When I think of Shanghai this is what reminded me of: Past, Present, and the Future. What makes me say that? Let’s delve into it just a little more down below.
Shanghai literally translates to “City on the sea.” As many other cities, it started out small and gradually turned into one of China’s most prosperous city. The Opium Wars between Britain and China ended with the Treaty of Nanjing. As a result, China was forced to open Shanghai to British trade and many other international settlements. It became the port hub of China, accounting for majority of imports and exports. This international settlements started the mixture of culture assimilations and openness to Western influences. It became prosperous not just economically, but culturally as well. It became a pot of stew basically. The inclusion of many diverse cultures within the city made it the go to place back in the day. Once the Communist party took over at one point, Shanghai’s heyday was over. It de-emphasized the importance of its economic growth and took capital away to help out other cities in China. However, Shanghai eventually was able to get back on its feet and it became the center of economic development again like it used to.
Stepping onto the observatory floor of many modern skyscrapers in the financial district, riding the maglev train, walking around the shanty towns surrounding the city, to seeing Art Deco buildings tattooed alongside Huangpu river, randomly seeing buddhist temples and synagogues scattered though out the city, chowing down on some local food in ancient towns; Paying with WeChat to many shopping places and restaurants; going to late night clubs; Shanghai is a city like no other in China. It’s not all about the splendor of modern buildings there, but it’s a city of blended cultural variations between Chinese Culture and Western Influences. Shanghai is definitely a city that will make you stay longer the more you get to know the historical context of the city.
Shanghai’s heyday back in the past could possibly re-emerge once more as urban developments in Shanghai grow exponentially and is it focus again on foreign investments.. It has become the hub in China for openness socially and economically and culturally as well. It is still to this date.
Shanghai is divided by Huangpu river into two major sections: Pudong and Puxi
The names of these areas of the city come from their locations in relation to the Huang Pu River (黄浦江). One lies to the east (dong), thus Pu Dong (浦东). One lies to the west (xi), thus Pu Xi (浦西). To make it short. Pudong = modern skyscrapers and financial district whereas Puxi is the center of historical center of the city.