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With towering skyscrapers, world-class attractions and lush, green parks, Shanghai is likely to be the busiest city that you'll visit on your cruise. Despite its reputation as an over-crowded metropolis, you'll find that an excellent public transport system makes it easy to get around. You're likely to dock in the city's port, which is one of the busiest in the world and is close to downtown Shanghai. If you're on a particularly large cruise ship, then you'll dock at Shanghai Waigaogiao which is 18 miles from the centre of the city.
The city's modern attractions are the main draw for tourists, though historic buildings are the hidden gems that you might want to find on your excursion. Shanghai grew from a small fishing village to a luxury destination with something for everyone. The Shangai Metro takes you underground and overground to all of the city's main points of interest, yet amongst the expected hustle and bustle you'll find quiet places of reflection including the Shanghai Botanical Garden. This city is the birthplace of Chinese cinema, and its museums offer a spectacular insight into its rich and diverse history. Whether you're looking for modern entertainment or an ancient pagoda or temple, you'll find that there's so much to see on your Shanghai shore excursion.
These peaceful gardens are the perfect place to enjoy your surroundings. You might decide to stop for a picnic, to walk by the lake or to visit the old temple which looks impressive during the day and is beautifully lit at night. Filled with a variety of native trees and plants, the Yuyuan Gardens may be the most romantic place you see on your cruise.
If you're a fan of animal attractions, then you'll love the city's conservation zoo. More than 6,000 animals are housed in this well-maintained and beautifully landscaped city zoo, complete with a large lake and educational exhibits about native and non-native species.
Jinjiang Action Park
Thrill seekers can indulge their wild side at this impressive Shanghai theme park. Rides include roller coasters, carousels and a giant ferris wheel that takes 20 minutes to complete a full rotation.
A city as big as Shanghai inevitably has everything you could wish to purchase. Its shops range from bright and modern shopping centres to smaller independent shops where you can buy antiques, souvenirs and collectables. If you're looking to buy an authentic gift or item of memorabilia, then carvings of jade or wood are sure to be a favourite.
Silk, paintings, jewellery and examples of Chinese calligraphy are some of the items marketed towards tourists, as well as stuffed panda toys. Alternatively, visit any of the high-end fashion shops that stock designer clothes and accessories from well-known international names. The shops surrounding the Jing'an Temple are the best for luxury brands, though antiques are best purchased from the Dongtai Road Antiques Market.
Despite being influenced by cities all over the world, Shanghai's cuisine is still largely focused around traditional regional favourites. You'll find a great selection of rice-based dishes, many of which are flavoured with sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Noodles, dim sum and other more typical Chinese dishes are served in authentic Shanghai restaurants, as well as those that have modified their dishes to suit the tastes that tourists are used to. There are whole food streets lined with restaurants, takeaways and fast food stands, where you'll find any food you could possibly want at a price that you're willing to pay. Alternatively, close to the main cruise port, the Bund Brewery includes an on-site bar and restaurant where you can savour local beers, buy traditional Western food or experiment with more creative regional specialities.
You'll struggle to find a restaurant that doesn't serve an abundance of dishes that in some way incorporate pork. It's a favourite with locals, and is included in sandwiches, stir-fry and soup. Fish and shellfish are available at the city's popular seafood restaurants, and are usually steamed or braised, whilst vegetarian cruisers will be able to find tofu and soy dishes of every possible variety. Steamed breads are a fast food option, mostly sold by street vendors, and are ideal if you're looking for a tasty local snack before returning to your cruise ship.
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