Tourism in Shanghai
Shanghai is one of biggest and iconic cities of China. On average Shanghai brings in over 118 million visitors annually. One of the most iconic landmarks of Shanghai is the Bund also known as Waitan. Waitan translates to mean “Outer Beach”. This water walkway is just under a mile, yet it is the perfect way for tourists to see the skyscrapers and colonial buildings. Dating to 1840s, the Bund was built by the British after the First Opium War. It is a tourist spot that is bound to attract history and photography lovers.
The Waibaidu Bridge is a tourist spot that people can see while touring the Bund. Waibaidu Bridge spans across the Suzhou Creek. It was first built in 1856, and then in 1908, the bridge was rebuilt out of steel. Tourists can enjoy the scenery from the bridge. Waibaidu Bridge is also a popular tourist spot for honeymooners.
Another tourist destination of Shanghai is the Jade Buddha Temple. Jade Buddha Temple was originally built in 1882 to house two jade Buddha statues. The statues were brought to China by a Burmese monk named Huigen. During the Qing dynasty revolution in 1911, the original temple was destroyed. The temple was rebuilt in 1928. Today Jade Buddha Temple is a temple that is home to around 70 monks. The jade statues that the temple houses are both porcelain pieces carved out of white jade. When visitors walk in the temple, they will see a seated Buddha statue front and center, they will also see the reclining Buddha statue. In addition to these two statues, tourists will be able to see other Buddha statues and artifacts. While visiting this temple, tourists are able to dine at its vegetarian restaurant.
One tourist destination of Shanghai that will be attractive to families is Disneyland Shanghai. This theme park opened in 2016, and is a unique combination of Chinese culture and Disney. Visitors can see attractions such as Enchanted Storybook Castle, which boasts to be the largest and tallest of all Disney theme parks, and the Gardens of Imagination. Visitors are encouraged to visit Disneyland Shanghai during the week as tickets are more expensive on weekends. Just as they are encouraged to visit Disneyland Shanghai during the week, visitors are discouraged from visiting during Chinese New Year, Qingming Festival, which occurs in the beginning of April, and the Dragon Boat Festival, which occurs in the beginning of June.
Shanghai Museum is a must-see tourist destination. The museum first opened in 1952, it houses around 120,000 objects, and this museum boasts to have “one of the finest collections of art in China.” (Amy Tikkanen, “Shanghai Museum”, Britannica). Shanghai Museum has five floors with eleven principal galleries. These galleries have sculptures, jades, ceramics, paintings, and bronzes from the Ming and Qing dynasties. The museum also houses Neolithic tools and weapons. One of the highlights of Shanghai Museum, is the life-size, terracotta horse and two warriors from the tomb of Qin Emperor Shihuangdi, the first emperor of China. The Shanghai Museum is bound to be a great interest to tourists who love history.
When touring the magnificent city of Shanghai be sure to dine on local cuisine. One dish that Shanghai is known for are xiaolongbao also known as soup dumplings. Traditionally served in bamboo baskets, these dumplings are usually filled with a hot broth that will contain either pork, vegetables, or seafood. The most highly recommended place to get xiaolongbao is from Jia Jia Tang Bao restaurant. Another dish that is a must-have in Shanghai is steamed crab. The crabs are tied with strings, and they are steamed in bamboo baskets. The locals can be fussy when it comes to steamed crab, when one can eat male crabs versus female crabs. Beggar’s Chicken is another specialty of Shanghai. This dish has folklore in its origins. The story is that a beggar was walking along a road, when he finds a chicken. He intended to eat the chicken, but he did not have a stove, so he covered the chicken with mud, and he baked it in a fire. The emperor smelled the chicken cooking, and he demanded the recipe. Today this chicken is prepared by being sealed in lotus leaves, and then wrapped in wax paper and mud. The chicken is then baked slowly for up to six hours. The most highly recommended place to find this dish is at a restaurant called Xindalu, which is located on the Bund. All in all, Shanghai is a city that will be on every tourist’s bucket list.
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- Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai, China