In a country that eats, breathes and lives trade and a country that boasts a separate city for manufacturing pretty much everything, Shanghai cuts the clutter and shows you a side of China, which is completed is distinct from the original canvas of China.Not because it isn’t that good or anything, but simply because, if you’re here to see China and its culture, you’re likely to be demotivated at the start itself, because Shanghai is so much about big-ass fancy malls with international brands alluring you to pour our all those yuans (RMBs), and the up market buildings enveloped by spiral wide flyovers twirling around Shanghai’s high-rises.What they say about China is actually true, that with every 100 kms, the architecture always changes, so do the people’s eating, drinking and living habits. Thus, you go a few kilometers away from Shanghai and you are likely to find an entire city manufacturing only socks, the city is called Datang in Zhuji, where about 8 billion pairs of socks are manufactured everywhere. The list doesn’t end here, we have a tiny hamlet namely Gurao, which is called the undergarments capital of China, and you will find the latest of everything as far as ‘inner beauty’ is concerned.Thus in a china which is divided into a plethora of such cities, Shanghai seems to be comfortably placed between its DNA and its aspirations.Shanghai is the quintessential black-sheep, in a herd of colorful stock. Unfortunately and due to logistical convenience, I commenced my China sojourn from Shanghai and spent about 5 days in the midst of skyscrapers and the dynamism of city-life. For someone who was born and grown up in Bombay, city-life can never be exciting or novel. For us, fast life is normal and there are enticing options to party after every few stations. Thus cities are not the go-to options for a vacation for a lot of city-dwellers like me. But hey, that doesn't mean you don't get touristy.Shanghai to me in one word was VAST. It’s humongous and everything is spruced up in a fashion that one has to travel several kilometers in order to get to the next cluster of fun and entertainment, and between that, is just elevated concrete and more of that.As far as connectivity is concerned, since my folks live in China, it was easy to move around as we had a car at most times, and when we did not have a car, the metro transport always saved the day. Let me tell you their metro deserved a total 5 on 5, with the amount of lines they have and the fact that the metro stations are so beautifully placed outside every relevant place one would want to visit.Download the application called Metro Man right away and you can thank me later. In a city where there was a major language barrier, this app helped me sail through my solo travels to the interior parts several times. Just tell the app, the closest station which is in your area and the name of the station where you want to head and after that let the app work its wonders.The metro is conveniently placed, swift and inexpensive in a rather pricey Shanghai. You can cover a good amount of distance between multiple lines (say about 10 stations – 30 kms) in about 4 Yuan i.e. Rs. 40/-. Now you can thank me!Also, if you have arranged a car from outside Shanghai, you won’t be allowed to travel on their highways (which is pretty much the entire city) from 4pm to 8pm, because they give preference to their local vehicles that time and they don’t want the cars of the outsiders to jam up the expressways. That is a thoughtful move for the locals, isn’t it?They have cabs as well, which start at a basic fare of 8 Yuan (Rs. 80/-), but please avoid taking the red color cabs as from what I heard, they have records of being unnecessarily pricey.Most places have a Metro station but the only issue can be, that the Metros stop working around 10:30pm onward (there’s different time for every line of metro), so watch out before you make those late night plans.
Take your kids on a journey to explore the culturally-textured China, South Korea, and Japan. Watch movies with your kids or go dancing with your partner— the Mariner of the Seas will fill your days and nights with activities. The cruise features children’s programmes, on-board performances and a 3D movie theatre, a fitness centre, a spa and whirlpools, and activities such as rock climbing, skating, wine tasting, and dance classes.Depature: Shanghai.Stopping at: Nagasaki, and Busan.When: Five-night starting June 11, 2017.Cost: US$489 upwards per person.INDIA SPECIAL
Reviving its golden days in the 1930s, Shanghai is grabbing the world’s attention again as the most dynamic metropolis in China. From the jaw-dropping skyscrapers in Lujiazui to numerous cosy cafés in the French Concession, this is where East meets West, traditional meets modern, and the grassroots coexist with the luxurious in harmony. Whether you’re a backpacker or a jet-setter, you can always find what suits you best.One of the most distinct building in the world and the Shanghai skyline, the Oriental Pearl Tower houses many restaurants and observation decks with interesting views over the Huangpu river.
