Trip to Shanghai, China - May 2010
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Sign on a major road leading into town - Welcome to ShanghaiThe world’s tallest viewing observatory in a building, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, The bund area, mega metropolis with maybe 20 million inhabitants, the former French concession, Yu Gardens, the maglev train - one of the fastest in the world at the moment, World Expo 2010 - better city/better life, shopping on Nanjing Lu, Jade Buddha temple, Ni Hao, Pudong and Puxi divided by Huangpu river, a skyline filled with skyscrapers lit up by night...this is a trip report to the city of Shanghai in China.

A short summary
The mascot for Shanghai World Expo 2010This trip report will focus on the trip that my wife, Nikki, and I took to Shanghai in China from May 22nd to May 30th 2010. In Shanghai I got to check out sights such as Shanghai World Financial center, Jin mao building, Oriental Pearl Tower, Expo 2010, Shanghai aquarium etc. The trip report is split into section and this first page will focus on the stay in Shanghai and our sightseeing there. On the next pages you will find an interactive Google map of Shanghai and more photos from our stay in the city.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments. All pictures are taken by Nikki and Gard with our Canon EOS 450D and Canon IXUS.

Prelude and planning
This trip came about when Nikki had to go to Shanghai for business and I decided to come along to keep her company. We have been to China before (to Beijing, Xi’an and Hong Kong back in 2003, see the trip report on this page). Nikki sorted out the tickets and I had to pay about 7800 NOK (about 1200 USD) for the ticket to Shanghai (round trip from Stavanger in Norway) on a combination of SAS and Shanghai airlines. To plan the trip I bought the Eyewitness Guides for Shanghai (and Berlin) in order to get some information about history and what to see/do in the city. I was not that impressed by the book by the way - there was not a lot of focus on Shanghai compared to Beijing.

Note: you most likely have to apply for a visa to get into China. Get in touch with the Chinese embassy in your country to get more details about the process.


Map of China

Map of China. Map provided by

The trip begins
Huge housing complex seen from the plane before landing in ShanghaiOn Saturday May 22nd we went to the airport outside Stavanger. Check in and security went fast as it is a small airport and soon we were on our way to Copenhagen in Denmark. We had a short stopover at Kastrup airport before we took the Scandinavian Airlines flight to Beijing at 9 PM. SAS is not too bad on economy – they use Airbus A340 on long-haul and they do have personal TV but I would have liked to see video on demand and a better selection of movies and games. When we starting getting closer to Beijing we could actually see parts of the Great Wall of China – how cool is that? We landed in Beijing in sunny spring/summer weather and after picking up our baggage, we had to take a shuttle bus from the HUGE and new terminal 3 to the old and worn out terminal 2 to continue our flight with Shanghai Airlines. We didn’t have a lot of time but after struggling a bit with Chinese customs, it was nice to enjoy an ice cold beer at the Shanghai airlines lounge before we took the 2 hour flight to Shanghai. They use pretty huge planes between these two cities in China – our Boeing 767 was more or less full. We had to sit around in the plane for an hour before talking off and I expect that it has something to do with the fact that Hillary Clinton was visiting Beijing – as we were waiting we could see several planes marked with “United States of America” landing.

Note: It is still not that easy to communicate in English in China. In most taxis there was a sign with a phone number that you could call if you have trouble communicating with the taxi driver.

Arriving in Shanghai
Sunset as we arrived in ShanghaiWe landed in Shanghai at about 6 PM and we landed at the Hongqiao airport which is mostly use for domestic flight from what I understand. The other large airport is Pudong and I was hoping that we would land on this in order to try out one of the fastest trains in the world – the Maglev airport express train. But instead we had to settle for a taxi and as we drove into the city we got to witness a beautiful sunset over the spectacular skyline of Shanghai. The Hongqiao airport is only about 15 km from downtown Shanghai so getting to our hotel (Westin Shanghai) only took about 20-30 minutes and cost only about 70 RMB (about 10 US dollars). There was a bit of traffic that evening but the highways seemed to be quite new and scaled to handle a lot of cars and traffic. The elevated highway was quite futuristic as it was lit up with neon lights underneath – it seems like they have a things for neon lights and colors as many of the buildings were also lit up and flashing in all sorts of colors.

