Shanghai (上海 Shànghǎi) , with a population of more than 23 million (with over 9 million migrants), is the largest and traditionally the most developed metropolis in Mainland China. In the past 20 years it has again become an attractive city for tourists from all over the world. The world once again had its eyes on the city when it hosted the 2010 World Expo, recording the greatest number of visitors in the event’s history.
Shanghai, on China’s central coast, is the country’s biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Across the Huangpu River rises the Pudong district’s futuristic skyline, including 632m Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres. Sprawling Yu Garden has traditional pavilions, towers and ponds.
Shanghai is split in two by the Huangpu River (黄浦江 Huángpǔ Jiāng). The most basic division of the area is Puxi (浦西 Pǔxī) West of the river, versus Pudong (浦东 Pǔdōng), East of the river. Both terms can be used in a general sense for everything on their side of the river, but are often used in a much narrower sense where Puxi is the older (since the 19th century) central part of the city and Pudongthe mass of new high-rise development across the river since the 1980s.
Inner District of Pukki
- The Bund (外滩 Wàitān)
The colonial riverside of old Shanghai, has dozens of historical buildings lining the Huangpu River, which once housed numerous foreign banks and trading houses. The riverfront walkway has recently undergone a major reconstruction and reopened to the public in March 2010.
- Changning (长宁区; Chángníngqū)
Hongqiao International Airport sits here in addition to the Shanghai Zoo. Changning is a very large, residential district but in recent years has seen more commercial and entertainment hubs develop, especially the area around Zhongshan Park.
- French Concession (Luwan, Xuhui)
Leafy district once known as the Paris of the East, includes the refurbished shikumen houses of Xintiandi and Shanghai Stadium, one of Shanghai’s most rich and vibrant neighborhoods. The Xujiahui shopping district is home to five large shopping malls.
- Hongkou (虹口区; Hóngkǒuqū)
Home of Lu Xun Park as well as a football stadium, once home to Shanghai’s substantial Jewish population in the first half of the 20th century.
- Huangpu excluding the Old City (黄浦区; Huángpǔqū)
The traditional hub of Shanghai, home to People’s Square, People’s Park, the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, City Hall, and the city’s largest metro station, underneath a large underground shopping mall. Adjacent to People’s Square is the East Nanjing Road pedestrian mall.
- Jing’an District (静安区; Jìngānqū)
Home to Jing’an Temple, this area has been continuously inhabited since the 3rd century AD. The commercial district of West Nanjing Road extends from the middle of Jing’an to People’s Square.
- Old City (南市; Nanshi)
Home of Yu Garden, the City God Temple and Huxingting Tea House, this is the historic Chinese area of the city, where much of the old wooden architecture of ancient Shanghai is still preserved.
- Putuo (普陀区; Pǔtuóqū)
- Yangpu (杨浦区; Yángpǔqū)
Where Fudan University and Tongji University are located. Also contains the excellent and spacious Gongqing Forest Park. For shoppers, Wujiaochang (五角场) is situated here.
- Zhabei (闸北区; Zháběiqū)
Zhabei is an older district of Shanghai and the location of the Shanghai Railway Station. There is a large park, Daning-Lingshi, north of the station, as well as the Shanghai Circus.
Pudong and outer districts
- Chongming (崇明县; Chóngmíngxiàn)
- Pudong (浦东 or 浦东新区; Pǔdōng or Pǔdōngxīnqū)
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.
- Western Suburbs (Baoshan, Jiading, Qingpu, Northern Songjiang, Western Minhang)
- Zhujiajiao (朱家角)
A traditional water town and popular getaway
Southern Suburbs (Jinshan, Fengxian, Southern Songjiang, Eastern Minhang)
Shanghai’s latitude relative to the equator is about the same as New Orleans, Brisbane, or Cairo; the climate is classified as humid subtropical. Summer temperatures at noontime often hit 35–36°C (95–97°F) with very high humidity, which means that you will perspire a lot and should take lots of changes of clothing. Freak thunderstorms also occur relatively often during the summer, so an umbrella should be brought (or bought after arrival) just in case. There is some risk of typhoons in their July-September season, but they are not common.
In contrast, during winter, temperatures rarely rise above 10°C (50°F) during the day, and often fall below 0°C (32°F) at night. Snowfall is rare, but transportation networks can sometimes be disrupted in the event of a sudden snowstorm. Despite the fact that winter temperatures in Shanghai are not particularly low, the wind chill factor combined with the high humidity can actually make it feel less comfortable than some much colder places which experience frequent snowfalls.
In between, spring can feature lengthy periods of cloudy, often rainy, weather, while Autumn is generally mild to warm and sunny.
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