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November 2017 (12-day China Immersion Beijing - Xi'an - Chongqing - Yangtze Three Gorges - Shanghai)

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  You are here: Home > China Travels News > Shanghai - a World of Contrasts

Posted: March 30, 2013, By: Admin

A city that competes with London and New York as global compasses, Shanghai's downtown boasts towering skyscrapers and a massive, diverse population of more than 17 million people. Neighbouring communities can be from two different worlds, with one boasting luxury hotels and expensive car dealers, and the other featuring street fairs where you'd typically see animals like turtles sold at a small vendor.

If you're heading on flights to Shanghai for business or leisure, here are some unique cultural quirks you'll find along the way:

Shanghai Marriage Market
Everyone's got their own story about meeting their special someone. During recess in fifth grade, on their college campus, at their first job - but what about on a flier posted to a tree? The hustle and bustle of Shanghai's culture has led many Chinese individuals to make a visit (or several) to the Shanghai Marriage Market, where parents advertise their children to other lovelorn men and women on paper dating profiles.

Thousands of people visit the market each weekend, some with matchmakers by their side, and many arriving without their children's consent. And not just Chinese individuals look for love here.

"I've been a matchmaker for three years," Mr. Zheng, a resident of China, told CNN. "There's no large payment up front. If you get married, I expect a nice gift and maybe an invitation to attend the wedding. I already represent two American men. Interested?"

To see something different, head to the market on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon between noon and 3 p.m. at People's Square Park.

Oriental Pearl Tower
Without a doubt, you noticed the funny-shaped tower in the heart of Shanghai that almost looks like a rocket​ ship. That spindly structure with two round spheres is the Oriental Pearl Tower, at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong district. This building is the world's third tallest TV and radio tower, standing at 468 metres high.

Known as a distinct landmark in the city, the site gets millions of visitors each year, but only holds up to 50 people in double-decker elevators, which travel up to seven metres per second. The building - which also functions as a cool history museum, boasts a sightseeing hall that offers views all the way to the Yangtze River. Science fanatics will also love a trip to the tower, as the insides of the spheres are deigned with a futuristic space theme.

Xiangyang Park
Holidays often require at least one cool-down period, where there's no exploring the sights, trying funky cuisine or hitting up downtown at all hours of the night. For this brief rest time, you've got Xiangyang Park. Before your Shanghai holidays are over, make sure you hang out for an hour or two strolling through this city green​ space. Plenty of park benches, flowers and rock-lined walkways take up this small oasis from the city, and during your walk you'll find a handful of artists who seek refuge here. Who knows, you might even be inspired to offer a price for a water calligraphy poster reading a quote from your favourite author.

You can choose to sit under a tree and people watch or read a book, or you can sit down with the nearest group of locals playing cards and ask them if you can join the next round.

Source: Expedia


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