Note: The currency in China is Yuan (also known as renminbi) and at the moment 100 Yuan (code CNY) is about 15 USD). In Shanghai there are lots of ATM’s so getting a hold of cash was not a problem.

The location of Westin in Shanghai is great – located just a few minutes away from the Bund and the shopping street of Nanjing. But it would have been great to have a subway station a bit closer.

Let’s start with the food
Having dim sum in ShanghaiAs we came to Shanghai pretty late, there was no point in doing any sightseeing. But we did decide to venture out to get some food and according to the Eyewitness Guide book there was a dim sum restaurant recommended at Yu Gardens not too far from the hotel. Yu Gardens and bazaar is a bit of a maze but we did find the Nan Xiang steamed bun restaurant without too much trouble – well, it did help that we had a note from the hotel with the name of the place written in Chinese but it was still fun walking around just asking people if they could point us in the right direction ;-)

Note: To make it easier to get back to the hotel, ask your hotel if they have a business card with the hotel name in Chinese. This made it a lot easier when taking a taxi.

Trying deep fried crab in ShanghaiAt the steamed bun restaurant we had just that – but it is known as dim sum of course. Dim sum is small portions of various dumplings which are prepared by steaming them in small baskets. The restaurant is quite informal to say the least and when we came there they were starting to close as I assume that it is more of a day time restaurant. But we found a table and when over to the steamer and just pointed at the dim sum baskets that we wanted and a waitress helped us carry it over to the table. Dim sum is great as you can try out all sorts of tastes (at least if you go out several people to a busy dim sum place). Best experience so far was in KL (thanks Meena). Anyway, the dim sum was nice and it was about 50 Yuan for the both of us.

Note: Want to try noneybees or maybe duck blood soup? Check out this article for Shanghai weird food. I'm kinda sad that I didn't find this before we left for Shanghai!

How to get around Shanghai
Sign indicating the metro in ShanghaiShanghai has an extensive subway system and it seems like many of the lines have opened recently and it seems like it is still expanding. Getting around on the subway was not a problem – just do the same thing as you would do in any other large city like NYC, Paris, London etc. At the stations there were ticket machines with touch screens and it was just touch and go to choose which station to go to and then pay the fare. Some machines accepted both coins At a metro staton in Shanghaiand notes but it seemed like the lines were shorter on the coin only machines. The fare was 3 Yuan (0.4 USD) on most trips I took and a day pass was 18 Yuan (2.6 USD). It seems like you can take the subway to both Pudong and Hongqiao airports and you can also take it to World Expo. Read more about the metro system on this Wikipedia page. Taxi is also a great way to get around if the traffic is not too bad. The taxi fare starts at 12 Yuan on the meter and it is quite cheap even when going greater distances. We took taxis to and from Expo several times and it was only between 30 and 40 Yuan (4 to 6 USD).

Note: if you want to take the taxi all the way to World Expo take one of the new Expo taxies (white/green and most of them Volkswagen Touran).

Be careful when walking around town – even when you get a green man it is not exclusively for you – cars that are turning does also have a green light and I’m not sure who has the right of way.

You can take the ferry across the river in ShanghaiYou can take the ferry to get across the Huangpu river and it goes from the Bund area – take a look at the Google map to see the location of the ferry station. The ticket to get across is only 2 Yuan. We took the ferry one day and a lady looked at me and she moved discretely towards me. A man she was with discretely pulled out a camera and he took a photo of her next to me and she moved quickly away. I think stuff like this is quite funny so I reached out for her and asked if she wanted a proper photo with me and her face seemed to light up and she nodded and said Yes.

Time for sightseeing
View of the Bund in Shanghai from Shanghai World Financial CenterShanghai must be one of the largest cities in the world these days – some mentioned that there are 20 million people living in the city area. The city center is located around the river of Huangpu. The historic center is located on the west bank of the river and it is known as Puxi and the new financial district is located on the east bank and is known as Pudong.
I started by walking the few minutes from the hotel to the river promenade know as The Bund. The sun was shining over a hazy Shanghai but the temperature was great for sightseeing – the average temperature for Shanghai in May is about 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).

