I haven’t written for a while on my blog because of work, everyday duties, etc. But meanwhile I started to learn Chinese and I dedicate most of my time to this new activity rather than writing. I really enjoy learning this language, it’s like “deciphering” the meanings. It also shows me how immense the Chinese culture. I was lucky because last month I was in Shanghai where I had the opportunity to practice what I learned in my Chinese class and observe again closely the Chinese culture.
Here is my list of `Best of Shanghai….Happy travel!
1. MAGEV Magnetic Train:
High speed train. It can attain to 400 km/ hr. I witnessed to 300km./hour. Morning times, the train does 400 km as well. Besides being the most practical mean to Shanghai city center (it takes 45 km. in about 7 minutes), it was a different experience for me (after having travelled in the TGVs and local trains in France and Europe, which are doing 200 km/hr at max.). My friend told me that Japanese trains are much more comfortable (zero vacillation). I didn’t really feel any swing during my travel in MAGEV either.
When you exit Pudong International Airport, you find easily the MAGEV train platforms. One way ticket is 50 Yuan per person and it’s more expensive than city buses or metro lines. But it’s worth to try it!
2. The Bund and the view of Pearl Tower
This is the most scenic and touristic place of Shanghai. If you have only one day in Shanghai, this is the place to visit….
3 . Shanghai Urban Planning Museum:
This is the correct starting point to explore Shanghai. Located in the People’s Park (one of the central places of the city, at the end of the East Nanjing street) and between the Contemporary Art Museum and Shanghai Museum, it first appeared to me the least crowded museum (no queue at the entrance) and that’s why I chose it to visit. But once inside, I spent more than 1 hour to see all floors and to follow how Shanghai had changed within time and what its future will look like.
4. Bund Sightseeing:
I took the funicular which goes under the River from Pearl Tower to the Bund. It takes about 5 minutes. During the short distance travel, sounds and lights effects accompany you.
5. French Concession:
It’s one of the districts of Shanghai where the French concession – together with English one, had been established at the beginning of 20th century. The district has chic boutiques and French style coffees. ‘Shanghai is the Paris of the East!’ what can I say more…!
6. Nanjing Street:
The east side of the Street is the pedestrian area and you will find lots of shops and department stores. Check in your guides the construction dates of the department stores on the East Nanjing Street; most are built at the beginning or in the first half of 20th century.
The West Nanjing Street has a lot of luxury department stores and skyscrapers hosting the offices of multinational companies.
7. Old Shanghai
Old Shanghai is the district where you will sense the `real` China. In the narrow and crowded streets you will discover different types of attractions and all kinds of shops.
8. Yu Gardens:
Don’t miss this place if you visit the Old Shanghai. The gardens are situated inside the Old Shanghai district and it gives you an idea about the aesthetic taste of the Ming Dynasty.
9. Xujiahui – Electronic Markets
Shanghai is a heaven of malls and department stores in China, and if you’re interested in buying – after hard negotiations of course!, electronic devices go to Xujiahui (the metro line is Xujiahui); this is a paradise for electronic lovers….
10. Visit the water villages outside Shanghai:
This is recommended by all travel guides about Shanghai but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to do this daily trip, it will be hopefully next time. Instead I’d been in a different place in China and explored the river and the country side…. I’ll write about it in my next post… Until then….`ZAI JIAN!’