Xingang (Beijing), China
Shanghai is one of Asia’s most dynamic cities, and one of juxtapositions. It’s divided in two by the Huangpu River—to the west is Puxi and to the east Pudong. Puxi is the city’s downtown and its historic center; it’s here that much of the shopping, dining and nightlife is concentrated. Shanghai has more than 30,000 restaurants, from humble soup dumpling spots to formal affairs helmed by Michelin-starred chefs. Its museums, particularly the Shanghai Museum with its 120,000-strong collection of antiquities, are equally impressive. Pudong is where the city’s major skyscrapers stand, among them the Jin Mao and Oriental Pearl towers.
Tianjin (Beijing), China
Few cities can compete with China’s capital, Beijing, roughly two hours north of the port of Tianjin. Its Forbidden City is unparalleled, home to the Palace Museum and its collection of Chinese antiquities. At the Summer Palace, stroll the same covered walkways that emperors did, and in the large park that surrounds the Temple of Heaven, see locals practicing tai chi and flying kites. And, of course, there is the Great Wall, a true wonder of the world.
Tianjin has a number of important sights of its own, including the Confucius Temple, the Tianjin Museum and the Shi Family Mansion.