Explore Shanghai’s famed mix of Eastern and Western influences, from the elegant European-style facades of the Bund and the villas and Art Deco gems of the French Concession, to the ancient Chinese heart of the city atYu Gardens, the relic-packed Shanghai Museum and the legendary Jade Buddha Temple. You’ll finish at Xintiandi, where renovated traditionalshikumen “stone gate” houses are now home to the city’s top shops and restaurants. An exciting exploration of the contrasts that make Shanghai a truly global metropolis!
9:00 a.m. One of China’s most famous gardens, Yu Garden is known for its exquisite beauty and magnificent pavilions, rock gardens and classical landscaping. In 1997 Yu Yuan was recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site in honor of its 400-plus years of history.
Shanghai’s Old City is a charming district of narrow lanes, traditional temples, busy shops selling antiques and curios, local restaurants and, in a recently refurbished section, impressive recreations of traditional Chinese architecture.
One of Shanghai’s most recognizable destinations, the Bund is known for its European-style concession-era Art Deco and neoclassical facades. Combining Western and Chinese characteristics, the Bund also affords an excellent view across the Huangpu River of Pudong’s towering skyline for a stunning contrast between past and present faces of Shanghai.
Housing some 120,000 precious relics, including bronzes, pottery, paintings and calligraphy, theShanghai Museum is a treasure house of ancient Chinese art. The museum is designed to resemble a large bronze mirror from the Han Dynasty (206-220 BC) when viewed from above and an ancient bronze cooking vessel called a ding from ground level.
12:00 a.m. Lunch
From embroidered goods to porcelain wares, the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum houses some of the cities most interesting crafted products. Located in a French Concession mansion, the museum offers visitors a closer look inside Shanghai’s traditional arts.
In 1882, a temple was built to house two jade Buddha statues which had been brought to China by a Burmese monk. The temple was destroyed during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty, but fortunately, the jade Buddha statues were saved. In 1928 the Jade Buddha Temple was rebuilt in its current location.
Enjoy a stroll through one of Shanghai’s best known and architecturally unique neighborhoods, theFrench Concession. Made famous during the Jazz Age and Nationalist era of 1920s and ’30s, the concession’s winding streets, villa residences and Art Deco facades continue to intrigue. Afterward, its on to trendy Xintiandi.