Shanghai, on China’s central coast, is the country’s biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Across the Huangpu River rises the Pudong district’s futuristic skyline, including 632m Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres. Sprawling Yu Garden has traditional pavilions, towers and ponds.
Shanghai has a healthy rivalry with Beijing in the competition to be China's leading city. By population and trade it certainly wins the contest. For a country as old as China, Shanghai's importance has been precocious, it does not have the heritage of other ancient cities. As Shanghai is situated astride the Huangpu River ➚, close to Yangzi River's outflow to the sea, it is ideally situated to control the river trade into central China and quickly developed from a small Zhejiang fishing town in the 1840s (population 50,000) to be the huge metropolis it is today. It is one of the five municipal divisions of China with equal standing to provinces and considered China's most cosmopolitan city.