Attraction & Sightseeing In Shanghai - Shanghai Destination Guide
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Attraction & Sightseeing In Shanghai

Longhua Temple -- Nanjing Road -- Oriental Pearl TV Tower -- People's Square

Longhua Temple (Xujiahui)

Longhua Temple (Xujiahui) - Attraction & Sightseeing In ShanghaiThe Longhua Temple (Longhua Si) is the oldest and largest temple in the Shanghai area. Although Longhua Temple was built during the Song Dynasty, the current Longhua Temple was established during the Guangxu period of the Qing Dynasty.

The temple kept its original Song Dynasty Chan Buddhist appearance, however and in terms of architectural design, the temple is a relatively complete complex. It contains Buddhist scriptures and magnificent statues from the Tang, Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Longhua Temple is dedicated to the Maitreya Buddha and holds two important Buddha statues. In the Hall of Heavenly Kings, stands a statue of Maitreya Buddha's Bodhisattva form, while in the Maitreya Hall is a statue of Maitreya Buddha's incarnation known as the "Cloth bag monk". The secondary statues in Longhua Temple are also different from other temples.

In other Buddhist temples on the two sides of a hall are either 18 arhats (monks), who preach Buddhism or 20 "guardians of Buddhist Law" (heavenly beings). However, in the Halls of Longhua Temple, the arhats and "law guardians" stand together.

In the front of the temple sits Longhua Pagoda. Said to have been built in 249 A.D, Longhua Pagoda is a 7 tier octagonal brick tower with a total height of 40.4 meters. This magnificent and graceful pagoda is one of the best preserved pagodas in the Shanghai area.

Address: No.2853 Longhua Road.

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Nanjing Road

Nanjing Road - Attraction & Sightseeing In ShanghaiNanjing Road was the first commercial road in Shanghai. In the early 20th century, there were only four department stores along this stretch. Today, it has become the number one place for shopping in the city.

The money at work in the road has encouraged many companies and businesses over the years to set up bases near here. Nanjing Road is fantastically located, stemming off the Huangpu River and the Bund at a right angle and linking the city's main commercial and residential districts to the mouth of the river. The road to the east of Tibet Road is called Nanjing Dong Road while the road to the west is known as Nanjing Xi Road.

In the past few years, mammoth changes have taken place here. The street was beginning to look a little down at heel and Huaihai road was pulling the wealthier customers away from here. A huge improvement plan was put into action and completed just in time for Chinese New Year 2000.

New shopping centers have been erected and a large section of the street has been pedestrianised. There are also some first class hotels scattered along the road including the Peace Hotel, and the Portman. In the evenings, the street looks at its best, with neon lights and advertising billboards illuminating the glorious buildings along the road.

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Oriental Pearl TV Tower (Pudong)

Oriental Pearl TV Tower (Pudong) - Attraction & Sightseeing In ShanghaiThe Oriental Pearl Radio and Television Tower stands in Pudong Park in the new and developing Lujiazui district on the banks of the Huangpu River. The tower was once the highest building in the city but now, although it's spire reaches higher than the Jinmao Building, it pales in insignificance compared to its mammoth neighbor.

The design for the Tower incorporates eleven spheres (or "pearls") and three gigantic columns linking the green grass below to the blue sky above. There are six high speed passenger elevators (although there are usually queues) inside the column taking visitors up to the viewing platform which affords great views over the city. One of the most impressive aspects of the building is the lighting. A computer controlled system alternates the light on the tower dependent on the weather conditions.

Although the Tower has now been surpassed in terms of height and design, many Chinese still see it as a fantastic symbol of the new Shanghai. Photographs and Postcards of the Building when it was first completed illustrate the gargantuan changes that have taken place in a short space of time here.

How to get there: 1.Ferry Boat from Puxi 2.Tunnel bus 3. The new tube line to Pudong station

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People's Square

People's Square - Attraction & Sightseeing In ShanghaiPeople's Square is a spectacular space in the heart of the city. Formerly the city's race-course, a sports arena and a gamblers paradise, the area west of Nanjing Lu was converted after the war to become the People's Square. Unlike many other Chinese city squares, Renmin Guangchang is not a concrete mass but a vast green area including plants and trees and surrounded by spectacular buildings on all sides.

The Square has been renovated again recently and opened up further and many of the old buildings around here are in the process of being ripped down.

Today, the Square covers 140,000 square meters. In the north lies the Municipal Government Mansion, an impressive and serious building which is not open to the public. In the northwest sits the Shanghai Grand Theatre, a colossal construction made almost entirely from glass which is balanced by the brand new Exhibition Hall for City Planning in the east. The most impressive building in the square however, is the Shanghai Museum. Perfectly smooth and symmetrical, the building was designed to resemble a Chinese cooking pot. The Square is particularly spectacular at night, when steam appears to seep out of the roof of the museum and the light bounces off the glass walls of the Grand Theatre.

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the square is the quirky Bird and Flower Market where locals come to buy trinkets, plants, fish and parade birds in their cages! These few lanes off Huangpi Lu are a great contrast to the modern constructions in the main square.

The Square offers unusual and impressive views of the city. Surrounded on all sides by mammoth and overpowering constructions, new buildings attack you from all sides. The panorama of the city from the Square, while not the picture postcard image of Shanghai's Bund, is arguably, the most accurate image which reflects the changing nature of this sophisticated and modern city.

How to get there: People's Square has it's own subway station
Alternatively walk west of the Bund up Nanjing Lu and you will eventually reach the Square.

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