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A bustling international finance and port city, Shanghai’s nighttime Pudong skyscraper skyline reflects in the Huangpu River across from the Bund. With the money-saved from choosing a Shanghai vacation rental home or apartment rather than an expensive hotel, do some adventurous eating out. Restaurants and street stalls specialize in foods from every Chinese region. Try local sweet and sour dishes, jiaohu (drunken) dishes, seafood steamed with fresh ginger, and the many varieties of dumplings and dipping sauces. Wash it down with a local lager or microbrew.
Constructed on wetland farm and warehouse areas after China’s economy boomed in the 1990s, Pudong is linked to the older Opium War foreign concession areas of the Bund by modern sightseeing tunnels and subways. Stroll the Pudong Riverside Promenade to the Shanghai International Convention Center and ferry terminals. Treat kids to the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium and Shanghai Natural Wild-Insect Kingdom. Rent bicycles or cycling-cars to traverse Century Park, which is near the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. Walk Century Avenue from Century Park to get aerial views from the Oriental Pearl TV Tower Space Module and revolving restaurant. Along the way pause at the eight China Botanical Gardens and sculptures examining the concept of time.
A money-saving Shanghai vacation rental apartment across the river from Pudong in the Bund (Waitan) is ideal for families or business people tired of hotel rooms. Shop ‘til you drop along Nanjing Donglu, enjoying the street performers and sculptures. Join the early morning Tai Chi practitioners in People’s Park (Renmin Guangchang). Then drop by the Metropolis Flower Market. Visit the Shanghai Art Museum, occupying the former racetrack clubhouse in the British Opium War concession zone. The Bund History Museum and the Monument to the People’s Heroes are in Huangpu Park.
Nanshi, the Old Town, is adjacent to the Bund and easy to reach from your money-saving Shanghai vacation rental. Huxinting Chashi (Mid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse), a Ming dynasty relic in a small lake near the classical walled Yu Gardens and Yu Yuan Bazaar, is on the route of visiting dignitaries and heads of state. Dongtai Lu Antiques Market is the modern Chinese version of a flea market. Bring back a handmade cage with a chirping cricket from the Wanshang Bird & Flower Market. Indulge your interior design and fashion instincts at the South Bund Fabric Market.
Join Chinese families at Fuxing Park, built by the French to escape the urban hordes. Watch kites and crafts being made at the Shanghai Arts & Crafts Museum. Don’t miss the Site of the 1st National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, where Mao Zedong and the comrades kicked off the revolutionary struggle in 1921.