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Budget Shanghai

China’s capital of colonial history and glamour is known for its flash architecture and ritzy bars and restaurants, but many of its highlights are actually cheap or free.
The skyline in the People’s Square area




If the sun is out, pop down to this small, but amusing artificial strip of sand right by the river, with the Lujiazui district’s shiny high-rises as a backdrop. You’ll find a limited bar, deckchairs, beach volleyball and Frisbee. The beach is north of Cool Docks – a regenerated area surrounded by brick warehouses, and full of restaurants and bars illuminated at night (South Zhongshan Rd; 10am–10pm; £6).


Symbolic of colonial Shanghai in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Bund was once the city’s Wall Street, a place of feverish trading and fortunes made and lost. This grandiose curve of buildings, lining the western bank of the Huangpu River in front of Pudong’s ever-changing skyline, was originally a towpath for dragging barges of rice. Visit early morning when locals practise tai chi or early evening when both sides of the river are lit up.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - April 2017
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