Shanghai now ranks as the second happiest travel destination in the world, a new survey has claimed.
According to Condé Nast Traveler’s Joy Index, China’s largest and world’s most populous city, is only outranked by Canada’s Labrador and Newfoundland.
“Happiness experts” Gretchen Rubin, of The Happiness Project fame, and Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage helped in completing the list which was compiled by in association with Bank of America, reports Shanghaiist.
According to the site, Rubin and Achor, “explained the science behind what makes travel joyful—the psychology of awe, the physiology of adventure. Happy experiences, they told us, are just as important as happy places; and with that in mind, they helped us make a list of destinations that are uniquely poised to generate moments of travel bliss.”
While the explained method used to come up with the list seems a bit far from actual science, it did not stop the publication to dub it as its “definitive ranking of the happiest travel destinations of 2017.”
As for Shanghai’s high ranking, the article links the city’s happiness to its recent economic growth.
“At first, life satisfaction paradoxically decreased as the country grew richer. But since the early 2000s, research shows China residents have grown steadily happier again.”
“The city of 24 million is a mashup of formal and informal, modern and historic, sexy and ancient. One minute, you’re strolling the chic waterfront Bund; the next, a few streets over, you’re transported to a colonial era,” it noted.
It also cited distance as an advantage for some reason:
“An added benefit, for American travelers, is sheer distance. Simply putting miles between yourself and real-life has been shown to boost mood. One study found that the further Twitter users were from home, the happier their tweets were.”
Here’s the full list:
1. Labrador Newfoundland, Canada
2. Shanghai, China
3. Aarhus, Denmark
5. Hawaii Island, United States
6. Bordeaux, France
7. Telluride, United States
9. Matera, Italy
10. Houston, United States
Interestingly, Shanghai is the only Asian city found on the list despite a number of notable places on the continent that could very well fit in the publication’s “happiness criteria”.