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The Bund, ShanghaiWhen Shanghai first began from its humble beginnings, it was far from obvious that the world would one day hear its roar. Since then, Shanghai has seen dramatic changes, spinning between the far extremes of Fortunes wheel.

The financial go-go capital of China, Shanghai, which means go to the sea in Chinese, is a city of 16 million that remembers its hallucinating history. Divided in half by the Huangpu River into Puxi (west of the Huangpu) and Pudong (east of the Huangpu), Shanghais story is one of millions made and mirages lost. Pried open by British guns in the First Opium War, this once sleepy fishing and weaving village gained notoriety as the Paris of the East as a colonial city of commerce, vice, money and political intrigue. More recently, Shanghai has benefited the most from China’s economic reforms, rapidly rising as the shining Pearl of the Orient.

Dynamic is the best word to describe today’s Shanghai. Since the 1990 opening of the Pudong Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the city has found itself with more building cranes than all of North America, towers of glass and steel sprout up amidst ivy covered colonial villas and old Chinese homes. Displaying all the contrasts of modern China, teeming neighborhoods and birch trees are woven together by elevated highways and modern skyscrapers. Worldly travelers brush elbows with migrant workers; students and artists mingle as they pursue their dreams of wealth.

Memorable Experience

Yuyuan Garden, ShanghaiEating an exquisite candlelit dinner in the Jin Mao Tower at the Grand Hyatt and seeing the whole city spread before us.

Finishing off a dozen steamed dumpling after going on a shopping spree through the tiny antique shops in the Old City and buying tea sets and traditional Chinese paintings.

Going through hall the sights along People's Square and Nanjing Road then heading across the river to Lujiazui and checking out the amazing aquarium and psychedelic Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

Every night eating cuisine from a different part of China or from a different part of the world.

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