My 5: Cool Spots Around Shanghai.

The Pudong Skyline Shanghai

1. The Pudong, August 2009. Nothing whets the appetite for a trip to Shanghai like some Google Image bingeing of the city’s breathtaking Pudong Skyline. Located east of the Huangpu River on Century Avenue, directly facing the waterfront Bund neighborhood, The Pudong offers up an irresistible stretch of Shanghai’s most iconic buildings. This photo shows my favorite Pudong structure, The Oriental Pearl Tower, a 468-meter TV Tower built in 1994. Featuring a shopping centre, a revolving restaurant and multiple viewing decks, it stood as China’s tallest structure until 2007 when the Shanghai World Financial Centre surpassed it.

Yuyuan Garden Shanghai

2. Yuyuan Garden, August 2009. Don’t leave town without dipping into this amazing garden-market complex. Opened in 1577 by the legendary Pan family after a grueling eighteen years of construction, Yuyuan, (or simply Yu Garden) is one of Shanghai’s most visited attractions. The natural beauty on offer is astounding, with a rich array of pine, gingko, willow, dawn redwood and cherry trees, not to mention an abundance of Magnolia Grandiflora, Shanghai’s signature flower.

Chenghuangmiao Old Street Shanghai

3. Chenghuangmiao Old Street, August 2009. There are countless cool market streets in Shanghai and this is one of the best, thanks to its contrasting mix of modern and traditional architecture and bustling restaurant scene. It’s a wonderful people watching spot, from the giant shopping mall and rickety street food stalls to the ebb-and-flow-foot-traffic of the nearby City God Temple.

Jia Jia Tang Bao Dumplings Shanghai

4. Jiā Jiā Tāng Bāo Dumplings, August 2009. If you love Chinese dumplings then Shanghai has got you covered! There are a handful of historical old dumpling houses where long queues often snake out the door and down the street. Locals come from all over the city to eat at this place and you can’t help but be charmed by its open-window kitchen and the tatty, stained English menus. And whether you go for crab and chives, pork and carrot, beef and cabbage or spicy ground lamb, the food does not disappoint!

Jing'an Park Shanghai

5. Jing’an Park, August 2009. Shanghai is a beast of a city and yet there are still opportunities to escape the madness. In this regard Jing’an Park is a great option! Located at the western section of Nanjing Road, this pocket-sized oasis is jam-packed with greenery, sculptures, ponds, a pagoda and a waterfall. Goldfish hunting seems to be the park’s official sport.

For more info on my time in Shanghai, check out my article on Jing’an Temple.

You can also leaf through my other 5s from all around China!

And I’ve written a short story series called Challenged in China.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001, so why not check out my huge library of My 5s from over 30 countries.

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger


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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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