Visitors to Shanghai might be forgiven for thinking they were in the cradle of capitalism rather than a communist country. The Bund, the iconic Huangpu riverfront street that was once home to big British businesses, has recently undergone a full makeover, while on the river's far bank the city's futuristic skyscrapers also hint that in the here and now it's no longer about Mao. There are a mere 26 million discerning diners to feed, so the quality of the food on offer in the city is outstanding - if you know where to look (which, ahem, we do). The city is also rediscovering its mojo, so the nightlife is increasingly excellent,
with many bars and nightclubs harking back to Shanghai's high old times. But it's not all hedonism. Get on your bike to explore the French Concession, une petite pièce de France with plane tree-lined boulevards and longtangs (lanes) filled with bistros, boulangeries and chic boutiques. Then for a glimpse of old China, head to Jing'An Park early one morning to see Shanghai's pensioners performing Tai Chi and practicing their ballroom dancing in an oasis of calm that doubles as a useful green lung for what is, sadly and undeniably, a polluted city.

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Original Travel organised our trip to China, from Beijing to Shanghai via Sichuan and Yunnan. It was an exceptional experience in a fascinating country. The quality of the advice, personalisation and experiences were second to none. The organisation, punctuality and friendliness of all our guides in China were excellent. Seamless professionalism. I 100% recommend Original Travel for anyone's trip to China.

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