I am currently visiting my friend and colleague Pengjie Zhang at the Shanghai Observatory. Shanghai is a truly amazing city; the largest in China in terms of population, with more than 18,000,000 people living in its municipality, and an amazing density of 2,621.9/km² (!!).
The lakefront promenade (“Waitan”, or “the Bund”), is truly enchanting. The picture on the left shows it as it can be seen from the 490 meters-high ‘sky walk’ of the World Financial center, that opened about a month ago.
There is everything here. From the traditonal to the modern, from poor suburbs to tall sky-scrapers, from open air dancing to glamorous clubs. Maybe not the most international city in Asia (and maybe too many “Starbucks” “Friday’s” and “McDonald’s”) but certainly a striking demonstration of the chinese economic growth. As a chinese saying goes, “jiude buku, xinde bulai”, or “if the old doesn’t go, the new won’t come”. Here, you feel that the new is actually coming.