Note: you can check out weather stats on

Walking on the Bund in ShanghaiThe Bund is filled with historic buildings and this dates back to the 19th and 20th century when Shanghai became an international port and trading city after the opium wars. Due to this quite a lot of foreigners came to the city and various concessions were made for the foreign powers. But back to my walk of the river promenade: the river walk is wide and even if it was early morning there were lots and lots of people out walking, taking photos etc. But what I noticed right away was that most of the tourists were actually Chinese – but keep in mind that there are about 1.3 billion people in China and that it is easier for them to travel within China than abroad I guess. Shanghai skyline at sunsetIt didn’t take long before I ran into a couple of girls that looked at me and giggled and said “Ni Hao” (the Chinese way of saying hello) and I talked to them a bit. Maybe they had a special interest for Norway but they seemed to have picked up quite a lot of info after visiting the Norwegian pavilion at the World Expo.
Most of the traditional buildings along the Bund seems to be in use in various forms. On “Three on the Bund” you will e.g. find a building with several upper class restaurants while others contains offices (like the Norwegian consulate). On the other side of the river the landscape is filled with skyscrapers and the ones that really catches the attention is the Shanghai World Financial Center, Jin Mao building and the Oriental Pear Tower which looks like a futuristic rocket ready for take-off.

The small cars taking people through the Bund Sightseeing tunnelI aimed for the Bund sightseeing tunnel to get across the river as I had read about this in advance. When standing in line to get the ticket I realized that standing in line is actually quite entertaining in China as it differs from what I’m used to back home. People don’t really have the same sense of personal space that we have here in Norway, they will push and shove and they are quite likely to cut in line without thinking twice about it. I find this a bit strange as in Japan Going through the Bund Sightseeing tunnel(see the Japan trip report) the culture seems to be totally opposite. So when you are standing in line, follow the local way – this means stand close to the person in front of you and try to block people from cutting in ;-) Well, I did get my ticket for the Bund sightseeing tunnel and went to the small cable car that takes passengers across to the other side of the river. I ticket is 45 Yuan (or 55 Yuan (8 USD) for a return ticket) which is a total rip-off when you know that the subway is only 3 Yuan. The ride to the other side only takes a few minutes and the walls are filled with psychedelic lights, there are strange sounds and some strange puppets on the way. All in all I would call this a real tourist trap and it is much better to just take the subway instead.

Reaching the sky – Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC)
View to Shanghai World Financial Center up closeAfter the psychedelic Bund sightseeing tunnel ride, I got up right next to the Oriental Pearl Tower. From there it was about a 10 minute walk over to my target on the Pudong side this morning: Shanghai World Financial Tower. Standing 492 meters (1614 feet) it is currently the third tallest skyscraper in the world and it contains the world’s tallest viewing platform. I guess I have a thing for tall buildings after visiting buildings like Petronas Twin Towers (see trip report from KL) and Burj Khalifa in Dubai (see my travel blog). I View to Jin Mao and Shanghai World Financial Centerguess I was lucky as there was no line to buy a ticket so I paid the 150 Yuan (22 USD), passed the security control and lined up for the lift. After a short introduction about the building process we were on our way in the lift and that brought us up to 430 meters fast so be sure to equalize the pressure when going up ;-). The doors opened and we were on 94th floor or what is known as Sky Arena. I went straight for the escalator and that took me to Sky Walk 97 and here I got a great view of the entire city of Shanghai. At this level you are at the bottom of the opening in the building so I Sky walk 100 at Shanghai World Financial Centerlined up to get to the very top. There was quite a long line but all of a sudden I was informed that it was possible to take the staircase and I went for that – after all it was only 200 steps. The view from Sky Walk 100 is amazing as you look down on the other skyscrapers, the river and the entire city. In some areas there are also small sections with glass floor and that gives you a good view down to Sky Walk 97. The Sky Walk spans about 55 meters from one side to the other – check out for more information.

Note: there are several observatories at the SWFC – it is 150 Yuan to get to the very top at 100th floor.

