Beijing to Shanghai

When I first came to China, I definitely did not realize not only how large the country itself was, but how different the places I would visit would be. I recently had the opportunity to travel with a group of about 100 students from East China Normal university, my school in Shanghai, to experience the culture and see the sights of Beijing. I expected to go to Beijing and feel like I never left Shanghai, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

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Urban views of Shanghai

Shanghai, although not the capital of China is the largest city in the country. I would describe Shanghai as being very consumer-focused. There are massive shopping malls everywhere you look selling everything from the most expensive brands in the world to goods that the normal consumer can easily afford. The metro system is more extensive than that of Beijing’s, allowing people to go to and fro with ease. Everything in Shanghai seemed to be much more convenient than in Beijing.

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Beijing’s Forbidden City

Beijing is known for being more of the business center of China.  Instead of massive malls and other such kinds of entertainment and shopping centers, Beijing is much more low-key. There are many office buildings and business centers, and many more business men can be seen strolling the streets. One of the biggest differences I think between Shanghai and Beijing is the scenery. Shanghai has very little to offer with regards to sight seeing. Even the “sights” of Shanghai are focused on one thing: the city, and very little else.

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The Great Wall of China

 

Beijing is quite different. Being primarily business-focused, it is mainly composed of large office buildings. However, Beijing does boast some world-renowned sights to see such as the Temple of Heaven, the forbidden city, the Olympic park, an the Great wall of China.

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China’s Great Wall extends as far as the eye can see

The Weather in Shanghai and Beijing is also pretty different. Beijing, is in the north, so is always a lower temperature than in Shanghai. Beijing is also known for having much more air pollution than Shanghai, and I definitely felt the effects of it during my trip.

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The “Bird’s Nest,” a major attraction during the 2008 Olympics.

Matthew M. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Shanghai, China. He is currently a Junior studying Global Business and Finance at Cedarville University.

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