The ‘Hai Life

Shanghai is having a second go at being one of the world’s most exciting cities, writes Mary O’Brien.

Shanghai guide Jeff Zhou has taken the Huangpu River cruise countless times but the sights still take his breath away.


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Only 20 years ago, as a child, he and his parents would take the ferry east across the river to Pudong, when it was just paddy fields on a bend on Shanghai’s main river. From there they would catch a pedicab to visit his aunt, uncle and cousin.

Today Pudong boasts one of the most amazing cityscapes in the world, and Jeff’s cousin has an executive job with an expensive apartment, while Shanghai has grown to 24 million people – the population of Australia. Pudong seems to be a maze of skyscrapers, starring the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Centre (known locally as the Bottle Opener) and the yet-to-be completed Shanghai Tower, which will be the world’s second-tallest building.

The 40-minute cruise (mostly in the company of Shanghai’s newest tourists, from China’s less modern regions) is a great insight into the scale and glitz of this place. The highlight is the Bund, the grand riverfront line of buildings built in the early 20th century when Shanghai was in its first phase of being one of the most exciting cities in the world…….

Royal Auto magazine

July 2014

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