14 JUNE 2007

Once a fishing village in the 19th century, the area is now a maze of colourful alleys teeming with tourists. The Casino actress visited Yu Garden, a classic Chinese horticultural gem, complete with 30 pavilions linked by a maze of bridges and ponds. She may also have found time for a look at the quirkily named Bridge of the Nine Turns with a zigzag design to discourage evil spirits from crossing.

Areas to stay in the Asian metropolis include Pudong, the futuristic steel and financial district, which is home to Grand Hyatt, the world's tallest hotel, or Puxi across the Huangpu river, the location of The Westin - where Giorgio Armani stays when he's in town.

The designer's luxurious home-away-from-home is a stone's throw from his flagship store in the Bund on the western bank of the river. There, Three On The Bund, a neoclassical building with four haute cuisine restaurants, serves patrons like Ed Norton and Naomi Watts.

When the sun sets dedicated star-spotters can also head out to the Xintiandi quarter, the spot where the Communist Party was founded, and now a complex of trendy clubs. China's high rollers normally congregate in the Glamour Bar, which serves up Dragon's Pearl cocktails or Bar Rouge, with its breathtaking river-view terraces.

Photo: Rex
The gorgeous actress steps out to see Shanghai's Old Town during a trip for the city's film festival
Photo: Rex
Her first stop was the Yu Garden, a complex of 30 pavilions linked by a maze of bridges and ponds
Photo: AFP
The historic location is lit up by lanterns during the Year of the Rooster festivities