Things to Do in Shanghai - page 2
Sun Yat-sen organized and led the revolution against the Qing Empire in the first decade of the 20th century. He was the founder of the Republic of China, becoming its temporary first president at the end of the Qing Empire in 1912. Donated by some Canadian Chinese in support of the revolution, Yat-sen and his wife lived in this Western-style residence on Xiangshan Road from 1918 up until his death in 1924.
A wander around the living room and halls of the Former Residence of Sun Yat-sen gives a glimpse into the family’s life here. There are many pictures, hundreds of books, plus items such as an officer’s sword and military maps. There’s also a small brass statue of Yat-sen, and a picture of him and his wife, whom he married in Tokyo.
M50 Creative Park is an artistic area of Shanghai. Situated just south of Shanghai Suzhou Creek, M50 is one of the earliest, largest, and most influential creative industry and modern art clusters in the city. An open park, art-lovers and creative types have lots to explore here. It's a thriving hub of galleries and art studios, with exhibitions from both local and international artists. There are a wide range of art forms, from the popular black and white portraits of Shanghai’s urban development, to audio visual and abstract art.
Despite being one of the best-known creative hubs in Shanghai, strolling into M50 Creative Park gives the distinct sense of stumbling across a hidden gem. If you’re looking for a piece of art to take home, this is the ideal place to find something original at a reasonable price. Insider’s Tip
Notable galleries and studios to visit include the Island6 Arts Center, the LWH Gallery, and the Eastlink Gallery.
Located in Pudong, Shanghai, the China Art Museum showcases a large and varied collection of modern Chinese art. In fact, it’s the largest art museum in the whole of Asia and is situated inside what was once the China Pavillion, which is a fascinating building both inside and out.
The museum is spread across five huge floors, all named according to different altitudes. Each floor explores the rise of modern art in Shanghai from the end of the 19th century onwards and showcases a variety of national and international temporary and permanent exhibitions. The permanent exhibition, “Along the River During the Qing Ming Festival” on the fourth floor, is a particular highlight. It’s a detailed and animated installation, with a virtual river running along its base.
Located in a renovated portion of the Old French Concession’s residential neighborhood, Tian Zi Fang has become a trendy artistic district filled with cafes, boutiques, art studios and galleries. The neighborhood’s buildings were erected in the 1930s. It wasn’t until 2006 when it was slated for demolition that it underwent the transformation into the hip neighborhood it is today.
The yuppies, artists and expats who frequent the neighborhood today have local protestors, among them, Shanghai native and artist Chen Yifei, to thank for saving the area from redevelopment. While the area now attracts a hip, young crowd, Tian Zi Fang has retained its eighteenth century Shikumen-style buildings, now occupied by more than 200 small businesses. If you’re looking for something quirky and different from the usual souvenirs, then Tian Zi Fang is the place to go, as many of the shops here specialize in handmade novelty items.
Surrounded by the skyscrapers of modern Shanghai sits Jing’an Temple, a busy Buddhist temple with a history dating back to the third century, though it wasn’t relocated to its current site until 1216 during the Song Dynasty. While Jing’an Temple certainly has ancient roots, it’s been in a near constant state of renovation since it was rebuilt in 1984 after a fire destroyed it more than 10 years earlier. Despite the many renovations, the Song Dynasty architecture remains impressive, and the three main halls within the temple are filled with Buddhist statuary and works of art. One of the most significant is a 12-foot-tall (3.8-meter) seated jade Buddha. If you’re in Shanghai in the spring, try to plan your visit during the annual temple fair, when locals come to sell handicrafts and the temple grounds take on a very festive atmosphere.
Fengjing Ancient Town is situated in the southwest of Shanghai, around 60 kilometers from the center of the city. It’s a cultural and historical town that dates back some 1,500 years and is surrounded by a network of waterways, all connected by a myriad of bridges and alleyways.
With its market stalls, folk arts, traditional restaurants, and fantastic photo opportunities, Fengjing Ancient Town is well worth the day trip from Shanghai. A stroll through the old streets of Fengjing will put you in touch with the ancient culture and customs of traditional Chinese life. Most of the buildings in the town are Ming and Qing in style; two-storeys high with white washed walls and black-tiled roofs.
More Things to Do in Shanghai
Since its opening in 2000, the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel has become one of Shanghai’s most popular attractions among domestic tourists. Contrary to what the name would have you believe, you won’t be seeing any of the Bund’s sights when you ride the automated subway car from the Bund beneath the Huangpu River to Pudong on the other side.
This rather bewildering by nonetheless entertaining trip takes less than five minutes, and along the way, you’ll experience a bizarre LED light show with menacing sound effects and random flailing blowup dolls to complete the trippy experience. If you need to get across the river, taking a cab might be the cheaper option, but the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel is certainly more entertaining, if not perplexing.
Shanghai’s Lupu Bridge, the world’s first steel arch bridge and the second longest arch bridge after the Chaotianmen Bridge in Chongqing, extends 5.4 miles (8.7 kilometers) across the Huangpu River. Built in 2000, the bridge caught the attention of the engineering world with its use of cable-stayed, arch and suspension bridge technology.
While the bridge is primarily used for transportation -- six lanes of traffic move across it and large ships can pass beneath unobstructed -- it has also become a major tourist attraction in Shanghai. After climbing some 300 steps to the top, you’ll arrive at a viewing platform 328 feet (100 meters) above the river. The experience, known as the Shanghai Climb, offers some of the best views of the city, including the old grounds of the 2010 World Expo. You can reach the entrance to Shanghai Climb on Luban Road on the Puxi side of the bridge.
Mogansham Road is a great place for art lovers to take a stroll while in Shanghai. Art buffs could easily spend hours in this fascinating district, browsing the galleries and studios that line the graffiti-clad street. There are also cafes and a bookshop in the area.
You'll find all sorts of free galleries here that showcase a diverse range of original and modern art. Many visitors to Moganshan Road leave happily with a reasonably-priced piece of art or, at the very least, after having enjoyed a few hours of pleasant art-gazing. Most tend to make a beeline for number 50 Moganshan Road, where one of the city’s oldest and most revered galleries, ShanghART, lives. This is the beating heart of Shanghai’s art world and is not to be missed while in the area.
In 2010, the eyes of the world turned to Shanghai as it hosted the Shanghai Expo 2010, a World’s Fair held on the banks of the Huangpu River. The record-breaking event saw 192 countries participate and more than 73 million visitors pass through the gates. The China Pavilion, nicknamed the Oriental Crown, was the largest national pavilion to show at the Shanghai Expo and cost an estimated $220 million to build.
Most of the Expo pavilions were dismantled after the event concluding, but the China Pavilion was converted into a permanent history museum. The structure, painted in seven different subtle shades of Chinese red symbolizing Chinese culture and good fortune, has already become a Shanghai landmark. While the building itself is impressive, the collection of Chinese art within is worth a visit on its own.
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