Diane and I visited the city as part of our trip to China in the spring of 2008 and were blown away in many ways.
Whether it was the historic old quarter that is quickly disappearing, the modern new Pudong section, the colonial British Bund or tree lined French Concession, the pollution, the super fast maglev train, the hustle and bustle or the food...Shanghai really delivered a major impression. If Beijing serves as "the Washington, DC" of China, Shanghai is clearly "the New York" of the country.
At any rate, the Expo starts this weekend, and I've heard it reported that 95 percent of all attendees will be Chinese. While world's fairs seemed to have lost their world appeal in about 1962, there is still something about this one that is interesting. Perhaps its just the spectacle of it all and "the next big thing" China is doing to establish itself on the world stage following the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Shanghai is full of visual treats, and I'm sure all the visitors will get an eyeful not only from the splashy national pavilions, but also the normal city itself.
For those interested in a glimpse of Shanghai, below are four pictures I took when we were there, but you can see some more I captured by clicking HERE. More pictures of other parts of China that I took are HERE, HERE and HERE.
Additionally, because the pollution in Shanghai is so prevalent, I wrote a few thoughts about that upon returning from our trip. You can read those entries HERE and HERE.
Photos: View through the pollution of Pudong from the Bund, one of the remaining alleyways in Old Shanghai, the grandeur of The Bund at night and a psychedelic experience inside The Shanghai Tourist Tunnel underneath the Huangpu river.