Shanghai is situated in the centre of the coastline where the Yangtze River flows though its delta into the East China Sea. The name of the city means ‘on the sea’. Although not the capital city of China, Shanghai is the most densely populated city in the country and one of the most populous cities in the world. Shanghai offers everything from giant panda bears to be seen in zoos, through spiritual centers like the Jade Buddha Temple, to skyscrapers of the 21st century in the Pudong district.
The official language in China is Standard Mandarin. In Shanghai the vernacular language is Shanghainese, a dialect of Wu Chinese.
Historically, Shanghai evolved from a village to a market town in 1074. It became a city following two important events: the building of a city wall in 1554 and the erection of the City God Temple in 1602. During the 19th century, the trade potential of the city became prominent and was one of the “treaty ports” declared for international trade following the First Opium War (1893-1842). In 1927 Shanghai’s political status was raised to that of a municipality.
Shanghai has a rich blend of religious heritage which is visible in religious buildings and institutions around the city. An outcome of the city’s cosmopolitan history, Shanghai hosts believers of Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, while Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism are most observed.
Shanghai is also home to the Shanghai Metro: this is the 9th busiest system worldwide and the longest in the world (420 km). The city also has a vast network of some 2000 bus lines and many taxis. Bicycles, once a major means of transportation, have been banned from many main roads due to traffic congestion. However, many steps are still being made for promoting bicycle use on other roads that have bicycle lanes and “Traffic Assistants” help commuters cross intersections safely.
In addition to its rich history and vast cultures, Shanghai is home to a number of prestigious universities, museums, art schools, parks and is also a center of fashion that has revived traditional Chinese designs which visualize the fusion with the Western world.
It is no wonder that Shanghai attracts millions of tourists every year.
We invite you to join us in the exciting city of Shanghai!