As I’m here for a few days, while I wait for my ship, I will venture out and try to find out as much as I can in history, culture and of course, good food. A walk around this huge city is like being swamped in people, sights and sounds. Shanghai is a big, busy city with a population of over 23 million people. Shanghai is the most populated city in the world. In fact, eight of the top ten cities, by population, are in Asia. Most are in China. That’s not so surprising when you find out that China has a mass population of around 1.3 BILLION, which in turn amounts to over 20% of the world’s population in just one country. Actually, if I am fair, India is expected to surpass China in the next decade or more, so the balance is well and truly shifting. China has a population growth of 1.7, but India has a population growth of 2.8, well above the necessary fertility rate of 2.1. Recent studies point at the Chinese population reaching a peak in around 2030, and dropping back. India is another story.
The city is on the Yangtzi river delta, which feeds into the East China Sea. This was the basis of the original villages that grew around the original delta, but in the 19th century, due largely to it’s ideal port location, it was developed to cater for the foreign trade and a big part of the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. It’s had a slow rise from it’s earliest days, and the Song Dynasty elevated the village to a market town in 1074. It officially became a city in 1922.
I am 5721 miles (as the crow flies) from London and crossed 21 countries to get here. After more than 55 days I learnt so much about our world, the people who live in it and history that spans 120,000 years.
Tomorrow I will visit a few tourist sights in Shanghai and experience their markets and food.