Shanghai is a like a child going through a growth spurt. It’s hungry, energetic and bold with a nighttime skyline that redefines neon. Shanghai is the eighth largest city in the world with the 2010 Census revealing a population of 23 million people, 9 million of which are migrants. It has the third tallest building in the world along with impressive Art Deco architecture and really is a city with something for everyone. It has also become a very popular study abroad destination. Here are our top five fun things to do in Shanghai.
1. Ride the world’s largest bus system
Shanghai’s bus system is the largest in the world with more than 1100 lines at your service. Because of its complexity, online tutorials are available in English to help you work out how catch the right bus. You can pay using coins or the Shanghai Transportation Card. Coins are placed in the slot at the entrance to the bus. If the bus system feels too overwhelming, there’s also an extensive rail system. Make sure you check out the roof at the Shanghai South Railway Station. It’s the first circular railway station in the world.
2. Enjoy the local delicacy: hairy crabs
You might baulk at eating something with the word ‘hairy’ in it but be assured, the hair is on the outside of the crab. There are some important things to know before getting into the tricky business of eating a hairy crab. Firstly, be aware they are smaller than the crabs we’re used to eating with most the size of your palm. Secondly, hairy crabs are eaten for their roe rather than the meat. It’s hard to access anyway. Thirdly, the best hairy crabs are from Yangcheng Lake but fakes abound so make sure you get what you pay for. Forth, female hairy crabs taste sweeter than male hairy crabs. Males have a V at the bottom of their body whereas females have a circular area. Fifth, have your wallet ready – they’re not cheap.
3. Find a husband/wife at the Shanghai marriage market
If New York is the home of the single woman, Shanghai is the home of the single man. By 2020, it’s estimated there will be 24 million single men in Shanghai. Could it be the next destination for Sex in the City 3? Not only that, every weekend at the People’s Park, desperate/hopeful parents gather at the Shanghai marriage market trying to find the perfect match for their children. Carrying papers with vital statistics – height, weight and salary – parents play cupid for their overworked children who are too busy to find a mate.
4. Visit The Bund
The most popular tourist destination in Shanghai is an area known as the Bund. Located on the waterfront, the west side has 26 buildings showcasing Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classic and Renaissance architecture that survived the Cultural Revolution – many other old buildings were knocked down. After extensive renovation, the area has more space for pedestrians and great views across the water. Make sure you visit at night to see the buildings in flood lit glory.
5. It’s hard to miss the Oriental Pearl TV Tower
You can’t miss seeing it. The Oriental Pearl TV tower looks like a giant pearl on a stick. Completed in 1994, it’s a TV and radio broadcast center and so much more. It houses a revolving restaurant at the top, the Shanghai Municipal History Museum and a futuristic space city. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Yangtze River.
Shanghai is a city of the future with plenty of layers to keep visitors entertained, enchanted and possibly overwhelmed. Enjoy.
Center for Study Abroad offers global and affordable study abroad programs for everyone including to Shanghai. From high academic quality to lower prices, CSA’s programs allow the opportunity to gain a unique learning experience. For more go to http://www.centerforstudyabroad.com