Today is packed: In the morning, your personal driver, and guide will be waiting at your address in time, ready to maximize your time.
Your tour in Shanghai will begin with the visit to the 468m high Oriental Pearl Tower in Pudong area (East of Huangpu River) which is the icon of Shanghai, ranks the second tallest in Asia and the fourth tallest in the world, only second to Guangzhou TV tower (600 m), Toronto CN Tower (553.3 m) and Moscow Ostankino Tower (533.3 m). You will take the express elevator to arrive at the upper sphere (the middle sphere) which is 250m above the ground. The Shanghai Municipal History Museum located at the ground floor in the tower is also a must for tourists in Shanghai. The museum has six separate galleries which show the evolution of Shanghai in a period of 6,000 years. Then you will get to the West of Huangpu River to take a stroll on the Bund - the waterfront by the side of the river, and with many elegant classical skyscrapers built in the colonial period, it is also the most important showcase of Shanghai, to enjoy the spectacular view here.
In the afternoon, you will get to the Old Town of Shanghai which is right by the side of the former French Concession and Huangpu River, to visit the Yuyuan Bazaar and charming Yuyuan Garden, one of the best typical Classical Chinese style gardens in China. You will also visit the Old City God Temple here – the most famous city god temple in China and one of the most important religion centers for local Shanghai citizen.
Then you can visit the heart of the former French Concession – Xintiandi area. Itis an upmarket, pedestrian only, shopping, eating and entertainment district composed of refurbished or reconstituted traditional early 19th century shikumen ("stone gate") houses, narrow alleys and stone paved courtyards. You could spend some time browsing through book shops, cafes and delis selling French cheese, wines and Mo?t & Chandon, upscale boutiques and restaurants. Most of the cafes and restaurants feature both indoor and outdoor seating. Xintiandi has an active nightlife on weekdays as well as weekends, though romantic settings are more common than loud music and dance places. It is considered one of the first lifestyle centers in China. With the Taiping Lake area right by the side of it, Xintiandi area now is also the most expensive place to live in China, with some apartments costing more than Tokyo, New York and London. It is home to the Chinese elite and top executive expats.
The small leafy street between the North Block and South Block of Xintiandi is Xingye Road (old name Rue Wantz, Built in 1914, named after the name of the chief engineer of Public Council of the French Concession, Wantz).
The Shikumen Open House Museum is a museum on the south side of the North Block of Xintiandi on Xingye Road that presents Shanghai life as it was around the 1920s and 30s in a shikumen-style "stone-gate" house. There are about 7 rooms furnished with period furniture. The museum includes a tingzijian, a small triangular room, sometimes rented out at a low price to impoverished writers and others.
Shikumen, means stone gate. The architectural focus of these houses is a front do
or framed in sometimes elaborately carved stone. The houses themselves – interconnected row houses usually three stories high – are made of brick typical to Shanghai in red and gray.
The style was originally created to house refugees from the Taiping Rebellion (1851-1864) who flooded Shanghai from the nearby provinces. It gained in popularity and remained the preferred style
until 1980s in Shanghai.
In the south eastern corner of this block, also on the Xingye Road is the Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China which has now been preserved as a museum. It is also located in the historical shikumen buildings in which the 1st National Congress of the Communist Party of China took place on 23 July in 1921. The museum houses exhibits about the history of China and Shanghai and the foundation of the CPC..
Not far from Xintiandi area is Sinan Road (Old name Rue Massenet) which wascompleted in 1914, in the memory of the famous French musician - Massenet (12 May 1842 - 13 Aug 1912) who was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most frequently staged are Manon (1884) and Werther (1892). He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music. Now in 16th arrondissement of Paris (also known as "Arrondissement de Passy"), there is still a same name road.
Further down this quiet picturesque street with pretty buildings and villas on each sides, many elegant detached French style garden villas will appear in front of your eyes. Built in 1920s, this community was designed by French architect and copied from the buildings in Biarritz, a famous beach resort by the side of Atlantic in the south France near Spain.
Sinan Mansions is the only one project in the central Shanghai in order to protect acres of villas. With 51 villas built in 1920s in the heart of the former French Concession, almost all kinds of architectures in morden Shanghai can be found in this area, including detached garden villas, veranda style architectures, townhouses with courtyard, townhouse without courtyard. It was a hub of high society where dignitaries, entrepreneurs, professionals and renowned artists frequented and lived. Shanghai Municipal Investment, the developer, spearheaded a $3.5 billion restoration project to revitalize Shanghai’s former glory. The total area covers around 50,000 s.m. The total construction area is around 80,000 s.m. Many luxurious villas have been renovated and reimagined, converted to upscale hotel - Hotel Massenet. Some other villas were converted to cafes, restaurants, boutiques and galleries.
More about Oriental Pearl Tower at Wikipeida: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Pearl_Tower
More about the Bund at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bund
More about Yuyuan Garden at Wikipeida: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuyuan_Garden
More about Old City God Temple at Wikipeida: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_God_Temple_of_Shanghai
More about Xintiandi area at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xintiandi
More about Sinan Mansions at its official website: http://www.sinanmansions.com/en/Index.asp
More about Tianzifang at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianzifang
More about French Concession in old Shanghai at Wikipeida: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Concession