Visit Shanghai's landmarks and immerse in Chinese Culture
The Bund, which means the Embankment, refers to Shanghai's famous waterfront running along the west shore of the Huangpu River, forming the eastern boundary of old downtown Shanghai. Recent years have seen many of these edifices restored to their former glory and converted into upscale shops, restaurants and offices.
The highlight of the Bund is undoubtedly the colonial-era buildings lining the west side of Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, standouts of which include the former British Consulate, Customs House, former Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, and Peace Hotel.
The northern end of the Bund starts from the confluence of the Huangpu and the Suhou Creek by the Waibaidu Bridge. The bridge was built in 1906 to replace the original wooden toll bridge constructed in 1856 by an English businessman.
On the river shore now stands a granite obelisk, the Monument to the People's Heroes. The monument was dedicated to Chinese patriots by the Communist Party, in the 1840s. It was erected in 1993 and contains a small historical gallery at its base, the Bund History Museum. Just south of the monument, at street level, is the park Huangpu Gongyuan.
South of the Bund, across from the Peace Hotel, is the entrance to the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. Located under the Huangpu and complete with tram cars and light shows, this tunnel connects downtown Shanghai to the Pudong New Area and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Also here Shanghai's first bronze statue of Chen Yi.
Jade Buddha Temple is one of the most famous Buddhist temples to be found in Shanghai. The Jade Buddha Temple was built in 1882 by a monk named Hui Gen who brought back two jade Buddhist statues from Burma. In the temple, there are several grandiose halls which house one 1.9 meter high white jade sitting statue of Sakyamuni (the founder of Buddhism), one 96 centimeter long sleeping jade Buddha and several sleeping jade statues and bronze statues respectively. Many people come to worship each day and burn incense at this very holy and active shrine. No photography of the Jade Buddha is permitted, but postcards are available and photography is allowed in other rooms.
Address: 170 Anyuan Lu, Putuo, Northwest Shanghai
Standing at the center of Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Jin Mao Tower is one of the highest buildings in the world with 88 stories, standing at 420.5 meters high with total floor space of 290,000 square meters. Built in 1998 as a Sino-American joint venture, this building has a blending of traditional Chinese and modern Western tower designs. The building consists of 13 distinct tapering segments, with high-tech steel bands binding the glass like an exoskeleton. Offices occupy the first 50 floors, the Grand Hyatt hotel the 51st to the 88th floors, while a public observation deck on the 88th floor ("The Skywalk") offers views to rival those of the nearby Oriental Pearl TV Tower. High-speed elevators (9m or 31ft. per sec.) whisk visitors from Level B1 to the top in less than 45 seconds. The view from there is almost too high, but exquisite on a clear day. You can also look down at the 152 meter high (517ft.) atrium of the Grand Hyatt.
Address: 2 Shiji Da Dao, (3 blocks southeast of Oriental Pearl
TV Tower), Pudong, Shanghai
Longhua Temple is the oldest and largest Buddhist architecture in Shanghai area. It was built during the Five Dynasties (907-960 AD). An octagonal, 40 meter high pagoda was built in the Song Dynasty in the temple. It houses many Buddhist scriptures, gold seals and statues from the Tang Dynasty, the Five Dynasties, the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty. Longhua Temple has been destroyed several times in history and today's temple was rebuilt during the Daoguang Reign of the Qing Dynasty.
The extensive temple grounds have an area of over 20,000 square meters. The north side of the newly created pedestrian street is often crowded with incense-bearing supplicants. There are four main halls, the most impressive of which is the third hall, or Daxiong Bao Dian (Grand Hall). In this hall, a gilded statue of Sakyamuni sits under a beautifully carved dome, flanked on each side by 18 arhats (disciples). At the back of the hall, Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, presides over a fascinating tableau representing the process of reincarnation: a boat in the bottom right corner indicates birth, while death waits at the bottom left corner. The fourth hall, Sanshen Bao Dian, features three incarnations of the Buddha. Behind the third and fourth halls is a basic, but popular vegetarian restaurant.
Longhua is also famous for its midnight bell-ringing every New Year's Eve (Dec 31-Jan 1), which takes place in the three-storied Zhong Lou (Bell Tower) near the entrance. The tower's 3,000-kilogram (3.3 ton) bronze bell, cast in 1894, is struck 108 times to dispel all the worries said to be afflicting mankind.
Address: 2853 Longhua Lu, Shanghai
Yu Yuan is located at the heart of Old Town, Nanshi, a few blocks southwest of the Bund in downtown Shanghai. Yu Yuan, meaning Garden of Peace and Comfort, was built in the Ming Dynasty by a high official in the imperial court in honor of his father. In 1760, some rich merchants bought Yuyuan Garden and spent more than 20 years reconstructing the buildings. During the Opium War of the 19th century, Yuyuan Garden was severely damaged. The Yuyuan Garden today is the result of a five-year restoration project which began in 1956. The garden was open to the public in September, 1961.
Yuyuan Garden occupies an area of 20,000 square meters which is about five acres. Its layout features the garden architectural styles of the southern part of the country during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Carved dragons wind across the walls which divide the garden into five parts with 30 scenic spots. The most outstanding part is said to be the Great Rockery which is built with about 2,000 tons of rocks. It features perilous peaks, cliffs, winding caves and gorges. It is claimed to be the most magnificent rockery of the Ming Dynasty.
