If you happen to be in the vicinity of Shanghai, a “water town” and/or a “garden city” should be added to your itinerary. We heeded the advice and included both in ours.
Xitang is a “water town”, about 85km west of Shanghai, or for us, a 2hr bus ride. If you are a Tom Cruise fan, you will recognise the name because Mission Impossible III was shot here. It’s a quaint town, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the big Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing. There are narrow cobbled streets, arched bridges and old rustic buildings, complemented by Continue reading →
We took the high speed train from Beijing to Shanghai, travelling at up to 307 kms an hour, a five hour fast ride from heritage sites to a futuristic looking city.
The Bund, along the Huangpu River, looks old to me but by Chinese standards it’s quite a modern addition, as the 52 Western modern and classical style buildings were built in the 20th century. The Bund formerly housed banks and trading houses from across the world. When you look at this area you could be in any European city and its disorientating because you know you’re in Shanghai.
If you turn your back on the Bund the modern city of Shanghai is laid out before you and looks like a city of the future with its space age Oriental Pearl TV and Radio Tower and light displays on skyscrapers, only the flying cars are missing.
The mall we wandered down could have been any big city in the world with its plethora of expensive international brands and hip and trendy young people. Shanghai is an interesting mix of old China, with a street market outside the hotel door, the quaint French Concession and the modern, almost culturally unidentifiable areas such as Xin Tian Di Street.