Back home! Again! But this time with a better camera. Having been born here and visiting every 2-3 years, I am familiar with all the top spots if anyone needs recommendations. The city really modernized drastically in the 2000’s but remains cutting edge even now. For new visitors, I would recommend giving the city 4-7 days as it is larger than European cities and areas such as Hong Kong. The metro has around 16 lines with more being built but is not as confusing as Japan‘s, holding the world record with the biggest metro network. As a reference, most cities have 3 – 10 lines. You can eat all day every day and still not have the same Chinese food twice. Prices for branded and household goods have increased rapidly over the years and are on par with those in Western countries. However, street food, hotels, and souvenirs are just as inexpensive as before. Make sure you practice haggling and read up on the scams before you go. People do not resort to violence so it is a bit safer than in most other countries but be prepared to spend a lot more money than anticipated if you are not aware of the norms. Do not forget to get your visa first to visit any part of mainland China. For US citizens, both countries just signed an agreement to let certain visitor visas expire every 10 years instead of every 2 as before, making everything that much more convenient.
Invaded by the Japanese in WWII and colonized by the French and other Western powers in the century before, Shanghai has withstood many restructurings. Even in the 1990’s-2000’s, the government tore down older buildings to make room for newer ones, relocating many citizens. However, the city has come back from its controversial history to become one of the most modern in the world.