— words by Stu Lloyd
Considered the most populous city in the world, Shanghai has meteorically regained its place alongside the world’s great cities such as London, Paris, and New York in the past 10 or 15 years. Amazing, considering China’s closed attitude to the West for decades after the Cultural Revolution.
Perhaps it’s the entrepreneurial and outward-looking international spirit of its 14,000,000 people (most of whom will be in your carriage at People’s Square metro station at peak hour) that forces it ever forward and ever upward, embracing the best of the West and fusing it with their own millennia-old Oriental culture, to create something wonderfully exotic and intoxicating.
Few (if any other) cities in the world can boast of being home to 500 of the Fortune 500, yet Shanghai manages to do that, giving it a buoyancy and prosperity to develop top-flight and cutting-edge infrastructure, and to attract to its bright flame the biggest names in the restaurant, sporting, hospitality and entertainment worlds.
So, whether or not you ride on the space-age Maglev train, fasten your seat belt because a trip to Shanghai will surely shift your perceptions of China with a jolt if you’re a first timer, or reaffirm your enjoyment of the go-go-go ‘Pearl of the Orient’ if you’re a repeat traveller.