As the most Westernized city in China after Hong Kong, Shanghai is on the cutting edge of China's race for modernization. Almost a quarter of the world's construction cranes stand in this city of 15 million. On the other hand, architectural remnants of a strong colonial past survive along the charming, winding, bustling streets that make this city undeniably and intimately Chinese. It isn't an ancient Chinese city with loads of historic temples and ruins to visit. It's a young new city more akin to Hong Kong than Beijing. The street scene and on-the-go vibe reflect China's future more than its past.
The city is a tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Bund and City God Temple, its modern and ever-expanding Pudong skyline including the Oriental Pearl Tower, and its new reputation as a cosmopolitan center of culture and design. Today, Shanghai is the largest center of commerce and finance in mainland China, and has been described as the "showpiece" of the world's fastest-growing major economy.