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General Description

Originally, Shanghai was a seaside fishing village and in time its gradual development led to it being granted County status on August 19th, 1291 during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Hence this day became the anniversary of the founding of Shanghai. Today's Shanghai is a multi-cultural metropolis with both modern and traditional Chinese features. Bubbling Shanghai shows off every aspect of her unique glamour.

Geographical Area of Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city of China and covers an area of 5,800 square kilometers.  Shanghai, which means "above the sea", faces the East China Sea (part of the Pacific Ocean), and is bisected by the Huangpu River. Puxi contains the city proper on the western side of Huangpu River, while an entirely new financial district has been erected on the eastern bank of the Huangpu in Pudong.

Climate
Shanghai experiences all four seasons, with freezing temperatures during the winter season and a 32 o C average high during the hottest months of July and August. Temperatures extremes of -10 o C and +41 o C have been recorded. Heavy rain is frequent in early summer. Spring starts in March, summer in June, autumn in September and winter in December. The weather in spring, although considered the most beautiful season, is highly variable, with frequent rain and alternating spells of warmth and cold.

Month Average Temp o C
March -May 10 o C to 15 o C
June-August 21 o C to 40 o C
September - November 18 o C to 28 o C
December -February -2 o C to 7 o C


Currency
The unit of money in China is called Renminbi (RMB).  The basic unit is the yuan (also known as "kuai"), which equals 10 jiao (or "mao"), which is then divided into 10 fen. Notes are in 1.2,5,10,50 and 100 yuan denominations. Paper jiao come in the denominations of 1, 2, and 5. There are also 1 and 2 fen notes, but these are rarely used as they have no purchasing power. 1 yuan, 1 and 5 jiao, and 1, 2, and 5 fen coins are also used but are more common in larger cities.

People
Shanghai has a population of 18.7 million people, including 2 million floating population. 

Language
The official language in China is Mandarin but distinct dialects are spoken throughout the country.  English is not normally used except in major cities.

Religion
China is officially atheist, but traditionally pragmatic and eclectic. Some 2% to 3% of the population practice Daoism (Taoism), Buddhism and Islam. An estimated 1% are Christians.

 

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