Summer in China is not really different from other seasons. Schools are closed for holidays, but the activity does not diminish much. Despite the heat, people keep on being pursuing their activities as usual. Summer in Shanghai is a very different matter. Downtown Shanghai is the host of many foreign companies… who’s manager often go on vacation during summer. Clients and colleagues abroad (particularly in Europe) are also on holiday, releasing a lot of the pressure on employees shoulders. Bars and (foreign) restaurants tend to be less crowded their main costumers have disappeared. During this quiet time, foreign regulars are complemented by another crowd of strangers. Tourists in Shanghai are clearly on the rise, helping China to reach its future status of number 1 tourist destination in the world. Shanghai is the main door in and out of China for tourists. No tours of China can take place without showing the wonders of economical progress in Chinese economical capital, the Jin Mao Tower and LuJiaZui. You can also find many groups at the various temples of Shanghai and around YuYuan Garden. They are looking at all these Chinese wonders that are often fake or seriously transformed by renovation. I always find it amusing, that tours focus on traditional Chinese scenes in Shanghai, when much better examples can be found in Beijing or other Chinese cities. Most of these group miss what is really unique to Shanghai, the small streets and old buildings of the old concessions.
People with backpacks and lonely planet guides often seem more adventurous. They also go around the business districts and modernised Shanghai, admiring the brand new towers and one can also find a lot of them on the Bund and around YuYuan Garden. But the French concession part is where many western tourists go, looking for the glory of colonial times. With the renovation going on (for the part that is not being destroyed), this part of town is transforming into a major entertainment area, with small restaurant and cafes opening everywhere, creating a great atmosphere and lot’s of nice spots for a rest between two visiting walks. With more cafes and tourists, Shanghai is really becoming a world city.