Just after 10pm every night, the neon signs, racing lights and huge TV screens that make up Shanghai’s impressive skyline flicker off.And just like that, China’s most cosmopolitan city — home to 23 million people — feels almost serene.
When I visited earlier this month, all the city’s contrasts were dramatic.
Traditional two-and three-story homes set along tiny, tight alleyways packed with people are overshadowed by the massive old condo buildings just blocks away.
The city is studded with stunning neoclassical and Art Deco architecture, including the former headquarters of HSBC, and the city’s old French colonial neighbourhood. But it’s also home to gleaming, manicured neighborhoods of skyscrapers.
Signs of China’s growing wealth are everywhere: it felt like there was a Cartier store or Lamborghini dealership on every other corner. But nearby tiny store-fronts doubled as living rooms as families gathered round to eat dinner and watch TV.
This construction site will soon be the Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in China. Just minutes away, there were rows and rows of Soviet-era apartment buildings.
The 88-story Jin Mao Tower dominated the Pudong skyline. On the opposite bank of the Huangpu River, was the stunning, neo-classical architecture of the Bund.
Spot the tallest building in mainland China, in Shanghai's Pudong neighbourhood. Most of it was built in the last decade.
Shanghai's layered roads and flyovers looked completely overbuilt, but each rush hour, they were jammed with traffic.
The city's shiny new metro system can shuttle you from extreme wealth to Communist-modesty to striving poverty in minutes.
An older building inside the walls of a Shanghai construction site surrounded by glitzy new developments and manicured parks.
But there were also many places to get your luxury fix, here a Cartier store in the city's old French neighbourhood.
And of course, there was plenty of government work. Here a municipal worker makes a broom out of twigs.
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