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Largest City in the World

  • Feb 14, 2010
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I lived in this city for 20 months (from Jul 2007 to Feb. 28, 2009). 

According to WorldAtlas.com, Shanghai is the city with the largest population (at 13.3 million) within the recognized city limits in the world.
Shanghai is a city of growth and movement. For the longest period, it's been on the under-construction state. It keeps growing and more and more people from across China congregate here. Very soon, on May 1, it shall showcase the best of Shanghai to the world. For 6 full months, Shanghai will be inviting visitors from all over the world to gather in this city for the major event of 2010, the World Expo 2010.

My very first visit to Shanghai was more than a decade ago. It is a city of constant change, being the fastest growing city in the world in the last decade, & a city relearning its past & inventing its future. Whatever I know of the history of this city came from my years of watching Hong Kong TV programs about this city. The so called heyday of Shanghai was filled with lots of adventures, gambling & all the vices one can think of; somewhat like the early days of Vegas. It appears to have emerged from that rowdy past though one can most probably still find some version of it today if one looks hard enough. Nonetheless, it is a city of the future; one where many Chinese & expats come to make a living since it became China's first fully fledged Special Economic Zone. What intrigues me is the speed - both development & mentality of those living here. It appears that the Chinese have suddenly come to realise that they have missed out on a large part of the world's development & are trying to play catch-up game with the entire world. Make a trip here & you can feel for yourself the desire of the people to move, be it in physical distance or in economic development. Shanghai is vibrant, lively & opportunistic (Its departmental stores open till 10 pm every night & this is a communist country!). It is a city striving to carve its name into the world's economic power & the pulse of China's economy. Fascinating? 

After living in this city for almost 2 years, I found it to be quite unique. Very different from the rest of China. It has a French influence from the past and this somewhat affected its fashion sense. People are better dressed and more modern in their outlook of life. Shanghainese are also known to be astute businessmen. Its business news channel (China CBN) gives us an updated vision into its business arena. Very informative and very uplifting. If you can understand Mandarin (ie. Chinese Language), this is the channel to tune to. I learned a great deal about Shanghai and also the Chinese Language by simply watching the many great productions on this TV channel. Highly recommended!

Aside from being in Shanghai, one can also get a glimpse of what's happening in Shanghai through the news and media site Shanghaiist.com. Shanghai has plenty to offer in terms of city living. During the weekends, one can explore the surrounding areas of Suzhou, Hangzhou & Nanjing. If hiking is your passion, a short trip to Huangshan (the best of the Chinese mountains) can be arranged. Alternatively, for those interested in Chinese Culture, there are at least 7 water towns to be discovered (Xitang, Wuzhen, Tongli, Nanxun, Zhouzhuang, Luzhi & Zhujiajiao). Hence, you can never be bored if you are living in Shanghai.

Largest City in the World Largest City in the World Largest City in the World Largest City in the World

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February 22, 2010
I agree, Shanghai is very different than any other part of China I've ever been to!  The nice parts of town are so... glitzy and cosmopolitan.  I remember the first time I ever drove into Shanghai, I was absolutely astounded by all the glitz and technology.  So much brighter than even Vegas!  Great review, Sharrie! :)
February 18, 2010
great photos!!
February 14, 2010
Great pictures and review
More Shanghai reviews
Quick Tip by . April 20, 2010
posted in Go China
Time to get ready to visit this mega city in the next 6 months. Expo 2010 will be held here in Shanghai & it'd be a time to party here!
Quick Tip by . January 10, 2010
A fine city both for travelers & to live. I enjoyed my 2 year stay over in Shanghai very much. Made some great friends here! See Expo in May
About the reviewer
Sharrie ()
Ranked #3
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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Shanghai is the largest city in China, and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with over 20 million people. Located on China's central eastern coast just at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the city is administered as a municipality of thePeople's Republic of China with province-level status.

Originally a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai grew to importance in the 19th century due to its favorable port location and as one of the cities opened to foreign trade by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. The city flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became a multinational hub of finance and business by the 1930s. Shanghai's prosperity was interrupted after the 1949 Communist takeover and the subsequent cessation of foreign investment. After 1990, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in intense re-development and financing in Shanghai, and in 2005 Shanghai became the world's largest cargo port.

The city is a tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Bund and City God Temple, its modern and ever-expanding Pudong skyline including the Oriental Pearl Tower, and its new reputation as a cosmopolitan center of culture and design. Today, Shanghai is the largest center of commerce and finance in mainland China, and has been described as the "showpiece" of the world's fastest-growing major economy.

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