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By Edited May 13, 2014 0 0

With visitors arriving in droves from around the world just for the shanghai international expo, shanghai is in an interesting flux of moving forward into the world economy as well as rediscovering it's past, and refreshing it's people with glimpses of old shanghai. Long buried street signs are unearthed, digging out pieces of English metal out from the French concession, not yet destroyed by a decade before of the cultural revolution zeal. In two decades, shanghai has changed tremendously and completely. The old has been made new, and many shots both from chinese cultural history and the short colonial interruption a century back has made its way forefront. From the opening up of china during the colonial era, to the cultural revolution from within china, and then the opening up of the communist party, Shanghai has gone quite a ways.

For the tourists who are flocking in, this is for their benefit. Shanghai reembraces it's pre-cultural revolution history, finding historic treasures and placing it side by side with it's modern advances. Roads have been repaved and roofs retiled. Prima facie, shanghai looks like a place that is like any metropolitan city seized with the allure of the future, a desire to be super modern. Below that appearance however is a city luxuriously rich with history stemming but from a century back.

The Bund, one of it's landmarks and recognizable shoreline, have been filled with colonial era buildings of banks and offices and hotels, remarked as a high class leisure destination. Traffic has been rerouted underground and everywhere tidied up. If you are feeling particularly rich as a tourist, there have been a string of luxury hotels sprouting up, many at least tenuously linked to shanghais old heyday. There is a branch of peninsulas hotel now there as well as fairmont peace hotel.Some of the upscale hotels even have names like Waldolf Astoria. Many other relics of the past are slowly rising again. Old buildings are slowly morphed into high end contemporary museums, as forums for arts and culture, learning and debate.

In it's makeover into a new shanghai for the world expo, its unburied but forgotten past has slowly arisen into the foreground. Old shop houses and restaurant faces have been revamped and refurnished while keeping it's delightful oldness. Estimates have placed costs at usd 1.5 billion according to the authorities, and tourists are now able to see the elegance of 7 decades past alongside the modern grandeur of a rich shanghai today.

Settled besides the Huangpu river, much construction works has been made to invite the world to the world fair in Shanghai. Of all the demolition works going about in china, shanghai is now ready to return it's time in the sun. They have however done well in preserving and continuing to do so their heritage and history, and is now ready to present it once more to the world.

If you intend to visit Shanghai, now is as good a time as any due to the Shanghai international expo.



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