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Shanghai Facts

Shanghai, also named 'Hu' or 'Shen' in Chinese, is one of the four municipalities directly under the Chinese central government.

Shanghai, literally known as 'the port on the sea', is one of the world largest seaports and China major industrial as well as commercial center. With the deepening reform, the city, formerly crowned as the financial, economic and trade hub of the Far East, is playing a leading role in boosting economic development of China. Meanwhile, the city has attracted more and more tourists from home and abroad for its unique charm.

 In 1843, after the Opium War, Shanghai was forced to become an open port by the colonialists, In 1845, Britain first set up its concession in Shanghai. In 1848, the United States set up its concession, the followed by France in 1849. In 1863, the British and American concessions amalgamated into the Chinese Section, the International Settlement and the French Concession. In the 100 years since 1943, Shanghai had become an important port for the foreign colonialists to dump their goods, ravaged raw materials and money. Shanghai was thus known as "A Paradise of the Adventurers". On July 7,1927, Shanghai was proclaimed as a special municipality. In 1945, after the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, the concessions were reclaimed. On May 27, 1949, Shanghai was really liberated. Through the continual and long-term reform and construction by the successive municipal governments and the people, Shanghai has become an important industrial and commercial base in new China. In the 20 years of reform and opening to the outside world (1978-1998), especially after Deng Xiaoping, the chief designer of our reform and opening policy, made his speech on his inspection tour of the south, Shanghai has been developing and changing with every passing day and has become China's center of economy, science and technology, information and culture, an international modernized metropolis. Shanghai, also called in short in Chinese "Hu" or "Shen", situated at 31.14 degrees north latitude and 121.29 degrees east longitude, in the middle of China's east coastline, is a gate to the Changjiang River valley. Bordering on Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces on the west, Shanghai is washed by the East China Sea on the east and Hangzhou Bay on the south. North of the city, the Yangtze River pours into the East China sea. Topographic Features Except for a few hills lying in the southwest corner, most parts of the Shanghai area are flat and belong to the alluvial plain of the Yangtze River Delta. The average sea level elevation is about four metres. Shanghai covers an area of 6,340.5 square kilometres, 0.06% of China's total territory, consisting of 19 districts and 1counties, of which the city proper occupies an area of 2,642.6 square kilometres .

    It extends about 120 kilometres in north and south and nearly 100 kilometres in east and west. Shanghai has a land area of 6,219 square kilometres and water area of 122 square kilometres. The city's Chongming Island is the third largest island in China, covering an area of 1,041 square kilometres. Dotted with many rivers and lakes, the Shanghai area is known for its rich water resources. Most of the rivers are tributaries of the Huangpu River. Originated from the Taihu Lake, the 113-kilometre-long Huangpu River winds through the downtown area of the city. The river is about 300 to 770 metres wide with an average width standing at 360 metres. The ice-free Huangpu River is the main waterway in the Shanghai area. With a pleasant northern subtropical maritime monsoon climate, Shanghai enjoys four distinct seasons, generous sunshine and abundant rainfall.

Known to the world as the Oriental Pearl, Shanghai is China major gate to the outside world in the east. As early as in the Tang and Song Dynasties, Shanghai served as a foreign trade port and mercantile ties. And during the the Qing Dynasty, the city turned into a navigation hub and metropolis in southeast China, which attracted countless ships to the Huangpu River. Today, this famous International port has developed into China important center of economy, finance, trade, science and technology as well as culture.

As one of the noted historic and cultural citied in the country, Shanghai has more than 70 sites of historical interest and cultural relics, which best represent the distinctive characteristic of Shanghai regional culture. What is more, Shanghai is the Paradise of gourmets, who may find thousands of restaurants here that serve a complete list of China's major famous cuisines and various foreign foods.

The most westernized city in the world’s fastest growing country, Shanghai (literally “above the sea”) is an exhilarating, ever-morphing metropolis that isn’t just living China’s dream, but is setting the pace for the rest of the world. In just a little more than a decade, Shanghai has transformed itself into the model for 21st century China. As Shanghai is gearing up for its role as China’s showcase for the May 1-Oct. 31 World Expo, whose theme is “Better City, Better Life,” by
remaking itself into the country’s most chic and modern city, expect to see constant changes as 70 million people will flock here to stake out their share of the ever-expanding pie.

Getting to Shanghai
Shanghai is a main transport hub of China. It is easy to get in from almost domestic cities in China and big cities in the world. There are two airports in Shanghai, Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao International Airport altogether serve 70 million passengers annually. Pudong is the main international gateway and Hongqiao serves mainly for domestic flights with exception to Tokyo-Haneda, Seoul-Gimpo, Hong Kong, and Taipei-Songshan. Flights may change landing airport on rare occasions. It is better to check your which airport your flight is leaving from or getting to.