Shanghai is a major and busy city in China:-),and what is most attractive about this place is the beauty of the buildings and technology they use for construction🏢.. It is a must visit country once in a life and the golden mask show and acrobatic show is something u have to see.😍. The people are nice👫. The place is beautiful and the food... Omg food is wired but interesting 😃and the one must try is travel in a bullet train and maglev train.. It covered 1500km from shanghai to Beijing in just 4 hours at 450km/hr... on a whole, it was a truly memorable trip..
Day 3Decently satisfied with covering most of the sightseeing worthy places in Beijing, it was time to travel to Shanghai. I was particularly excited for Shanghai since I had no itinerary as such and it was going to be all impromptu. Also, I was eager for my first bullet train experience, and it did not let me down. Close to 1200kms in 4hr 48mins! Shanghai has the largest metro network in the world and this helped me reach my hotel easily. The thing about Shanghai is that every part of the city seems like the central area. Even though my hotel was a bit off the centre, I could venture out at late night, just to get a feel.Day 4Since I had 3 full days in Shanghai, I did not hurry to see the places I had in mind and instead took time to get the feel of the city. I took the metro to the Xintiandi area. It is also known as the old French concession and it is everything European. Right from the pavements, to the trees, to the restaurants and the people, you'd be forgiven to think that you're in Europe. Quite a few vegetarian and vegan options in this area. Shanghai has official fake markets and one such was the Han City mall. It is a 4 storey mall with several shops, all selling fake and lucrative items. Bargaining can go up to the extent of 70-80%. In an hour, I was done with most of my shopping agenda. Post this, it was time to visit The Bund. It is what defines Shanghai. Although rainy and windy, the view there was something else. Being a vegetarian, the subway outlets were a saviour for me more than once.Day 5It was time to check out of the hotel and move to a hostel. Since it would be my first hostel stay I had planned only 2 nights. Reaching there, I realized it should've been more. Easily the highlight of my trip. I stayed at the Blue Mountain Bund Youth Hostel, the best in Shanghai as per hostel world. After checking in, I moved to the other side of the city across the Huangpu river to get a closer view of the Oriental Pearl TV tower and the other surrounding mighty structures. This area was fancy beyond words. There is also a Super Brand mall which is apt for the location. The only disappointing thing about Shanghai while I was there was the weather. It was rainy and windy. The fog prevented me from going to the observation desk of one of these tall towers (probably a reason to visit again). Staying in a youth hostel gives you an amazing opportunity to talk to other travelers and listen to their stories. Being my first solo trip, it was very exciting to hear about stories from other travelers and make a few friends. The hostel was only a 10 mins walk from The Bund view so I headed there again.Day 6I never got tired of The Bund. Went for a long morning walk on the promenade at The Bund. Near the end was the Yuyuan garden, a marvel of ancient Chinese architecture. A talk with fellow travellers the previous night made me realize that I should see a few places relating to the Chinese culture. Even though Shanghai reflects the modern commercialized China, there are certain parts of the city which speak of Chinese culture. I headed for Qibao, an old water town, well connected with the extensive metro. The irony is that as soon as I got out of the station, there was this huge mall. Probably the ancient Shanghai is losing face. Nevertheless, Qibao was a beauty. Bridges to go on the other side with water flowing below and cafés on either side provided some pleasant viewing. I walked around a bit to soak in the atmosphere. Back from Qibao to the other extreme, the Nanjing road street. Huge malls with luxury brands and buzzing cafés all around, reminiscent of Manhattan. I paused a bit of get some hot chocolate and also catch a breath (tough to get in Shanghai). Before heading out late at night again for one last time in Shanghai, I chilled a bit in the hostel (you could spend hours at the hostel doing nothing).
