Shanghai is undergoing the greatest economic explosion the world has ever seen, as it begins to claw back the position it held as East Asia's leading business city before World War II.
Lying on the shores of the East China Sea, close to the mouth of the mighty Yangtze River, it is also full of great attractions, such as the colonial-era Bund, former French, British, US and Japanese ‘concession' neighbourhoods and a typically Chinese Old City, along with the Jade Buddha Temple, Yu Gardens and nearby water city of Zhujijiao.
The riverfront Bund was Shanghai's former commercial hub: the heart of the colonial city's banking and hotel district.
Today its famous River Promenade is home to China's most exclusive real estate, providing spectacular cross-river views of the futuristic Pudong Business District.
The Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank building and Peace Hotel are the principal architectural sights and are best enjoyed on a leisurely stroll.
The classical buildings, gardens, pools, bridges and rockeries of the Ming Dynasty Yu Yuan are a major tourist draw.
The complex is full of tranquil teahouses, temples and dumpling restaurants and only survived the Cultural Revolution after headquartering the Little Sword Society in 1853 during the Taiping Uprising.
Jade Buddha Temple
Shanghai's most famous temple, the Jade Buddha Temple, was built in 1892 in the southern Song Dynasty style to house two exquisite carved jade Buddha statues that were brought to Shanghai from Burma by the Abbott Wei Ken.
Zhujiajiao, located 30km from Shanghai, is an ancient water town of canals, bridges and well-preserved buildings, which combined with the tranquility of the setting have meant that the city is known locally as the ‘Venice of Shanghai'.