Throughout the past century, Shanghai has had numerous name tags attached to it; like "Paris of the Orient" and "Pearl of China". Images of Shanghai more than any other Chinese city, are bountiful in the west. A visit here therefore, is naturally tainted to some extent, with a preconception of how the city will be.
As the largest and most prosperous city in the nation, Shanghai is the economic, financial and cultural center of China, while Beijing is the political heart. And this image of Shanghai as a fast and modern metropolis is certainly the one that most visitors take away. Those old preconceptions of Shanghai as the home of crime vice and prostitutes are wiped away, as the city successfully projects an image of itself as young, vibrant and cool.
But perhaps most of all today, Shanghai is a spectacularly modern city. The pace of development here is unbelievable. Currently, seventeen percent of the world's cranes are in the city and developers boast that the city is changing at a rate incomparable to anywhere else in the world ever. The newest area of the city, Pudong, has just celebrated its 10th anniversary and is almost unrecognizable from the way it was when development began here. Two of the most impressive city structures can be found here, the Jinmao Tower and the Oriental TV Tower . For any visitor to China, perhaps the most attractive thing about this city is just how fashionable it is. Museums, galleries, restaurants and bars have emerged in the past few years.
The best times to visit Shanghai are in spring or autumn. The city has a subtropical maritime monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons. Generally, the warm spring and cool autumn are the more comfortable seasons. While summer and winter are far less pleasant. Overall, Shanghai enjoys a mild and moist climate.