On a narrow estuary of the Yangtze River Delta, the city of Shanghai is the result of a thousand iridescent forces at work. Shrouded in perpetual dazzle that emanates from tens of thousands of buildings and skyscrapers that dot its bold skyline, it is hard to see past the visually riveting appearance of this global entity. But once you tear your eyes away from its persistent radiance, you will see it for the overarching world icon it is today, a fervent hub of East China's economy. Built into Shanghai's architectural tapestry is also a generous sprinkling of early 20th Century Art Deco buildings, and a smattering of religious landmarks that speak of an intriguing heritage. Although it may not seem like the city was shaped by forces of ancient history, historians will frequently remind the uninitiated of Shanghai's early tryst with the great Kingdoms of Wu, Yue and Chu, and its consequent development at the hands of the Tang, Song and the Ming dynasties. Today, Shanghai has long surpassed the threshold of modernity, embracing a constantly evolving global culture that spans culinary, retail and luxury trends, among others.