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S H A N G H A I : Insider's View

The buzzing commercial capital of China. In addition to what we've planned for your visit in the capital city, the following is a selection of some of our favorite things to do while traveling in Shanghai, lesser known activities and sightseeing.

Acrobats in both Beijing and Shanghai perform this bicycle stunt, but it’s Shanghai’s troupe that is the must see: Their precision is spellbinding.

Top dining choices include Issimo, for Italian, Chinoise Story, for French-Asian fusion, Jean Gorges, for Asian fusion, 100 Century Avenue for International cuisine and dramatic views from the 91st floor of the Park Hyatt location.

Meilongzhen. Order the luobuo su bing (radish cakes wrapped in phylo pastry), the xiao long bao (traditional Shanghai-style steamed dumplings stuffed with pork or crab), the ti pang (braised pork shank), and the shi zi tou (pork and crabmeat balls stewed with braised cabbage).

Your concierge at The Peninsula can secure a reservation at M on the Bund, a restaurant serving delicious modern European cuisine just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.

Lost Heaven, a restored 1920s high-ceilinged villa in the French Concession where the excellent food and decor blend Burmese and Yunnan styles.

Era: Intersection of Time (2266 Gonghexin Lu) The Cirque du Soleil of China with acrobatics, theater, dance and music.

The Jade Buddha Temple (玉佛禅寺, Jade Buddha Chan Temple) is an elegant Buddhist temple

 Shanghai Art Museum (325 Nanjing Road West). Exhibitions that range from to calligraphy to modern painting. Relocated in 2000 to the historic clock tower building on the northwest end of People's Square, the museum is more to be seen for its 1930s monumental interior architecture than for its art.

Xintiandi (新天地; "New Heaven and Earth" at Zi Zhong Road) 10 minute's walk from the Shanghai Museum is this affluent, car-free pedestrian shopping, dining and entertainment district. The stylish shops retains the original antique walls, tiles and exterior of the Shikumen housing of old Shanghai but the insides are typically modern.

Bund Sightseeing Tunnel (north end of the Bund). The tunnel offers a five-minute ride under the Huangpu River from the Bund to the financial center in Pudong on the other side. The crossing is made in a car a bit like a ski gondola -- 10 people, standing, fit comfortably inside -- but instead of sky-high cables, it travels on a rail. The tunnel is lit up with odd disco lights and images of fish and lava. Buy a roundtrip ticket.

Huangpu River cruise (Zhongshan Dong Er Road, a 20-minute taxi ride to the southern end of the historic Bund riverfront area). A one-hour boat ride witnessing Shanghai's development. Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., the boats leave every hour on the hour.

 Museum of Contemporary Art (231 Nanjing Road West)
. Opened in 2005, not on par with international museums but is the best place to view contemporary works in a pleasant environment. Third floor terrace cafe.

Jin Mao Tower (The Grand Hyatt building, Shiji Da Dao 2, Pudong, 3 blocks southeast of Oriental Pearl TV Tower). The second-tallest building in China (to its neighbor the Shanghai World Financial Center) offers stunning views of the river area from the observation deck.

 Shanghai Municipal History Museum An interesting stop with children along with Jin Mao Tower (above), also near the Pudong's Oriental Pearl TV Tower at 1 Shi Ji Da Dao. Displays of a 19th-century cotton-making shop, a pharmacy and other establishments have life-size wax models, and videos show Shanghai's former racetrack and a Chinese neighborhood in the 1930s.

Science and Technology Museum (2000 Shi Ji Da Dao) Another good stop with the kids, a bit further from the Jin Mao Tower. Hands-on displays, including robots and other technology and science of interest to young children.

50 Moganshan Road ( 莫干山路50号) or "M50" is Shanghai's version of SOHO. A converted-warehouse art district on Suzhou Creek. M50 hosts over 120 galleries and art studios. Some of Shanghai's best known artists work here, including Zhou Tiehai, Ding Yi, Xu Zhen and the media art collective Liu Dao. Major galleries include ShanghARTEastLink GalleryIsland6and Biz Art.