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
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.
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.
The trip begins
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
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”
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
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.
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
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
Let’s start with the food
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 ;-)
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.
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
Anyway, the dim sum was nice and it was about 50 Yuan for the both of
Want to try noneybees or maybe duck blood soup? Check out this article
Shanghai weird food. I'm kinda sad that I didn't find this before we
left for Shanghai!
How to get around Shanghai
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Time for sightseeing
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
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).
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
this level you are at the bottom of the opening in
the building so I
lined 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
http://swfc-shanghai.com/ for more information.
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
We 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
Norwegians 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
the 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:
http://en.expo2010.cn/ . Bring good
walking shoes – the area is huge!
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 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
According 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 so 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
You can find more photos from the aquarium on my
Shanghai photos page.
From 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.
It 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 strawberrynet.com .
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.
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
To 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 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
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 ;-)
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
I 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.
In 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.
They also sold different worms –
I’m not sure why this is
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
I 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
We 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.
I 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.
My 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.
At 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
that 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,
white 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
On 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 :-)
We 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.
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)
On 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
On 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.
going to Shanghai I tried to get in touch with locals using sites like
couchsurfing.com and hospitalityclub.org 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.
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
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
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
- 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
- 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