In the 21st century, this is where it’s at, the place everyone in the world is talking about. Shanghai is China’s youngest, fastest-growing, most dynamic mega-city, boasting more than 1,000 skyscrapers. The only thing certain about that last stat is it’s already hopelessly out of date. To witness the fast-changing global economic marvel of our age that is modern China, there’s simply no better place to see it than standing on the handsome historic waterfront of the Bund, gazing across the river at the 101-floor, 1,614 foot Shanghai World Financial Center. Almost everything on that futuristic skyline is less than 30 years old. This sudden explosion of commercial development has also triggered a revival of vibrant art and fashion traditions in a city whose brief but turbulent history combines high finance, haute couture and fine dining with a harrowing succession of colonial, civil and international wars.
To sample more of its hip international legacy, tour the leafy French Concession with a historian or better still, visit the city’s newly restored synagogue. Round off the day with the greatest acrobatics show on the planet and an evening of double-jointed fun for all the family.