World Expo 2010 – better city, better life
The Norwegian pavillion at Shanghai World ExpoWe went to Japan in 2005 and ended up visiting the World Expo in Nagoya (see the Japan trip report). In Shanghai I got a chance to visit the HUGE World Expo on several occasions. I won’t go into detail as this is a temporary exhibition but if you are in the neighborhood you should of course stop by. But as several hundred thousand visit the Expo every day, be prepared to line up to get in and line up to get into the various pavilions. The Norwegian pavilion had the theme "Powered by nature" this time and it tries to give some impression of how The Italian pavillion at Shanghai World ExpoNorwegians relate to nature and the outdoors. It seemed like the station where water is cleaned was quite popular amongst the Chinese visitors and people were using the opportunity to fill their water bottles in the summer heat. I also got a chance to visit the South Africa pavilion (where they focused on the soccer world cup of course), the Austrian pavilion (where you could throw snow balls), The Great Britain pavillion at Shanghai World Expothe Thailand pavilion (the 3D movie was fun), the Icelandic pavilion (where the Chinese audience were impressed when seeing the movie of hot springs and volcanoes), the UK pavilion (what is the deal with the seed cathedral? – the seed vault is located in Norway), the Cambodian (with a strong focus on Angkor Wat of course) and so on. I also got to visit these pavilions: Italy, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, Sweden and Denmark. You can get to the Expo by taking the subway but it is also quite cheap to take a taxi to the Expo site. Check out the official homepage for more info: . Bring good walking shoes – the area is huge!

Note: price examples from Shanghai: a whopper burger at Burger King was 23 Yuan, a bottle of water 1-2 Yuan, a bottle of Coke about 6 Yuan.

The little mermaid at the Danish pavillion at Shanghai World ExpoThe Danish pavilion is worth a visit – first of all they have brought over the little mermaid from Copenhagen and I’m sure that quite a lot of tourists that are coming to Copenhagen this summer will be quite annoyed when they find an empty spot where the mermaid is supposed to be. But there was also some nice facts comparing China and Denmark as countries and that gives you an idea about the size of Shanghai and China compared to Copenhagen and Denmark. The facilities at the Expo seemed to be quite good – it was not a problem finding toilet, places to eat etc.

From ocean depths to the sky
Shanghai aquariumAccording the guidebook, the Shanghai aquarium is one of the better ones in the world so I decided to check it out. I took the subway to Lujiazui station and it was only a 5 minute walk from there as the aquarium is located right next to the Oriental Pearl Tower. The aquarium entrance ticket is 135 Yuan soJelly fish at Shanghai aquarium it is quite expensive compared to Chinese standards but I guess it costs a bit to build and run a place like this. And there is no doubt that the aquarium is quite good and it covers different sections from the world and on display you will find everything from fossils to various fish, penguins, jelly fish, sharks, large crabs etc. But the main attraction is the escalator tunnel that takes you down into a pool and leads to the 150 meter tunnel where you can walk below and look at all the sharks and rays gliding past. You can check out more info on the aquarium homepage. You can find more photos from the aquarium on my Shanghai photos page.

Oriental Pearl TowerFrom the aquarium I walked over to Oriental Pearl TV Tower – the most iconic and famous building in Shanghai. It was finished in 1995 and standing 468 meters tall it really stands out even if there now are buildings in Shanghai that are taller. The height combined with the futuristic design means that you have a building that looks like a rocket about ready for take-off - especially at night when the various spheres lights up. I bought a ticket costing 150 Yuan (to get to the top sphere) and I lined up for security. Walking on glass floor at Oriental Pearl Tower in ShanghaiIt turned out that the line for security and the lift would take longer than expected – it actually took me 90 minutes from lining up until I got to the top sphere. I guess this is the most popular building as many Chinese tourist groups came pouring in while I was waiting in line. The view from the top sphere at 350 meters is great of course and you do get a 360 degree view. I also went down to the larger sphere at 263 meters and one of the cool features there is the glass floor around the sphere which gives you a feeling of walking on thin air ;-) So if you are afraid of heights it is probably best to stay away from this area.

