Shanghai (上海), China
Shanghai Travel Guide: View of Pudong skyscrapers
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Shanghai is the most populous and developed city in China. Home to 18 million people, Shanghai is also the 9th biggest city in the world. It is located on the banks of the Huangpu River, which is on the Yangtze River Delta.
Pudong International Airport
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Shanghai has a municapality population of 19.2 million people, making it one of the biggest cities in the world. The municipality of Shanghai covers an area of 7,037 sq km (2,717 sq miles). The city is now one of the major tourist destinations in China, and gateway to many natural and heritage sites in the neighbouring provinces.
Getting Into Shanghai
Shanghai AirportsThere are two airports serving Shanghai, Pudong and Hongqiao. International flights arrive at Pudong International Airport (PVG) while domestic flights at Hongqiao (SHA). Pudong is located 40km east of Shanghai. To reach the city, you can take the taxi, the airport bus or the Transrapid maglev train.
Longyang Maglev Station, Shanghai
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Going by taxi is the most expensive option. It costs RMB 145 and takes an hour. Beware of airport touts. Check with the driver whether they know where you would like to go, and get a cost estimate before you enter the taxi. Most drivers do not speak English, so it may be handy to have your destination written out in Chinese. Travel time into Shanghai is one hour.
Airport buses cost only RMB 15-22. They take at least 90 minutes to reach Shanghai, and the last bus leaves at 9:00pm. Among the routes plied by the buses, No. 2 goes to the Airport City Terminal on Nanjing West Road (cost RMB 9.00) while No. 5 goes to the Shanghai train station (cost RMB 18.00).
The Transrapid maglev train is probably the most stylish way to enter Shanghai, but not exactly the most practical, because the train terminal is at Longyang, and you still need to take a subway (or taxi) to get to Puxi (the west side of Shanghai). There's a bit of climbing to do as well, to the 2nd floor of the airport to take the train, and also at the subway. With a speed of 430km/hour, it is the fastest option, for it covers the Pudong to Longyang route in 8 minutes flat, and is definitely worth the experience. The trains run from 7:00am to 9:00pm daily. Fare is RMB 50.00 one way, or RMB 80.00 same-day return. There is even a VIP class; it costs twice as much, but at least you earn bragging rights!
The Bund, Shanghai
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Nanjing Road, Shanghai
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Jing'an Temple Subway Station, Shanghai Metro Line 2
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Shanghai subway train
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Line 1 Subway Ticket, Shanghai
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Moving around in ShanghaiTaking the Shanghai Metro
The subway, called Shanghai Metro, is the most convenient way to explore Shanghai. Most of my description of tourist attractions in Shanghai will include some information on which subway train to take. There are presently 10 lines, with another 9 under construction. Shanghai Metro is cheap, fast, and easy to use. Signages are in Chinese as well as English, and fares start from ¥3.00, and priced according to distance travelled.
Taking the Shanghai taxi
The taxis in Shanghai are relatively cheap. The fare starts at ¥12 for the first 3km and then ¥2.30 per km up to 10km, thereafter ¥3.50 per km. If caught in a jam, the meter will run and you are billed after 5 minutes. To take the taxi, it would be wise to get your destination written out in Chinese. Keep a hotel name card with you, to show the taxi driver for the return journey.
Calling the taxi
There are 150 taxi companies in Shanghai, with a total of 45,000 taxis. Of these, the most popular include Dazhong taxi (greenish blue livery), Qiangsheng taxi (orange livery), Haibo taxi (dark blue livery), Bashi taxi (green livery), Fanlanhong taxi (red livery) and Jinjiang taxi (white livery). Here are the numbers to call:
Dazhong Taxi: 021 96822
Qiangsheng Taxi: 012 6258 0000
Haibo Taxi: 021 96965
Bashi Taxi: 021 96840
Dazhong Taxi, Shanghai
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Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai
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Shanghai Transrapid Maglev Trains
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Places of Interest in Shanghai
Sights in the vicinity of Shanghai
Getting out of Shanghai
Travelling from Shanghai by FlightShanghai's Hongqiao Airport services domestic flights. It is just 20-30 minutes away from the city by taxi.
