Capital of Zhejiang province to the southwest of Shanghai, Hangzhou is one of the most popular tourist destinations in mainland China. Its prized attractions include scenic West Lake, which together with the surrounding temples, pagodas, and gardens, was recently inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Shanghai’s importance as a center of trade grew in the 19th century when the British, following their victory over China in the First Opium War, opened the city to foreign trade. The French, British, and American Concessions were subsequently established in Shanghai. Today, Western influence is evident in the architecture of buildings in the former concession areas that coexist with traditional Chinese architecture in the old city.
Shanghai is mainland China’s most important financial center and also its most populous metropolitan area with over 23 million people. The city on the Yangtze River delta is also dubbed the “Paris of the East” owing to the unmistakeable influence of the West in its old buildings – represented in a grand parade of different European architectural styles on The Bund. Across the Huangpu River, the cluster of skyscrapers in the Pudong district is a glittering symbol of China as an economic power.
Camiguin, somewhat shaped like a lanzones, its famous produce, is the second smallest province in the Philippines at barely 240 square kilometers. That’s less than half of the land area of Metro Manila. One could do a round trip of the island in a couple of hours, without seeing the sights, of course.