One of the good things of being in such a great country is the possibility to go and visit other places, as long as time isn’t too tight due to the long distances to travel.
Visiting Shanghai was a “must” on my list, not only because I had a friend staying there but due to the multicultural differences in the city. It seems you have moved away from the Asian continent and you are submerged into another common European style city. Foreigners are not in greater amounts than in Beijing, it’s just that their culture there is taken to another extent and it seems that China is trying to adapt to them, rather than the other way round, which is what is mostly seen in the country’s capital in most occasions.The tall skyscrapers are the main city’s attraction and can be seen stretching high at most spots in Shanghai, from the other side of the river, the Bund, or at their feet.
Hangzhou, on the other hand, has a more traditional style, however still keeping the modern buildings style. The air felt much more humid and damp, with the sky being grey at mostly all times. This is a common landscape seen in China, hard to get away from, but it’s the price paid for their rapid growth.