Barefoot Abroad in Shanghai
On the SEA
Shanghai, also known as Shen or Hu for short, is a multi-cultural metropolis with both modern and traditional Chinese features. The city has a status equivalent to a province, and reports directly to the central government. Serving as the largest base of Chinese industrial technology, one of the most important seaports and China’s largest commercial and financial centre, Shanghai draws the attention of the whole world.
The city, whose name means “on the sea”, is located on the east China coast just to the south of the mouth of the Yangtze river and covers an area of 6,340.5 square kilometres.
Shanghai is one of the most populated cities in China. It has a permanent resident population of 23,019,200, of which 12.21 million live in the urban areas. Shanghai’s population accounts for 1.1% of the Chinese population, with an average of 2059 inhabitants per square kilometre (3854 in the urban areas).
Shanghai is an international city that encompasses different cultures from all over the world. With its unique characteristics, it absorbs these different cultures, having with it the pursuit of excellence and innovation and making it more open, creative and diverse.
Shanghai has two commercial airports: Hongqiao International and Pudong International, the latter of which has the third highest traffic in China, following Beijing Capital International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport. Pudong International handles more international traffic than Beijing Capital, with over 17.15 million international passengers passing through its gates in 2006 compared to the latter’s 12.6 million passengers. Hongqiao mainly serves domestic routes, with a few city-to-city flights to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Seoul ‘s city airport.
With a large industrial sector (the city’s total industrial output value reached 1,687.678 billion Yuan as of 2005) an ever-growing financial and insurance services (68.987 billion Yuan as of 2005) and an IT industry reportedly at 167,052 billion Yuan in 2008, Shaghai is fast becoming the place to be.
With a pleasant northern subtropical maritime monsoon climate, Shanghai enjoys four distinct seasons, generous sunshine and abundant rainfall. Spring and autumn are relatively short compared with summer and winter. The average annual temperature is 16 degrees Celsius. The city has a frost-free period lasting up to 230 days a year, and receives an average annual rainfall of 1,200 millimetres.
Shanghai used to be called the Paris of the east, but now it’s known as China’s New York. However, it is unique. Shanghai is one of the world’s greatest cities with an entertainment scene to match. Stylish restaurants, quality cuisine and a nightlife that’s full of surprises, Shanghai has always had healthy cultural scene, with cinemas showing foreign and Chinese films, and theatres featuring opera, dance, drama, acrobatics and puppets.
Nightclubs and bars are always booming, and there is a choice of everything from glamorous art deco lounges to the darkest watering hole. Live rock and jazz can be heard into the small hours and the dance club scene has DJs, both local and from abroad, to keep the clubbers raving.