A Delightful Vacation to Shanghai - By: Wolfgang Jaegel
Shanghai is a bustling metropolis, situated on the southern banks of the Yangtze River's mouth, along the coast of the East China Sea. Occupying an area of about 2445 square miles, Shanghai holds the distinction of being the largest metropolis in the country.
This historically significant city was once a place simply consisting of rice fields and mud huts and flats. But, the city has now become one of the world's most vibrant destinations, boasting of modern skyscrapers, chains of shops, and world class international restaurants and cafes.
In other words, Shanghai is a prosperous international city, with highly sophisticated infrastructure and leading establishments in the arenas of commerce, finance, and industry. When comes to attractions, the city presents as a rich as well as diverse range of landmarks, all of which are a blend modern and traditional. In fact, Shanghai now excels both as a business center and a tourist spot. Below mentioned in this article are some of the not to miss attractions in the city.
Jade Buddha Temple: Built in 1928 in the site of an old temple erected in 1882, this temple is one of the most revered shrines in Shanghai. The centerpiece of the temple is two jade statues of Lord Buddha, of which one is in sitting posture and another in the recumbent posture. The sitting Buddha is about 200 centimeters high and depicts Lord Buddha at the time of his meditation as well as enlightenment.
In the case of the Recumbent Buddha, it is about 95 centimeters long, with right hand supporting the head and the left hand being placed on the left leg. This posture sometimes acknowledged as the lucky repose. These images are thought to have been brought from Burma by a monk, Huigen. Apart from these, the temple boasts of more than 7000 Dazang sutras. In short, the temple is truly a treasure trove of cultural relics.
Longhua Park: Situated at the south of the city is Longhua Park, which is much famed for its Longhua Temple and Longhua Pagoda. Built in 242 AD, the Longhua Temple is the oldest of its kind in the city, with a history of more than 1500 years. Sprawling over an area of about five acres, this is also the largest temple in the area. One of the specialties of the temple is a two-meter high copper bell, which is placed within a three-storied bell tower. Adjacent to the temple is high Longhua Pagoda, with seven stories. Al though the pagoda has been renovated several times, the architectural style of the Song Dynasty is still retained.
Qibao Ancient Town: A visit to this spot would be a great experience for those who want to take a peep into the history of the region. With a history of more than 1000 years, Qibao was built during the reign of the Song Dynasty. Later, during the Ming and Qing dynasties, it became a flourishing business center. Among the highlights of this spot are the Qibao Temple, which is noted for its great appearance; Qibao crickets, which was once a main folk activity among the Chinese, and now a museum has been set up to display live cricket fighting shows.
Qibao Shadow Play, which is based on the historical events of the region; and Qibao snacks, which include colorful as well as appetizing snacks such as dried bean curd served in lotus leaves, roasted sweet potatoes, sugar coated haws, and smoked toads.
Shanghai Museum: Located in the heart of the city in People's Square, Shanghai Museum has on display arts and artifacts of ancient China, all of which are spread across eleven art galleries and three exhibition halls. Among the exhibits are bronze and ceramic items, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture and furniture, jade, seals, and coins.
Yuyuan Garden: This much famed classical garden is perhaps the greatest of all attractions in the region. Built in 1577 by Pan Yunduan - a government official of the Ming Dynasty - for his aged parents, Yuyuan Garden is a tranquil spot, with such areas as Sansui Hall, Dianchun Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Yuhua Hall, Inner Garden, and Huijing Hall. Apart from these, several pavilions, ponds, cloisters, and rockeries can also be seen here.
Above mentioned are just few among many of the umpteen attractions in Shanghai. Points of interest also include the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, which is the third tallest TV and radio tower in the world and the Former Residence of Sun Yat-Sen - a European style building where Mr Sun Yat-Sen and his lived Mrs. Soong Ching Ling lived here from 1918 to 1925.
With these scores of attractions, it is not a wonder why Shanghai is visited year-round from people across the globe. Shanghai boasts of a good number of accommodation choices in the form of upscale hotels, which provides guests to choose from a number of options, such as standard room, deluxe room, and well-designed suites. Each of these options is replete with modern amenities and facilities.
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Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and manages 54 hotels under Shangri-La and Traders brands with a rooms inventory of over 27,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services.