Address: At the heart of Old Town Nanshi, few blocks southwest
of the Bund, Shanghai
Meaning Palace of Tranquility, the Jin'an Temple contradicts
its name and is always a lively and crowded atmosphere. With
about 17 centuries worth of history, this small, garishly decorated
temple has the longest history of any shrine in Shanghai. Its
chief antiquities are a Ming Dynasty copper bell (the Hongwu
Bell) that weighs in at 3,175 kilograms (3.5 tons) and stone
Buddhas from the Northern and Southern States period (420 AD
589 AD). Before the year 1949, this was Shanghai's richest
Buddhist monastery, presided over by the Abbot, an imposing figure
who kept seven mistresses and a White Russian bodyguard. After
the founding of new China, it was converted to a plastics factory
before its most recent renovation in the year of 1999.
Stretching west from the Bund through the heart of Shanghai, lies the main commercial streets of the city, one of which is the premier shopping street, Nanjing Lu, with its two major parallel arteries, Fuzhou Lu and Yan'an Lu.
Nanjing Road is one of the most important commercial and tourist streets in Shanghai. Along this 5.5 kilometer road, you will find over 600 shops that, on average, are visited by some 1.7 million people each day. It is also a good place to learn the history and culture of Shanghai. This is essentially Shanghai's version of the Champs Elysees in Paris or Fifth Avenue in New York.
Completed on Oct. 1, 1994, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower (known in Mandarin as the Dongfang Mingzhu Guangbo Dianshi Tai) is the modern symbol of Shanghai City. Standing beside the Huangpu River with a height of 468 meters (1536 feet), it is the tallest TV tower in Asia and the third highest in the world. This unusual structure has become one of the favorite spots for tourists in Shanghai.
The tower consists of 11 spheres of all different sizes and arranged at different levels hanging from the sky down to the green lawns. The body of the tower is formed of two huge glittering spheres and one small delicate sphere; the sightseeing level in the upper sphere is 263 meters high, offering a bird's-eye view of the city. In the upper sphere, 267 meters above ground, there is a revolving restaurant, a disco ball and a piano accompanied bar. Even higher up, at 271 meters, there are 20 private Karaoke rooms. The space cabin is at a level of 350 meters, containing a sightseeing terrace, a meeting hall and a coffee room. Hotel in the Air is in the five smaller spheres, and consists of 20 guest rooms. The lower sphere contains a space city. There is a science fiction city inside the tower pedestal. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower combines sightseeing, catering, shopping, recreation, accommodation, broadcasting and TV transmission into one body.
Address: 2 Lujiazui Lu, Pudong, Shanghai
Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), the great forerunner of the Chinese democratic revolution, founder of the Republic of China, and respected contributor to Chinese modern history lived here with his wife, Soong Ching-ling, from June 1918 to November 1924. It was here that Dr. Sun accomplished his renowned masterpieces such as "Doctrines of Sun Wen" and "Plans of China's Development". It was also here that he received the representatives of the Communist Party of China and promoted the first cooperation between the two major parties in Chinese modern history - the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party.
After his death in 1925, Mrs. Soong continued to live here until 1937 when the Japanese army occupied Shanghai. Eight years later, upon China winning the war, Mrs. Soong offered to provide her home as the permanent site to Dr. Sun's memory. In 1961, the Former Residence of Sun Yat-sen was listed as being one of the key state preserved by the Cultural Relic Unit.
Today, the former residence of Sun Yat Sen became a tourist destination. Visitors can enter through the kitchen on the way to the dining room. Sun's study is upstairs, complete with ink stone, brushes, maps drawn by Dr. Sun, and a library of 2,700 volumes. The bedroom and the drawing room contain more original furnishings, including an original "Zhongshan" suit, similar to the later Mao suit. The backyard has a charming garden.
Address: 7 Xiangshan Lu, west of Fuxing Park at Sinan Lu, Luwan,
The People's Square, also called "Ren Min Guang Chang", is in the heart of Shanghai and the south side of the People's Park. It was once a favorite amusement for the British community and upper-class Chinese.
Opened in 1951 and renovated in 1994, with an intermediary spell as a public reckoning ground during the early days of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), the square is now a vast public square surrounded by government buildings.
Truly an urban park, it features manicured greenery and, at its heart lies the architecturally impressive Shanghai Museum, the Grand Theatre, a 20-story Municipal Hall and the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall. Other features include a 320 square meter fountain, central subway station and an underground shopping mall. Because the square attracts many people, it makes an ideal venue for people watching and kite flying. Kites are available at the square for approximately RMB 15.
Address: 231 Nanjing Xi Lu, Huangpu, Shanghai
Located in the center of Shanghai City south of Huaihai Zhong Lu, Shanghai Xin Tian Di has become an urban tourist attraction that holds the historical and cultural legacies of the city. Shanghai Xin Tian Di is a fashionable pedestrian street composed of Shikumen and modern architecture style. This 2 block complex of high-end restaurants (some of Shanghai's best), bars, shops and entertainment facilities is mostly lodged in refurbished traditional Shanghainese Shikumen (stone-frame) housing. Besides the many shopping and dining establishments, there is a Shikumen museum (at Xinyee Lu and Madang Lu) showcasing the interiors of a typical lane house.
Address: Bounded by Taicang Lu, Huangpi Nan Lu, Zizhong Lu, and Madang Lu, Luwan, Shanghai
This museum features Shanghai's traditional stone-frame housing.