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10:20, May 03, 2010      

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Night view of Shanghai (Photo Source: China Daily)

Shanghai, host city of the 2010 World Expo, is ready to show the globe what it's made of. Touring this metropolis, which brims with a longstanding heritage of traditional Chinese culture, one can't help but feel bedazzled by the picturesque scenery, refined cuisines and a rich cultural atmosphere.

The following five routes, each taking three to four days, are designed for travelers with different interests.

Architecture Tour

(Photo Source: China Daily)

Day 1: World Expo pavilions

Day 2: Bugaoli, Xintiandi, Zhou Residence, Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling

Day 3: Cultural Street of Duolun Road, the Old Street, the Bund

Shanghai boasts a treasure trove of buildings featuring various architectural styles.

The shikumen - literally, "stone gate" house, showcases authentic Shanghai culture. Greatly influenced by both foreign and local conceptions, shikumen houses display a fusion of Western style and traditional Chinese terraced buildings. This infusion can be seen in the high and heavy brick walls and in the way the stone arches blend with balconies and courtyards.

Once accommodating nearly 80 percent of the residents, the shikumen houses represent a cozy, neighborly lifestyle that evokes nostalgia for the good old days.

One of the last few shikumen residences in the city, Bugaoli, was built in 1930 by French businessmen. The 78 two-story half-timber houses have preserved the original appearance of old Shanghai. The French called Bugaoli "Cite Bourgogne". "Bourgogne" is still inscribed on some traditional Chinese archways.

The garden house was a popular type of residence among the bourgeoisie in early 20th-century Shanghai. Zhou Residence at No 73 Sinan Road, where late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai lived, is an elegant specimen of these abodes.

Strolling along the Sinan Road, also known as the "Road of Romance", you can enjoy views of exquisite garden houses. It creates a potent sense of serenity.

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