I had a train back to Shanghai at 7:20 AM. The journey that took about fifteen hours while coming to Beijing was to be covered in five hours. Running at speed of 300 kms/ hour I was back in Shanghai in no time. Took the flight in the evening back to Mumbai.Visa: Do It Yourself!I obtained a single entry visa (Tourist and family visit visa (L-visa)) with three-month validity at cost of INR 3,675 through VFS office acting on behalf of Chinese Embassy in Mumbai. It just took about a day to process the visa as I had applied under express scheme. The Chinese are very particular about minimum bank balance (INR 150K) in your account to be submitted as supporting documents for visa application.AccommodationShanghai Soho International Youth HostelVery conveniently located close to heart of Shanghai near People’s Square and metro network (Xinzha Road Station on Shanghai Metro Line 2). Guests were largely local crowd. Has a very good pub attached to the hostel, a good place to hangout in the nights.Sanlitun Youth Hostel (Wangfujing Hostel)I stayed in Sanlitun area of Beijing which has great options for thriving night life of the city.This trip was originally published on mastmusaphir
I took an early morning Air India flight to Shanghai via Delhi from Mumbai that costing INR23K for a round trip. The flying time was around five and half hours from Delhi meaning I can watch at-least two movies from rich on board entertainment library of Air India. I narrowed down on a Hindi movie Dasvidaniya, where a middle aged man wants to live his ten wishes before he dies of a terminal illness, a story lot like my “bucket list” of visiting all the modern wonders of the world, and Ramona and Beezus, a fascinating tale of highly imaginative young girl living in today’s troubled household of America. By the time I landed in Shanghai it was 8:30 PM. I saw three affordable options to get to heart of the city from airport, the Metro, Maglev and Airport Bus. Being crazy about speed I chose Maglev which can run up to speed of 500 km/hour and would ship you to city in no time. If you show your air ticket you get the one-way ticket for ¥40 (Chinese Yuan) on Maglev that took little over five minutes to get to the city from airport that is 40 kms away. Here was the first example of the big dragon rising story what technological advancement China has achieved! Getting to nearest metro station to my hostel was piece of cake to get to my hostel from there wasn’t! I was told over and again always carry addressees in local language in China if you expect people to give you right direction and I forgot to do so. Now the real task began of finding my hostel in narrow lanes at late night with no one really able to help you. Finally, I asked for directions to a cab driver and guess what he gave me a free ride close to my destination!!!!!!Day 02: Inner PeaceI like the idea of hop-on hop-off buses to take a quick trip across any new city especially mega cities as Shanghai. I spent the first morning on the upper deck of the bus gazing through the city while listening to history and trivial facts on a pre-recorded audio system. By end of hour and half on first route I had fair idea of what are the places I would like to visit and how to get around in the city. Seeing the slow moving traffic being on metro as far as possible seemed the best option. It was lunch time and what better way to have my first meal in China as authentic Shanghainese food. To eat I can walk miles, swim seas, cross deserts but this was just queuing up for forty minutes outside Nanxiang Restaurant close to Yuyuan Garden to get a bite of that world famous steamed dumplings. The menu had good variety of dumplings with different stuffing. Unable to decide what to order I narrowed down to their set menu that had assorted offerings starting with hot Chinese tea. The juicy dumplings just melted in my mouth and the best I ever had, definitely worth all the hype and wait, and what an inner peace I experienced. Post lunch I visited Yuyuan Garden, a typical Chinese garden located in old city of Shanghai. The gardens recreate the gone by era of emperor and empress sipping hot teas or being entertained in those intricately decorated halls enclosed in water bodies were gold fish swam. The globular doors at end of narrow alley ways and curvaceous dragon walls were testimony to architectural genius the Chinese had developed in ancient times. Later in the day it rained with thunder and lightening and it was as good as being in my home city of Mumbai. Towards evening I took second route on my hope on hop off bus that goes to Pudong district of Shanghai. Pudong is home to three tallest buildings in China of Shanghai World Financial Center, Oriental Pearl Tower and Jin Mao Tower. If you love urban architecture this area would be real treat to your eyes. Had dinner at a 100% vegetarian place, truly amused to find such restaurant, with all the creepy stories I had read about what Chinese eat. Ended my day with spending sometime at pub in my hostel.Day 03: On Cloud 9, literally!
The ferry was a fun experience and driving into Shanghai was relatively nice, with well paved and divided roads. Despite the taxi drivers being quite obnoxious, overall the drivers in Shanghai seem to be alright. Now, with the first half of the driving over it was time to be a tourist. We took a train to visit Nanjing and Suzhou and spent a day or two in Shanghai before hitting the road again.
Labeled as Paris of the East, the Whore of the Orient, and haven of opium dens, this city has been a rich tapestry woven of gamblers, adventurers, gangsters, and sailors alongside missionaries trying to save their wicked souls. A vigorous and energetic international metropolis, people from all over the world come here to enjoy its special atmosphere.
We marveled at the back street night markets, the new Shanghai Museum, and the mind-blowing contortions of the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe on stage at the classic Lyceum Theatre. Just picture five motorcycles racing around at high-speed, inside a 20 foot diameter steel cage sphere, without crashing. We were continually amazed by the diversity that makes China a destination like no other.