreign ratepayers are authorized to levy taxes on land and houses, to levy wharfage dues on goods landed or shipped, and to charge licence fees. Taxes are payable by every one living within the settlements, Chinese included, though the latter have no voice in the local administration.

The executive is entrusted to a municipal council of nine, elected annually from among the general body of foreign ratepayers, irrespective of nationality. The legislative function is exercised by all ratepayers possessing a certain pecuniary qualification in public meeting assembled. Proxies for absentee landlords are allowed. One such public meeting must be held annually to pass the budget and fix the taxation for the year. No official sanction is required, and no veto is allowed for such money votes. Special meetings may be held at any time for special purposes. New legislation of a general kind requires to be approved by all the treaty powers in order to be binding on their several nationalities, but within certain limits the ratepayers can pass by-laws which do not require such s inction. The French municipality is worked on similar lines, except that every vote and every disbursement of money is subject to the approval of the French consul-general. The executive council consists of eight members, four of whom must be French and four may be foreign. The French consul-general is chairman ex officio, so that the control in any case is French and practically official.

Both settlements were originally intended for the residence of foreign merchants only, but as the advantages of living under foreign protection became evident by reason of the security it gave from arbitrary taxation and arrest, Chinese began to flock in. This movement has continued, and is now particularly noticeable in the cases of retired officials, many of whom have made Shanghai their home. The total native population in the settlements by the census of 1895 was 286,753, and the estimated population of the native city was 125,000, making a total for all Shanghai of 411,753. The census of the foreign population in 1905 showed 3713 British, 2157 Japanese, 1329 Portuguese, 991 Americans, 785 Germans and 568 Indians, out of a total of 11,497. The magnitude of the foreign interests invested in Shanghai may be gathered from the following rough summary: Assessed value of land in settlements registered as foreign-owned £5,500,000; docks, wharves and other industrial public companies - market value of stock. £2,250,000; private property estimated £1,500,000 - total £9,250,000. This is exclusive of banks, shipping and insurance companies, and other institutions which draw profits from other places besides Shanghai.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also shanghai



Wikipedia has an article on:



From Chinese 上海 (Shànghǎi)


Proper noun




  1. A port city in China.
  2. A type of long-legged chicken believed to be of Asian origin.

Derived terms


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Box artwork for Shanghai.
Developer(s) SunSoft
Publisher(s) Activision
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Puzzle
System(s) Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST, C64, Game Boy, Lynx, MSX, NES, SMS, TI-99/4A

Shanghai, originally developed and released for the NES, is based on Mahjong solitaire, which is a tile matching game. In Shanghai, the player removes both free tiles of a matching pair until all 144 tiles are gone. The challenge comes from devising a strategy to free up tiles so they can be removed from the stack. Shanghai only has one tile formation with which to play, although the color and picture scheme on the tiles can be selected from a list.



Control Action
Neutral dpad Moves the cursor
A button Selects tiles, options
Start button Begins the game

The object of the Mahjong solitaire board game is to match and remove alike tiles and get rid of the entire stack of five layers. To removing a tile it must be:

  • Free: No other tile is lying above or is partially covering it and no other tile is lying to the left and to the right of it. In other words, one side must be free for the tile to be removed.
  • Pairs: One must remove the tiles in pairs. Two tiles are identical if they look exactly the same such as "O". Other pairs include flower and season tiles. Any of these tiles can be matched up with another.


Game screen.

A Mahjong set consists of 144 tiles. These are split in seven groups, called sets. There are nine ball tiles, nine bamboo tiles, nine characters tiles and four seasons tiles. Each season only appears once. There are also four wind tiles: East, South, West and North represented as their Chinese characters. The four flowers tiles also only appear once each: ORC (Orchid), PLM (Plum), BAM (Bamboo) and MUM (Chrysanthemum). Any flower can be paired up with another. Finally, there are the dragon tiles: Green Dragon, White Dragon and Red dragon. They are badly drawn in this game, but matching up two look-alike tiles is not as hard as knowing what it represents.

The Level at the bottom shows you the height of the tiles, as the game is only two-dimensional. It is recommended to learn this early, as often one forgets the inside tiles are actually higher and free to remove.

Strategy Tips

  • When removing a pair, an identical pair exists in the layout. Check if the other pair has any problem being removed later or one of the tiles you want to remove now should rather be used with another of its kind.
  • Long rows and tall stacks are hardest to remove and block the most tiles. Work on those first but still keep the other strategies in mind when doing so. Plan ahead to see which areas might have problems and which tiles need special attention, so you do not remove a pair and get stranded with one you cannot remove.
  • If all of a kind can be removed, do so straight away to clear space. An emptier board is much easier on the eye and mind and after all, the objective is to remove all tiles anyway.
  • Using the hints shows you one possibility, not the best one. Following this advice might lead into a dead end.
  • If you have the choice between 3 tiles, keep the one that is least affecting the rest of tiles. In other words remove the one that frees up the most tiles.

Game Modes

Start screen.
  • Solitaire: 1-Player. Remove all tiles without a time limit.
  • Tournament: 1-Player. You get 1 point for each tile removed. Go through several puzzles with or without a time limit. Choose 5, 10 or 20 minutes to complete as many sets as you can.
  • Challenge: 2-Player. In this mode you have time-limited turns. Choose between 10, 20, 30, 60 seconds per turn. Player 1 starts. Inevitably, some turns will result in a match being removed and some won't. At the end (when the layout is clear or unwinnable) the player with the biggest score wins.


Bring your cursor down to the bottom of the screen to select from the following options.


Choose a tile set. All the patterns are the same, with pre-set tile selections.

  • Asshi!
  • Kitachan
  • 2 Bam Or Not
  • Dots Alot
  • Dots Nice
  • Dragon's Song
  • Dragonrider 3
  • Fours Galore
  • Go West
  • Hiro Kun
  • Many Pairs
  • One.Two.Three
  • Pairs To King
  • Season's Four
  • Sevens Up
  • Split Fives
  • Sum Plum
  • Three.Two.One
  • Windfall


  • Solitir (Solitaire): The single-player game.
  • Tunamnt (Tournament): Tournament mode, consecutive of sets.
  • Chaleng (Challenge): 2-player competitive mode.


  • Backup: Undo a move.
  • Retry: Restart the puzzle.
  • Find: Shows a hint for helping you find matching tiles.
  • Peek: Look underneath tiles. This means you need to restart the game, however, so only use this when there are no more moves to see where required tiles are, for the next time you play this set.


  • Messages: Choose whether or not to receive game messages when you play, such as non-matching tiles.
  • Music: Select from three different music tracks played during the game, or have nothing at all if you prefer.


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!


Developer(s) Hudson Soft
Publisher(s) NEC
Release date PC-Engine:
October 30, 1987 (JP)
Genre Board Game
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) N/A
Platform(s) PC-Engine
Media HuCard
Input Turbo Pad
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

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This article uses material from the "Shanghai" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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