Shanghai is regarded as the financial and commercial centre of China (while Beijing in known for its politics). In 2010, the total annual GDP in Shanghai $256.3 billion USD. Roughly one third of the GDP generated is from manufacturing and agriculture, while a large proportion can be allocated to the service industry. The largest of which are: financial services, retail, and real estate.
Geography and Area:
Most of the surface area is flat, and as there are not many elevated land areas. The area of Shanghai is 7,037 square kilometers.
Governance and Administrative Districts:
The city is governed directly by the Central PRC Government and like Beijing, has a status equivalent to a province. Shanghai contains 16 districts although the there are two "zones" which are divided by the Huangpu river: the West called "PuXi" and the East called "PuDong". See map.
Weather and Climate:
The city has an average annual temperature of 16 degrees Celsius and has four distinctive seasons. Summer is sunny and hot, perfect beach weather. Autumn is mostly mild and cool, and is widely considered the best season. In winter there is sometimes snow. However, the temperature is rarely below zero. The coolest month is on January while the warmest is during August.
Population and Demographics:
Shanghai is China's most populated city. 14.0 M residents reside here with an average density of 3,630.5 residents per squared kilometer. An estimated 2 million migrant workers are currently located here, which is a very large proportion.
The Han Chinese is the dominant ethnicity of Shanghai, comprising of 98.8% of the population. The growth of residents in Shanghai can be entirely attributed to the mobile workforce, due to the negative fertility rate and negative natural growth rate since 1993.
The Bund contains many of historical buildings, which line the Huangpu River. These architectural monuments once housed residents from countries across the world during their colonial rule.
Oriental Pearl Tower: The Pearl Tower is certainly one of the city's most memorable landmarks because of its outlandish design. Located in the Lujiazui area, you will be sure to catch this one wherever you are in Shanghai.
XinTianDi: is renowned as the shopping, eating and entertainment district. The area is also of significant cultural and historical importance, as it was a major meeting point for the late Chairman Mao. Wining and dining in this area is a must.
Yuyuan Garden: This place is located in the center of the Old City next to the Chenghuangmiao area, is considered one of the most lavish and finest Chinese gardens in the region. Great for picture taking!
There are two main airports located in Shanghai. Hongqiao Airport is mainly for domestic flights within the China region, excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The other is PuDong International Airport which, as the name suggests, is for international airline travel. Both airports are connected via the Line 2 Underground Metro.
Providing accommodation for international guests is a booming industry in China. The idea became popular when the government introduced host families to visitors for the Expo 2010. (See here).