Shanghai has advanced railway network with four train stations in the city. Regular high-speed trains (prefix "D" or "G")make it very easy to Beijing, Qingdao, Wuhan and neighboring cities.

Shanghai is also an important sea port in the world. Many pleasure cruise lines stop at Shanghai and luxury Yangtze Cruise Lines make a destination here.

Nearby cities
Hangzhou is only 165 km south of Shanghai. It is only 3 hours drive or 1 hour ride also by high-speed train. Hangzhou features beautiful landscape and view of West Lake. A day excursion from Shanghai to Hangzhou is popular. The city is also a good starting point for south Asia travelers with cheap flights from Kula Lumpar.

Suzhou is 120 km north of Shanghai. All trains from Shanghai to the north of China stop at Suzhou and the city is very near to Hongqiao airport. The city features China's classical gardens. The most famous ones are Lingering Garden, Administrative Garden and Lion Grove Garden.

Nanjing is 270 km north of Shanghai within 1.5 hours train journey by high-speed trains. Nanjing is one of the six ancient capitals of China with numerous cultural sites.

Shanghai is much more Hong Kong than Beijing; there are no grand monuments and imperial palaces here. Instead, European-style cityscapes and tempting, tree-lined neighborhoods rub shoulders with the sci-fi skyline of Pudong. Shanghai was where China first met the West and it’s still a frontier town, obsessed with the latest fads, fashions and technology. This blend of old and new offers tourists a Shang hai uniquetour

 English Name: Shanghai
 Chinese Name: 上海 (shàng hǎi)
 Geography: Yangtze River Delta, Southeast China (31° 14' N, 121° 29' E)
 Government: Municipality
 Area: 7,037 sq km (2,717 sq mi)
 Resident Population: 23,019,148
 Area Code & Zip Code:
Area Code:
Postal Code: 200000 – 202100
 Airports: Pudong International Airport; Hongqiao International Airport
 Railway Stations: Shanghai Railway Station, South Railway Station

Fun & Interesting Facts about Shanghai
  • Shanghai is the largest city of the People's Republic of China and the eighth largest city in the world.
  • Shanghai stands divided into 16 districts and 3 counties.
  • Shanghai serves as one of the most important cultural, commercial, financial, industrial and communications centers of China.
  • Shanghai is a municipality of the People's Republic of China that has province-level status.
  • One of the busiest ports in the world, Shanghai became the largest cargo port in the world in 2005.
  • The White Magnolia was adopted as the City Flower of Shanghai, by its municipal people's congress, in 1986.
  • Shanghai is also known as the ‘Paris of the East’ and the ‘Queen of the Orient’.
  • Shanghai serves as the largest base of industrial technology in the People's Republic of China.
  • Most of the areas in Shanghai are flat and belong to the alluvial plain of the Yangtze River delta.
  • The ice-free Huangpu River is the main waterway in Shanghai.
  • The Chongming Island of Shanghai, spread over 1,041 sq km, is the third largest island in China.
  • Central Shanghai stands divided, by Huangpu River, into two areas - Pudong (east of Huangpu River) and Puxi (west of Huangpu River).
  • Before its modernization, Shanghai used to be a fishing settlement called ‘Hudu’, derived from the name of a fish trap, wooden made, used by the residents.
  • The Longhua Temple is the biggest and oldest temple in Shanghai. It has park towards it north, which used to be the ground for murdering and tormenting political activists and leftist writers. 
  • Around 20,000 Jews fled to Shanghai to escape the Nazis, in years from 1937 to 1939.
  • Hundreds of residents, who are parents, assemble at a park called the People’s Park, every weekend, with the profiles of their unmarried children in the search of potential matches.
  •  ‘Yueja’, is a form of Chinese opera prevalent in Shanghai, where women take over the stage, playing both the female and the male roles.
  • The world-renowned TV Tower in Shanghai is featured many famous films such as ‘Fantastic Four’, ‘Mission Impossible 3’ and ‘Godzilla: Final Wars’.
  • The city has the largest bus system in the world.
  • The Shanghai Magley Train which connects the airport and the city is the fastest train in the world, reaching a maximum speed of 431 kmph.
  • Shanghai is the most expensive city in China.
  • The building of the Shanghai Museum was reconstructed and modeled after a ‘ding’, which means ancient cooking pot. The base of the building is square and its roof is round, suggesting the ancient Chinese proverb ‘Round sky, square Earth’.
  • There are more people living in the city of Shanghai than in the whole of New Zealand.
  • The major language spoken in Shanghai is ‘Shanghainese’, which is one if the 248 dialects of China. In addition, Shanghai has many mini-dialects.
  • The oldest mosque in Shanghai was built in 1868 and is called ‘Fuyou Lu’.


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