Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)

The Huangpu River divides Shanghai into two sections: ultra modern Pudong and Puxi, a nod to the past with it's charming Art Deco and Neoclassical buildings. For a bit of touristy fun, take the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel between Puxi and Pudong, the light show and dance music are reminiscent of the time machine in Shanghai filmmaker Wong Kong-wai's 2046.

Soak in the paradoxes of this city by joining the bustle in ultra-modern buildings and shopping malls, then take in the ornamented, fluted rooflines of the City God Temple and quiet lushness of Yu Yuan Gardens. At night, the city's glittering skyline holds its own against its counterparts in Western capitals like Paris and New York.

Always on the Rise

The name means "above the sea" and Shanghai has been China's economic, financial, trade and shipping center for centuries, thanks to it's excellent natural port. A popular saying states "Shanghai is heaven for the rich, hell for the poor," and people from all over China - farmers, university graduates, professionals ready for a new career — head to this fast-paced, ever-changing city.

More sugar is used in Shanghai than in any other part of China, so it's a great place to indulge your sweet tooth. You can also explore traditional cuisine prepared with local fish caught in the Yangtze River or pork, which makes its way to the plate in dumplings, meatballs and anise-infused stews. Don't miss the ancient preparations of whole chicken that include drunken and saltwater variations.

After a great meal, make time to visit the Leo Gallery, a calm, elegant space tucked into the diplomatic quarter of Shanghai's former French Concession that showcases the works of contemporary artists.