The 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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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
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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
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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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
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
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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