Author: Danielle Thai, Admissions Coordinator
Twenty-four million and counting. It is almost unfathomable the number of people residing in Shanghai – which is why it earned the title of most populous city in the world. One step inside Shanghai and you’re instantly surrounded by thousands of people rushing to get to their next destination. Through the hustle and bustle, take a moment to stand still. Notice the movement in buildings, the flashing lights of signs, and the honking horns. Let it sink in and take over your senses. This is your new study abroad home.
Where to begin? Here are the top, must-see places you can see within 24 hours!
First Stop: Yu Garden / Yuyuan Garden and City God Temple
China is known for its gardens and parks in the middle of cities. The Yu Garden is one of the most famous and iconic gardens in Shanghai. It also known as the Temple of Happiness. The garden was built during the Ming Dynasty by Pan Yunduan for his father, the minister Pan En. It is divided into six general areas: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall, and the Inner Garden.
Located right beside Yu Garden is the City God Temple. Many tourists are attracted to these iconic and historic places. Temples consist of multiple buildings, courtyards, monuments, statues, and gardens and services are still held at many. There is no set time for services, so visitors tend to explore as they please. Even if you are not religious or practice another religion, go into a temple and check it out. It’s very easy to blend into the background and observe people practicing and conducting various activities.
TIP: Walk around the outside of the Yu Garden, there are many stores to check out and places to eat at.
Second Stop: People’s Park
People’s Park is unlike any other park in Shanghai. It’s history of “hosting” activities began when it was the Shanghai Race Club that attracted both Chinese and British to gamble on horse races. Today the park features two museums - the Shanghai History Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai. It also contains the “English Corner” where young and old people gather to practice their English – it’s a great place to interact with the locals! People’s Park also features the Marriage Market – a gathering for parents and relatives to trade information about their children and/or relative. A “marriage resume” is attached to an umbrella for others to read in hopes of finding a suitable partner. The “marriage resume” offers name, age, relationship status, school degree, job, living arrangement, and more. It’s a fascinating experience – don’t miss it.
TIP: The Marriage Market occurs Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Third Stop: The Bund and Nanjing East Road
The Bund is the area along the Huangpu River that faces the skyscrapers of Lujiazui in the Pudong District – also known as the Shanghai skyline. In fact, the skyline was built in just 26 years, during a period of rapid growth and development! People come from around the world to get a glimpse of a city that seemingly was built in a blink of an eye. Take in this amazing view and then walk along the pedestrian road – Nanjing East Road. Nanjing East Road is one of the world’s busiest shopping streets and is definitely worth a stroll.
TIP: Catch the Bund all lit up before 10pm because the city shuts off the building lights to save energy