Travelling from Shanghai by trainShanghai has three train stations:
Shanghai Railway Station, the oldest and largest, it is the terminus for most trains, although some are now shifted to the South station. It is linked by the Metro lines 1, 3 and 4.
Shanghai South Railway Station, this newly expanded terminal caters for trains coming from the south. It is linked by the Metro lines 1 and 3.
Shanghai West Railway Station, this is the smallest of the three stations, and serve only a limited number of destinations, such as Yantai, Zaozhuang, Hengyang, Ganzhou and Chengdu. Not linked by the Metro lines.
A little bit about Shanghai GeographyShanghai is the most populous, most developed, and arguably most expensive city in China. Home to 18 million people, Shanghai is also the 9th biggest city in the world. It is situated on the banks of the Huangpu River in the Yangtze Delta, and is China's financial and economic centre.
To me, Shanghai is one of the most exciting destinations in Asia. However, trying to write a budget travel guide for it is quite a challenge, as Shanghai is rapidly phasing itself above the rest of China in terms of prices.
What I can advise is that if you intend to visit Shanghai, be prepared for things to be more expensive than another more rural Chinese destination. The advantage of exploring Shanghai is that it is truly a very happening destination. So try to pay it a visit while you can still afford to.
The Huangpu River splits Shanghai into two sections. The older section, on the west bank, is called Puxi, while the newer section, on the east bank, is called Pudong. Pudong is home of some of the most striking architecture in all of China.
Getting to know Shanghai, district by districtThe Huangpu River cuts Shanghai into two not-equal parts. Much of the city is on the west side of the river, although the most modern is arguably Pudong, the district on the right.
Pudong District is the iconic skyscraper district of Shanghai, with not the densest, but surely the tallest skyscrapers in Shanghai. And the best view of the skyscrapers is from The Bund, that promenade along the Huangpu River on the west side. The Bund, which I describe in more detail separately, has all the historical colonial landmarks.
The Bund itself is located in the Huangpu District. It also includes the Old City of Shanghai. Spreading out in all directions are the other district of Shanghai.
Districts of Central ShanghaiHuangpu District is the traditional heart of Shanghai. This is the location of major landmarks such as People's Square, Shanghai Museum and the city's largest subway station. The Old City of Shanghai is location within Huangpu District. Many of the biggest department stores of Shanghai is on Nanjing East Road within this district.
Yangpu District is on the northeast of the city center. It is the site of the famous Fudan University and Tongji University as well as Gongqing Forest Park. It is bordered by Hongkou District to the west and the Huangpu River to the east.
Hongkou District used to have a substantial Jewish enclave. It is the location of Lu Xun Park. It is sandwiched between Zhabei District to the west, Yangpu District to the east, and the Huangpu River to the south.
Putuo District is on the northwest of Shanghai. It is the location of Changfeng Park, which has a small amusement park and aquarium. Putuo is to the west of Zhabei, and to the north of Jing'an and Changning.
Jing'an District is the location of Jing'an Temple, at the heart of Shanghai. Nanjing West Road extend from here to People's Square.
Changning District is a residential district to the west of Shanghai. Hongqiao International Airport and Shanghai Zoo are located here.
French Concession is a leafy part of Shanghai to the west of Huangpu District, and south of Jing'an and Changning districts. This is an upscale neighborhood with upmarket properties and a number of large shopping malls.
Districts of Outer ShanghaiPudong District is the skyscraper district and also most foreign visitor's first sight of Shanghai, as it is also the home of the Pudong International Airport.
Beyond Central Shanghai are several other districts and suburbs. The northern districts include Baoshan, Jiading, Qingpu, North Songjiang and West Minhang while the southern districts are Jinshan, Fengxian, South Songjiang and East Minhang.
Chongming County, which comprises Chongming Island, Chongxing Island and Hengsha Island, at the mouth of the Yangtze River, are also within the jurisdiction of Shanghai. The US$1.6 billion Chongming Bridge Tunnel links Chongming Island to Pudong District.
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