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24 hours in Shanghai

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28 November 2012 by Luke McCormick

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.

Here Channel Editor Luke McCormick takes you on a 24-hour tour.


Langham Yangtze Boutique Hotel

A beautifully appointed art deco hotel capturing the grandeur of Shanghai's past while providing every modern convenience, the Langham offers excellent service, five good restaurants and spa.

Peninsula Shanghai, Shanghai

A stunning hotel in a stunning location, right on the Bund, the Peninsula Shanghai boasts luxurious rooms, a sophisticated spa and several dining options. It's possibly worth staying here just to spend an hour or two in the delightfully decadent Salon de Ning, dripping with essence-of-1930s Shanghai glamour.


If shopping on the famous Nanjing Road, do drop in at Grandma's Dumpling Shop. It may look like a fast food outlet, but it serves up a delicious array of dumplings that make a perfect pick-me-up during a shopping spree.

It's also worth asking local restaurants for Ox Organ soup - a clear soup served with vegetables and internal organs. Sounds gross, looks gross, tastes great.


Xin Tiandi is a prosperous pedestrian eating and entertainment area of stone gatehouses and narrow alleys. Try K2, Zenzi Bar, or Star East, owned by film star Jacky Chan.


Nanjing Road

Nanjing Road is a shoppers' paradise. The more high-end shops are located along Nanjing Road West.

Jin Mao Tower

Jin Mao Tower is the tallest building in China. There is an observation tower on the 88th floor or you can enjoy a sky-high cocktail at the Grand Hyatt Hotel one floor below.



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.

Yu Garden

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'.

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