Is Shanghai a shopping destination?
Not far from the Oriental Pearl Tower you will find the Super Brand Mall and there are also lots of shops on the Nanjing road and Huaihai road. But Nikki and I were quite surprised when walking around in some of the shops in Nanjing road...most of the shops were basically empty. And it is no wonder as the prices were quite high on popular and well known brands even compared to prices in Norway. When checking e.g. a moisturizing cream that I normally use, I found that it was twice the price in Shanghai as on . I think there is about 18% VAT in China but it does not seem like there is a system for reclaiming this when leaving the country.

Note: when walking on the shopping streets you will get plenty of offers to buy watches, bags etc. Remember to bargain hard if you want to buy but also keep in mind that that it is illegal to bring fake products into some countries ;-)

One more skyscraper – Jin Mao building
View to Jin Mao from aboveTo top it off I decided to also visit the Jin Mao building located in the same area as the Oriental Pearl Tower. There was no line for getting a ticket so I paid the 88 Yuan (cash only!) to get access to the observatory on the 88th floor. There was no line to get into the elevator either but I ended up with a Chinese group and they were all staring at me. Staring at me (and even more on Nikki) was quite common and there were also a couple of incidents where people wanted to take their photo together with me – I think this is a fun cultural experience so I didn’t mind when it happened.
The view from the top of the Jin Mao is great and once again you get a 360 degree view of the city. The most spectacular is maybe the view that you get into the atrium of the Grand Hyatt hotel located within the building.
The Grand Hyatt hotel atrium in the Jin Mao building The atrium stretches from about 53rd floor to 87th floor! If you want to enjoy a drink with a view it is possible to go to Cloud 9 on the 87th floor – this is a bar in connection with the hotel and it seems to be a stylish place. I did not get to check it out as it was closed for a private function when I went there. More info can be found on this Wikipedia page. The hotel entrance is not located at the same place as the observation deck entrance. The Jin Mao building was conquered by Alain Robert (the French Spiderman) in 2007 and I think he was arrested and told to stay out of China for the next few years. But I’m sure he will be back to do the Shanghai World Financial Center ;-)

Note: There seems to be some restrictions on the internet in China. I did not get access to sites like Blogger, Facebook, Twitter etc. but there were places with wifi – I got access at e.g. Burger King.

Walking around town
Scene from Yu GardenI decided to take a walk around town based on some guide tour suggestions in the guide book. I started once again by checking Yu Gardens and paid the 40 Yuan to get into the garden itself. I’m not sure it was worth the money but I guess I should have had a guide to give me some details about the garden. The walk took me into the old city and all of a sudden I was away from the busy main streets. Instead I was walking through streets where people were doing their daily stuff: a woman was pouring water into a washing machine standing out in the street, another couple was running a butcher shop and the man was slicing up the meat on the table. Next to him a woman was washing the clothes in a bucket. Shanghai seems to be full of contrast –the larger shopping streets looks all posh at first glance but when you look into the side alleys, it seems a different story.

Crickets for sale at a market in ShanghaiIn the old city I came past some sort of market and it was pretty noisy. I went in and it turned out that the noise was made by crickets in small cages – the sound was loud as there were lots and lots of these cages. There were lots of animals for sale on the market ranging from kittens, puppies, chickens, toads, lots of birds, turtles, guinea pigs – well, you name it. Turtles at a market in ShanghaiThey also sold different worms – I’m not sure why this is for sale. Maybe as food for some of the pets? There were lots of small shops in this market and some people were sitting inside their little shops eating, some were laying in a hammock catching some sleep, some were playing board games. The one image that will stick with me for quite some time was a parrot hanging upside down under its bar. It was chained to the bar and it looked like it was in a sorry state. Maybe it was sick as it had lost more or less all its feathers so it was just grey. And it hardly moved at all and the owner didn’t seem to bother helping the parrot back up again on the bar.

