Part 1- How to get around in Shanghai Free and Easy

Most populous city in the world – Shanghai

I have been to China more than 10 times but Shanghai was my first trip! Hearing the word most populous made me scare.  I am more of a country person.

It only took us 4.5 hours to reach Shanghai.  The flight served a mini ice-cream for dessert.

I reached Shanghai at around 3 pm and the immigration was full with visitors coming from different part of the world.  It took slightly less than 1 hour to clear the custom.

Shanghai is a big city with 24 million of population, when the taxi was approaching the city area, it was pack with cars, big city syndrome.

Taxi in Shanghai

I noticed taxi driver is protected under a plastic guard shield.  All taxi should run in meter.  Receipt is also automatically offered to me.  In the city there is a initial meter charge of 14 RMB for most 3 km drives (including the fare surcharge). The fare from the airport to Shanghai should be around RMB 150 -180.  You can take the train but with big luggage, don’t bother to do that.

Circular Pedestrian Bridge in Lujiazui, Shanghai

The Circular Pedestrian Bridge is an amazing sight in Shanghai.

This large circular pedestrian overpass provides access to the Pearl Oriental Tower, also connecting shopping malls, cafes, restaurants, train stations and office building.  It took me quite a while to walk  one round.

I had a stroll at the walkway of the bridge and enjoy the views of the city.

View of Oriental Pearl Tower from the Circular Pedestrian Bridge

The tower features 11 spheres, big and small but I only spotted one small and two big spheres!  The unique architectural design of Oriental Pearl Tower makes it one of the most attractive places.  I have to take a picture with the Oriental Pearl Tower in the Circular Pedestrian Bridge.

Disney store in Lujiazui

If you are a fan of Disney, there is a Disney store below the Circular Pedestrian Bridge.

Purchase ticket online for : Shanghai Disneyland (1 Day Admission/2 Day Admission)

The Circular Pedestrian Bridge also link to many of the restaurants.  I had my dinner at one of the restaurant there.

Oriental Pearl Tower at night

This is one of the iconic landmark in Shanghai, this is also the TV Tower in Shanghai.

At night the structure is illuminated to great dramatic effect.  This tower is brightly lit in different LED sequences at night.

Night view from Lujiazui/陆家嘴, Shanghai

Shanghai Metro

There are a total of 14 lines in operation and ranks second in the world by annual ridership after the Beijing Subway.  This is the most accessible form of transport in Shanghai.  The ticket machine is labeled in English and Chinese and most machines used coins.  Few machines do accept paper note.

I bought a 3 Day rail which allows me to travel the 14 lines for the duration of 3 days unlimited.  It cost me RMB 45.  This pass can also be kept as a souvenirs after use because it will not be collected back.  You have to buy the 3 days rail from the ticketing counter, not from the machine.

You can see the people queue up to get in the train, people in Shanghai is very cultured and not pushing around.  If you see someone who is trying to rushed in without queue up, they are probably outsiders, not from the big city of Shanghai.

I am heading to Century Avenue where my hotel is for the 3 nights stay in Shanghai.

Dinner

Dinner was Xiao Long Bau, beef hot pot and roast duck.  I find the food is quite salty in Shanghai.

A must try cuisine in Shanghai – Xiaolongbao

Xiaolongbao is the steamed bun, originally from Jiangnan region.  It was called xiaolong – mean small bamboo steaming basket.  The buns tasted awesome after dipping in Zhenjiang vinegar with ginger slivers

Hongta Hotel

This hotel is very near the Pearl Oriental Tower, it is situated in Lujiazui.  The nearest metro station – Century Avenue is about 10 mins walk.

I find most people stayed here are on business.  The breakfast served wasn’t that great but quite satisfying.  Everyone queue for their food and speaks softly.   Half of the the guests were foreigners and half were mainland local Chinese.

China Green Hotel

The Hongta Hotel is a recognized as Green Hotel in China.  Green Hotel is the Eco-friendly lodging place. This hotel is also part of the SPG family/ Starwood Preferred Guest for frequent travellers.  The hotel room is quite spacious with a big working table for the laptops.

This is the main lobby once you entered Hongta Hotel.  Staffs speak fluent English.

There is a heated indoor pool and a well-equipped gym.  This hotel is quite clean and well maintained.

Gym at Hotel

The view from the hotel room showing housing in Shanghai.  It is quite crowded, after all 24 million people stayed in this city.

Nearest Metro station – Century Avenue

10 mins walk early in the morning to the nearest station from Hongta Hotel, Century Avenue Metro Station.  There were not many cars on the streets yet.

Spotted a Three Wheel Motorbike on the road, not many nowadays in Shanghai.  Most people travel with Metro or Bus or Taxi.

Huang Pu River

Huang Pu River is the largest river in Shanghai.  It is more attractive to look at when the sky turn dark at night.  There is a cruise along the Huang Pu River.  I have tried the Guang Zhou River Cruise so I was not eager to try the Huang Pu River Cruise in Shanghai.  It is spectacular to see the neon colors flashing everywhere.  Don’t miss the Huang Pu River Cruise, the skyline at night is unbelievable stunning.

Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai – The Clam Shell or Hamburger

It is formerly known as Shanghai World Expo Cultural Center/上海世博会文化中心 during the 2010 Shanghai Expo.

Mercedes Benz took over the Arena for 10 years lease, I saw a similar arena  in Berlin as well.  Now it is a indoor stadium to host for big concerts and live music band, facilitate 18000 guests.


Expo Shanghai

Most pavilions were temporary structures and dismantled after the end of the Expo.  There are only few remains and I am not sure when they will get dismantle.

China Pavilion

The China Pavilion is still there and was converted into a museum after 2010 Shanghai Expo.  It is now considered one of the largest museum in Asia for China Art.  Do you find the architecture look like a Chinese crown?

Expo Axis -world’s largest membrane construction

Behind me was the Expo Axis, this will not be dismantle and will remain as it is. Expo Axis is the largest and most significant building on the site beside the China Pavilion.  The Expo Axis is also considered the landmark in the Expo Shanghai 2010.

It looks more stunning at night when there is light up.  I know it does not look so impressive in the picture below.

Shanghai Lupu Bridge

Shanghai Lupu Bridge – this bridge look like Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia. This bridge has 6 lanes of traffic and its main body is arc-shaped, like a rainbow flying across the Huangpu River.  This bridge is not only serve to connect the Huang Pu and Pudong Districts but also serves as a great sightseeing places.  Visitors can climb up the top and have a good view of the Huang Pu River and the whole Shanghai city!

Ferry in Shanghai

I took a ferry to the Bund/外滩 to avoid traffic jam in the tunnel as it was during peak hour in the evening.  The  sky is still not dark yet so there is not much of flashing lights captured.  It only took me minutes to cross the river to the Bund.  If I were to take taxi, it could easily cost me more than 45 mins to reach the Bund.  The cost of the ferry is only RMB 2.

Part 1 – Summary

  • Taxi in Shanghai
  • Circular Pedestrian Bridge in Lujiazui, Shanghai
  • Disney store in Lujiazui
  • Night View of Oriental Pearl Tower
  • Night view from Lujiazui
  • Shanghai Metro
  • A must try cuisine in Shanghai – Xiaolongbao
  • Hongta Hotel – SPG Group
  • Huang Pu River
  • China Pavilion in Expo
  • Expo Axis -world’s largest membrane construction
  • Shanghai Lupu Bridge
  • Shanghai Ferry

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