Ctripper posts come to us directly from the good folks at Ctrip, China's top online travel agency (and proud sponsor of ChinaTravel.net). Stay tuned for Ctrip special offers, travel tips, news on new travel deals, tours and activities, and slices of life-in-China from Ctrip staff and interns. We all know Beijing and Shanghai are perhaps the two most well-known cities in China, but how do they compare side by side? Chris lets us in with his hands-on experience.... >>>
As my time here in Shanghai winds down, I feel I have become quite comfortable here. Living here, working here, playing here, and eating here … I have become comfortable in my habits! Recently, I went to Beijing and it struck me just how different the two cities are. So, as a expert-in-training, I thought I might give you a little insight on what to do/not to do, what sites to see, & the similarities and differences between two of the largest cities in China.
Daytime in Beijing: The capital city of China has much to offer in the field of scenery, history and steps … yes the Great Wall of China runs north of Beijing and presents quite a hike. Beijing is really the heart and soul of Chinese history, with sites tracing thousands of years back, from the Xia Dynasty to the Ming Dynasty. The Forbidden City and Palace Museum, located in central Beijing, is where you can learn all about the history of a few of the most important dynasties in Chinese history. It is amazing to see how these palaces and what is basically a small city are still standing tall today. The preservation of it is just incredible. The Great Wall of China also makes its way across the north of the city. The Wall was recently measured at 8,852 KM or just about 5,500 miles, no cake walk.
The Great Wall is one of the most incredible man-made structures and pictures just don’t do it justice … that is why it’s one of the 7 "Wonders of the World". Beijing culture stretches back thousands of years, through many dynasties and eras. There are museums to show you just about all of them through out the city; from the Museum of Chinese Revolution & The Beijing Railway Museum, to the Beijing Military Museum and everything in between.
Shanghai at Night: Shanghai is not as historical as Beijing, but that’s not to worry - the city still has much to offer when it comes to shopping, eating, and entertainment. Shanghai is always popping, there is never a dull moment in this city. Every night you find an excuse to get up and go out for a drink, a great meal and who knows what else! The bright lights of Shanghai always lead you to another adventure. From M1NT to SIN, Mesa to Velvet, Shanghai has a club for any type of mood you may be in. The Bund is a very popular area in the city. It is where the Huangpu River divides Pudong (east), the financial district of the city, from Puxi (west). Puxi is where the majority of the eating, drinking, and partying happens. Shanghai has tons of great restaurants through out the city, and many chefs from other food-enriched parts of the world are making their way to this coastal metropolis. Jason Atherton, a British chef who started one of Gordon Ramsey’s chains, Maze, recently opened a restaurant called Table No.1 which is located on the Bund. American West coast chef Brad Turley recently opened a California influenced restaurant in the French Concession. The French Concession is your best bet if you don’t have a specific place to eat because there are dozens of great restaurants and there is always a buzz coming from somewhere.
I read online that the best way of describing China's two largest cities is: Beijing is the “grandfather” to Shanghai, one who holds many stories and history. Quite honestly, I couldn’t put it better myself. Both cities offer so many and such different things to do and see. I give them both 2 thumbs up!