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It is very likely that you wouldn’t recognize Shanghai today even if you’re a seasoned traveler. As one of the five fastest-growing cities in the world, Shanghai has gone through several transformations from a small fishing village whose name means “City on the Sea” (上 海) to a major port city in the Yangze River, and now it is the world’s 2nd most populated city.

If there’s one place that a first-timer should visit, it is Shanghai. The city is an interesting and exciting blend of cultural hodgepodge. Thanks to the Western influence, Shanghai is more friendly and open-minded to foreigners than other Chinese cities.

The Bund

Let’s start by taking a walk on this 1.5-kilometer romantic walkway along the Huangpu River, the main river of Shanghai. You can reach here within ten minutes by taking a subway from Nanjing East Road Subway Station.

Lujiazui District

Once you cross the river to Lujiazui, you will get to see China’s wealth at its peak. The new neighborhood district of Shanghai is located on the east bank of the river. We headed to the Mingzhu roundabout to have a look of the city’s modernity. For a 360-degree city view, the 118th floor of the Shanghai Tower, is the place to go as it is the tallest in the city and the third tallest in the world. We also loved the idea of sending postcards from the post office on this floor.

The Oriental Pearl Tower

The Oriental Pearl Tower or Dongfang Mingzhu is a 468-meter (1,500 feet) high television and radio broadcasting tower. It features three large spheres linked by three pillars, with five smaller spheres, a 25-room hotel, and three decorative spheres on the base. The topmost sphere has an observation deck where we can take pictures of the city with a see-through floor. The middle sphere has a rotating restaurant that makes the skyline revolve slowly around you. And the largest sphere contains futuristic space and a sightseeing At the tower pedestal level has a historical museum and the Science City. At night, the lights on the tower will change to different colors in rotation.

The full version is available in the 5000s magazine issue 52. Subscribe Now.