The French concession
Street in the French oncession in ShanghaiI found my way to Huaihai Lu which seems to be the new shopping street in Shanghai. New shopping malls seems to be popping up here and big posters were announcing stores like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Coach etc. But I soon walked away from the main street and into the heart of the French concession. It didn’t take long before the busy HuaiHai Lu was replaced by far quieter and narrower streets, lined with trees and with small boutiques. I went into one store that sold wine and champagne and I was a bit surprised to see the prices – they were quite steep and I assume that there is some sort of tax on this. But it seems like you can also get a hold of Chinese wine and they say that it is not too bad. I went to find a wet market that the guidebook mentioned but when I got there it seemed like the market was replaced by a brand new shopping mall and a subway station – a proof that the city changes fast I guess.

Time for a culinary feast – Jean Georges
Egg and caviar at Jean Georges in ShanghaiWe decided to splurge a bit so one night we walked over from the hotel to Three on the Bund which contains a few upper class restaurants and bars as you can see from their homepage . We decided to go for Jean Georges even if we didn’t have a reservation and we got there at about 9 PM. At the time there was not a table but we were told that if we could come back in 30 minutes they would have a table for us. To kill some time we had a drink at New Heights before we came back but we still had to wait another 30 minutes before getting a table. Scallops at Jean Georges in ShanghaiI decided to go for a 5 course meal – a bit bold of course as it was getting late. Nikki was a bit nervous if there would be a lot of cream/milk in the dishes so she asked if she could change some of the dishes on the 5 course menu but she was told that it was easier if she just went for a three course menu and added a couple of dishes from the a la carte menu and that we did. I don’t think the reception at this restaurant was that great. We didn’t get any questions about aperitif; we asked if they could recommend a wine that would suite the entire meal and she just gave me the wine list, we didn’t get any bread for quite some time etc. But we soon got a complimentary dish – some tuna tartar. Garlic soup and frog legs at Jean Georges in ShanghaiMy menu started with and egg with caviar on top – quite a small piece of art and the caviar brought a nice salty addition to the “scrambled eggs” inside the egg shell and the crème fraîche that were decorating the top. Next course for me were scallops with fried cauliflower and mustard sauce. We get great scallops here in Norway so it is hard to be impressed with that when we travel ;-) But the scallops were good (but not amazing), the cauliflower had a great taste after being fried and luckily, there was not an overwhelming taste of mustard in the sauce. Next was the young garlic soup served with frog legs. I’m not sure how a young garlic differs from an old garlic but the soup was a bit bitter but the frog legs were great. Chicken breast at Jean Georges in ShanghaiAt this point in the meal we ran into a bit of “problems”. As Nikki has ordered a three course meal + a couple of dishes from the a la carte menu, she got these courses as a huge main and not as a small dish in a big 5 course menu. When I got my next meal it was just a small piece of turbot while Nikki got a large chicken fillet. She couldn’t possibly finish this so we ended up swapping. A dish was also served while Nikki was in the bathroom and they were served with lids and I of course asked the waiter to wait until Nikki was back. But when she was back there were no waiters around to take of the lids and give some info about the food. I also had a lobster dish with a green salad Lobster dish at Jean Georges in Shanghaithat was OK and the next dish was squab (is this the same as pigeon?) served with onion compote and a piece of foie gras. The bird was not that great but the foie gras was good. At this point Nikki got another one of her extra large dishes from the a la carte menu – a rather large piece of meat. For me the true highlight came in the end in the form of the dessert – the chocolate selection. There was one glass with chocolate milkshake, one excellent chocolate fondant made just right with vanilla ice, Chocolate dessert at Jean Georges in Shanghaiwhite chocolate ice with a crème catalane sort of lid and a chocolate “bread” with various darkness to the chocolate layers. At this time it was getting quite late so we just asked for the bill. We looked at the bill of course to see how they had priced the extra dishes for Nikki and the waiter asked if everything was OK – but during the entire meal we had not been asked at all if the food was OK! So I have mixed feelings when it comes to Jean Georges – the wine list is extensive but wine is very expensive. We had an Italian wine and that was 500 Yuan (about 70 USD). But my main issue is the bit slow service even if we were more or less alone there in the end, the fact that Nikki got HUGE extra portions when she did have them as extras in a three course menu etc.

