TRAVEL DIARY: 5 Reasons Why Shanghai Should Be Your Next Vacation Stop!

This city puts up a show at night that dazzle like few others.

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India and China have this funny sense of competition and yet similarities. As I flew into Shanghai, China's biggest city and a global financial hub, on a flash trip I was little prepared for the spectacle that I tumbled upon!

We are checking into the Mandarin Oriental Shanghai. I am dazzled as we drive into Pǔdōng, it's all sky-scraping razzmatazz! The city of Shanghai is home to the world's second-tallest tower and a host of other neck-craning colossi. The buildings engulf me, tall…very tall and all lit up more than Europe is during Christmas. Pudong stands east of the Huangpu River which divides Shanghai into east and west. It has been a silent eyewitness to Shanghai's history and its development. Shanghai, on China's central coast, is the country's biggest city and a global financial hub. Lonely Planet says "few world cities evoke so much history, excess, glamour, mystique and exotic promise in name alone. "

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Shanghai today is a vast metropolis of 18 million residents--the largest city in the world's most populous nation. In just three decades, its population has nearly doubled, and the city has been physically transformed by the twin emblem of modernity--high-rises and highways.

Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. As we walk down to the river after sun down, a sudden and incredible phenomenon takes over! Across the Huangpu River rises Pudong's futuristic skyline, including 632m Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres… each one of them start to light up one by one.

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The city is putting up a spectacular show!

We quickly hop on to an evening cruise on the Huangpu River, which divides the Bund into two sections, Pu Dong and Pu Xi, which mean 'east of river' and 'west of river'… this turns out to be a great way to experience this boggling spectacle.

At 7pm all the lights turn on and the show begins. Every building has it's own look and feel, each with it's own light show. At 11pm, all the show lights turn off, marking the end of the display.

My head is spinning as I wonder how much electricity does this city consume! Nonetheless, Shanghai does light up better than any other!

It is a must experience that comes highly recommended.

5 Awesome Things About Shanghai

The Huangpu, river

The Huangpu river
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The Huangpu, river divides Shanghai into east and west. It has been a silent eyewitness to Shanghai's history and its development. Shanghai, on China's central coast, is the country's biggest city and a global financial hub.

City of skyscrapers

Pǔdōng skyscrapers

Walk around in Pǔdōng at night. The city of Shanghai is home to the world's second-tallest tower and a host of other neck-craning colossi. But it's not all sky-scraping razzmatazz. Beyond the crisply cool veneer of the modern city typified by Pǔdōng, you can lift the lid to a treasure chest of traditionl architectural styles.

Shanghai today is a vast metropolis of 18 million residents--the largest city in the world's most populous nation. In just three decades, its population has nearly doubled, and the city has been physically transformed by the twin emblem of modernity--high-rises and highways.

Pearl TV Tower

Pearl TV Tower
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Spend some time at this man made wonder.

In the new business district of Pudong on the east side of the river, towering high stands the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. It is 468 meters high, the highest in Asia and the third highest in the world, next to the 553–meter-high CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, and the 540-meter-high TV Tower in Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Russia.

A master plan dictates taller towers rising from open green spaces in Pudong, culminating into the world's ten tallest skyscrapers!

Fabulous food

Shanghai food
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Thirty years ago, the city's food scene was all tin trays and scowling waiting staff, with international food confined to the dining rooms of 'exclusive' hotels.

Today Shanghai is a city that offers so many culinary options, from roadside stalls to Michelin-star restaurants. You simply don't know where to start – the mouth-watering restaurant scene is varied, exciting and up-to-the-minute. Food is the hub of Chinese social life.

Must Try: Hanging roasted duck Shanghai's answer to Peking Duck; Drunken crab, made with spotted sea crabs, is a must-try for its textures: Shanghai fried rice stir-fried with greens, sprouts, spam or pork, an egg and a liberal amount of MSG and sugar!

Maglev

Maglev train

Shanghai Maglev Train is one of the world's fastest train systems designed with maximum operating speed of 430 km/h which is believe it or not, is a plane's take-off speed!

It operates between Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Longyang Road Metro Station the 30 km trip will take only eight minutes! You absolutely, must take a ride. Just to experience it. Not necessarily to get some where!

Maglev is a transport method that uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground. It uses magnets to create both lift and propulsion, thereby reducing friction by a great extent and allowing very high speeds.

By: Ritu Agarwal

Chief Content Officer, Inspired Traveller

A travel writer, editor and curator, the travel bug, says Ritu, found her purely by chance and has traveled a long way with her first to India Today Travel Plus, where she was editor for close to 9 years, and currently with Inspired Traveller a digital platform. Ritu is now giving what it takes to be a travel journalist. Paragliding in Goa made her experience some raw emotions while soaring the skies but she is determined to overcome silly fears and crack bungee jumping soon.

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