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Shanghai, China Travel Guide
Shanghai, China: Things to Do, Places to Go and Stay
Shanghai, in China is a massive contrast, both to Beijing and to the many smaller Chinese cities and towns that I have been to, such as Xian. It has been a modern city for a much longer time than Beijing. In some places it looks and feels like a 1950s prediction of the future, with its concrete flyovers and high-rise buildings, while in other parts it is a mixture of 1930s art deco and a more modern interpretation of what the future ought to look like.
Map of Shanghai
The main areas of interest to tourist are Nanjing Road, perhaps Shanghai's equivalent of Oxford Street and The Bund, the riverside area famous for it's views of the Shanghai skyline. It is a busy city with hoards of people all desperate to get rid of their money in the abundant shops. I was however interested in getting away from these areas and went in search of markets and older areas of the city. We found the Metropole Hotel, which still retained it's slightly tired art deco features and made a nice alternative to the ultra modern style elsewhere, but renovation work was already in progress, so I don't know if it will still exist in this form. Another good area to head for to get an alternative view of Shanghai is Hangshan Road. 1930s style European architecture with a selection of interesting bars and restaurants and some quite reasonable food. Eating in up market restaurants in Shanghai proved to be quite expensive, almost on a par with London, with meals occasionally costing up to Â£100, with wine costing up to about Â£10 a glass, (except in our hotel where at lunch time the wine was free and they made up for that with outrageous food prices)
Places to Stay in Shanghai
The Sofitel Hyland Hotel was very good. Modern and fairly standard expensive international style, but in an ideal location in the centre, apparently well run, with a good, if a little pricey, restaurant. But most important of all, it has it's own brewery and it even brews it's own dark beer. None of this Chinese style lager, but full-bodied thick brown beer.