The largest city by population in China, at over 26 million people, is Shanghai. It's also the 3rd largest in the world behind Tokyo and Delhi. I've been to all 3 of these world largest cities and I would say Shanghai appears to be the most modern.
The skyline along the Huangpu River is impressive. A view of the Pudong area of Shanghai.
The Huangpu river splits the city into two parts. The Puxi lies to the west of the river and the Pudong to the east. It's almost like two cities within Shanghai as taxis are usually only familiar with one side. If you ever need to cross the river, don't go by taxi as it can take a long time compared to the metro.
Shanghai by night
This is one busy city. Not really my travel style, but I do like to experience all things. This was my first and only trip to this huge city and, for me, it's always a challenge to get used to a new metro system. Especially in a place where I don't speak the language. Thank goodness for the applications and maps on my iPhone!
Perhaps the most famous section of the city is The Bund. This is an area along the west side of the river with some of the old time western architecture. It offers the best view of the skyline across the river:
To me, it was the views of the skyline that was the most memorable and impressive to me. I'm a fan of big impressive things and this fit the bill.
Second to that was the modern feel of the city. The cities of China, especially Shanghai are much more modern than US cities. The countryside is not so impressive, but the cities are a different story. The modern buildings and excellent metro systems are a huge wow factor of Shanghai.
The cool thing about the city is the blend of old and new. East and West. The diversity of this huge city is remarkable.
The temples and pagodas of Shanghai rival those of any other Asian city. They can be a huge tourist draw. But for me, I'm just a casual walk by observer.
The 3rd tallest building in the world and the tallest in China can be seen here above. It's actually the second tallest building if you don't count the useless pointy thing at the top of Merdeka 118 building in Malaysia (the things people do to get the tallest building !). It is called Shanghai Tower and it is a whopping 2,073 ft or 632 meters. When something is that tall I prefer to think in terms of fractions of a mile. It's 4/10 of a mile high!
In case you're wondering, the world's tallest building is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 2717 ft (828 meters) or a half mile. There is no close second.
I only spent one night in Shanghai so I am in no way an expert. I only came to experience the city from a broad perspective. I knew before I arrived this was not my type of travel destination, but I not only wanted to at least walk the streets once, but I also wanted to experience China's modern high speed train.
That's a small flavor of the city from my perspective.