Rise of the urban giants

Of all Asian countries I have visited so far, China felt most alien to me – and I have only been to Shanghai and Macau, which are relatively international cities. It’s not uncommon to experience culture shock as a first time visitor. Personal space has a different meaning in China (get on the Shanghai metro and you’ll understand what I mean), and public hygiene is poor compared to Western standards, to name just a few differences.

But if you are willing to approach such differences with an open mindset, China is an endlessly fascinating country. Many of its cities are growing at an astounding pace, with the McKinsey Global Institute projecting that the country’s urban population will top 1 billion by 2030. Although this creates many challenges – including traffic gridlock and air pollution – it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer scale of Chinese metropoles. Walking through a sprawling city like Shanghai is an experience unlike anything else. Highly recommended if you enjoy photographing urban scenes.

shanghai grand hyatt shanghai

Shanghai architecture: 5 spots for photography lovers

Shanghai has undergone some dramatic changes over the last few decades, resulting in a fascinating mix of old and new architecture. Make sure not to miss the following highlights on your photography trip.

shanghai jewish ghetto

Shanghai Jewish Ghetto: a forgotten piece of history

The former Shanghai Jewish Ghetto was one of the last safe havens for Jewish people who fled Nazi Europe in the 1930s and early 1940s. Discover a forgotten piece of history.