Shanghai (literally meaning "on sea") has become known to the western world as the pearl of the orient. Its a port city known throughout China as a cultural, commercial, financial and industrial hub. Its one of the largest financial centres and busiest ports in the world and just to prove it, theres a decadently modern lifestyle, with sky scrapers stretching high above its rivers. Shanghai rests on the Yangze River, Huangpu River and the East China Sea containing numerous districts. The weather is a little unpredictable with typhoons, 20 F winters and 105 F summers but for the most part it is decent weather during the spring and fall.

You wont run out of things to do in Shanghai - its a fascinating city offering a wealth of culture and actives. Try the markets, museums, theatres, gardens and religious sites. For museums, theres the Shanghai and Lu Xun's Museums. The Shanghai Museum has a wide collection of Chinese art including paintings, calligraphy, jade ceramics and more. The Lu Xun's Museum displays letters, manuscripts, photographs and more. Jade Buddha Temple and Xujiahui Cathedral are both good religious sites. Markets are scattered around the throughout the city but the one with a great display of flowers and birds is the Jiang Yi Lu Market. If you want to rest your feet for a while try the Yu Yuan Gardens.

what to eat
Chinese food may be famous, but what you get overseas wont be the same here! Youll find the familiar staples of dim sum, soy sauce and rice, but be sure to opt for the stranger options as well. But the specialty of this city is to mix a bit of sugar into the soy sauce and another specialty is duck eggs. However if you don't enjoy Chinese food there are many different types of international cuisine offered on the streets of Shanghai. Since Shanghai rests so close to the ocean, youll find some great seafood on offer.

where to party
Like any other large city youll find bars, nightclubs, clubs, theatres, opera and other activities for the when the sun goes down. There are even boats that will take you dining and dancing all night along the river. Theres the D&G Martini Bar with a counter made of all ice serving only vodka, or clubs covered in luminescent neon lights, inside and out. There are also jazz and blues bars for listening and chatting the night away. For some nice bars try the TMSK, Le Club at La Maison and Ark Live House. Also try walking along the Bund streets for bars and people watching.

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