But in case you needed some more persuasion, read on...
A brief history...
Shanghai has always been an important city, mostly due to its advantageous geographical location on the Yangtze river, allowing trading and fishing via the port. During the 19th century the city starting to gain international attention with European interest in trade growing.
The 1920's and 30's saw a large influx in immigration making it the fifth largest city in the world by 1932 with 70,000 foreigners calling Shanghai home. Additionally, the 1930's saw some 30,000 European Jewish refugees arrive in the city. During the 1950's the city became an important industrial centre and continued to maintain high economic productivity and social stability.
Shanghai has continued to modernise and develop its infrastructure. It is now a hub for many social and cultural events including: the world expo, fashion week, various sports tournaments, restored temples, art centres, orchestras, festivals and technological developments such as the Beijing - Shanghai high speed railway.
Over the past five years the city has been recognised as a new influence and inspiration for Cyberpunk culture, with infrastructures such as the futuristic Oriental Pearl Tower and the neon Yan'an Elevated road. It is also the birthplace of more traditional Chinese culture such as cinema and literature, not forgetting the 'Shanghai School', one of the most important schools of traditional arts of the 20th century. Finally, in a slightly more modern vein, Shanghai hosts its own fashion week twice a year, bringing international designers from all over the world to display their takes on Chinese fashion.
What not to miss...
Here's some of Shanghai's most famous monuments and districts, not to be missed.
The Bund - Which literally means 'embankment'. It is a waterfront area in central Shanghai and one of the most famous areas in the city. It is home to many historic buildings and was initially a British settlement.
|City God Temple. Source: www.chinatouronline.com|
City God Temple - Otherwise known as 'Chenghuang Miao'. City God now refers to both the temple and the traditional district of commerce. There are over 100 shops and most of these buildings are almost a century old. It was originally dedicated to the spirit of Jinshan ("Gold Mountain") and is a place where people pray for good fortune and peace. It is now dedicated to 3 city Gods, Huo Guang, Qin Yubo and Chen Huacheng.
Yu Garden - Or the Yuyuan Garden, was built in 1577 during the Ming Dynasty. It has been declared a national monument since 1982 and is split into 6 areas in the Suzhou style, each separated by 'Dragon Walls'.
Lujiazui - This is the peninsular formed by the bend in the Huangpu river. Since the 1990's it has been developing as a new financial district and is directly across from the old financial area - The Bund. It is home to Shanghai's famous skyline made up of buildings such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Building, the Shanghai world financial centre, the Bank of China tower and Shanghai Tower.
|Lujiazui Skyline. Soucre: ussc.edu.au|
So, if you think this city could be the one for you, contact us and start planning your Mandarin course today!