Located in the center of the east coast of China, midway between Hong Kong and Beijing, it has a population of some 16 million citizens and is the main commercial and industrial city in China.
Shanghai originated as a small fishing village in the 11th century but grew into one of the largest cities in China during the mid-18th century when British, American and French trade was established following the Opium wars.
The Chinese communist party was formed in the city in 1921 and following the revolution of 1949 Shanghai went into decline as business was moved out of the city. At the end of the 1970s Deng Xiaopengs' open door policy kick started the dramatic drive to modernization.
Jade Buddha Temple
Situated in Western Shanghai the famous Jade Buddha Temple has its origins in a previous temple built on the site in 1882. It was constructed to house two jade Buddha statues from Burma but was destroyed by fire during the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty.
The statues were saved and placed in the new temple which was given the present name. These precious porcelain relics are carved from whole white jade and encrusted in agate emerald. The site consists of the Devajara Hall, Mahavira Hall and the Jade Buddha Tower and is open to visitors from 8:00 to 17:00. Admission costs 15¥.
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
One of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, the tower opened to the public in 1994 and at 468 metres is the tallest TV mast in Asia and the fourth tallest in the world. The tower sits on 3 stanchions which support the first of three large spheres. This is then linked to the next by 3 nine metre wide columns and in total there are 15 spheres used in the construction.
The tower is built on a lush green grassland and gives the impression of pearls cascading onto a jade dish. Large elevators transport visitors at seven meters a second to one of three viewing levels. The first is called Space City at 90 meters, the second the Sightseeing Floor at 263 metres and the uppermost is the Space Module at 350 metres.
There are many tourist facilities including a recreational palace, a museum of Shanghai history, a revolving restaurant and a twenty five room hotel. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is open from 08.40 to 21.30 and admission costs 50¥.
One of the most famous symbols of Shanghai, The Bund is a 1 mile stretch of banks, commercial buildings, restaurants, nightclubs and newspaper offices built in an impressive variety of architectural styles. Most of the buildings were constructed before 1940 and are a reminder of the foreign influence on Shanghai over the last two hundred years.
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