A quick tour with Nikki
The terrace bar at New Heights (Three on the Bund) is a great place for a drink with a viewOn the last day I took Nikki around a bit as she had been working most of the time and I had been touring on my own. So we went back to Yu Gardens during the day and had some more Dim Sum. This time Nikki even jumped into the line and fought her way to the front to buy some deep fried crabs :-) Shanghai skyline at nightWe also took the ferry across the river, walked over to the Super Brand Mall, took some photos of ourselves with the famous buildings in the background etc ;-)When the sun was setting I went back to Three on the Bund and went to the restaurant that occupies the top floor: New Heights. They have a fabulous terrace bar there where you can get a great view to all the skyscrapers on the other side of the river while. So I enjoyed a glass of prosecco under a Chinese flag while I enjoyed seeing the sun set over the city and as it got darker the skyscrapers on the other side of the river lit up.

Note: to give an idea of the price level – a Heineken draught on the terrace bar at New Heights were about 60 Yuan (about 9 USD)

Having beef carpaccio at the restaurant New Heights in ShanghaiOn our last night in Shanghai we had dinner at New Heights at Three on the bund – I had the beef carpaccio with shavings of parmesan, capers and sundried tomatoes and that was excellent. For main dish Nikki went for the lamb curry but she was not that impressed with that but my tomato gnocchi was not bad at all. For dessert Nikki had the apple tart which was too big in my opinion while I had the snickers bar dessert – together with a bottle of wine costing 340 Yuan, this meal was about 1200 Yuan including a 10% service charge.

Time to go back home
Nikki on the Bund in ShanghaiOn May 30th it was time for us to go home and we checked out of the hotel quite early and took a taxi out to the Hongqiao airport and checked in. We grabbed a fast breakfast in the Shanghai airlines lounge and that was a good idea as the breakfast on the plane to Beijing was terrible. In Beijing we once again had to transfer from terminal 2 to terminal 3 and after checking in we waited in the Air China lounge – the flight back to Copenhagen was at 4 PM and after about 10 hours in the SAS plane, we were back in Europe. And after just a short wait at Kastrup airport we were on our way back to Stavanger.

Gard with a view to Jin Mao and Shanghai World Financial CenterBefore going to Shanghai I tried to get in touch with locals using sites like and but I was not able to hook up with anyone. I think it would have been a totally different experience if I had gotten some guidance to e.g. food and culture by a local. I especially think it is valuable to have some sort of guidance when it comes to food as the selection is so different from what I'm used to. View from the space module at Oriental Pearl TowerBut even if I didn't have a local guide it was still great fun to see a new city in China :-) From an engineering point of view it was impressive to see and visit some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world. There seems to be quite a lot of contrasts between the modern new skyscrapers with shining new facades and the traditional and more old fashioned back alleys. The guidebook covered both Beijing and Shanghai and the section about Shanghai was surprisingly thin so the city doesn’t have a lot of major “attractions” like you find in many of the other larger cities around the world. But Shanghai is still well worth a visit if you are stopping by the area.

Some “useful” tips
So what do you need to bring to Shanghai? And how do you plan a trip? Here are some useful tips:

  • Wondering about the weather in Shanghai? Check out to get some weather stats so you know what to expect.
  • A good guidebook: yes, you can find a lot of useful info on the internet. But get a good guidebook with a comprehensive street map. Which one to buy is up to you :-) We bought the Eyewitness Travel Guide for Shanghai/Beijing and that was not very good.
  • Which forums to ask questions: Try TripAdvisor, Fodor’s, Frommer’s and Travelers to Go!
  • Are you bringing a laptop? We did and it was great to use this to check out attractions and opening times, maps, restaurant information etc. Just make sure you find a hotel that offers free internet ;-) Note that there seems to be restrictions to which sites you can access from China.
  • Do you wonder how far it is from one place to another in Shanghai? Why not use Google Earth/Google Maps to measure? I find this to be a great tool.
  • Here is a interactive Shanghai Google map where I have highlighted some of the places that we went to.
  • Wondering about public transportation in Shanghai? Check out this site.




Back to index pageGet in touch if you have any questionsClick here to check out the Shanghai Google map