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Exploring Shanghai

6281 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  hkskyline
Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Shanghai

SHANGHAI, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Glamorous, decadent and unashamedly brash, China's financial capital is a potent symbol of the country's growing wealth and global prowess.

Shanghai splurged billions of dollars on the World Expo, but for visitors, the city boasts other attractions such as stunning heritage architecture, tantalising dining options and a pulsating, wild nightlife.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the get the most out of this proudly over-the-top city.


6 p.m. - Start Shanghai in style by heading straight for the Bund, the city's historic waterfront. Cocktails at Sir Elly's, the Peninsula hotel's rooftop bar, offers stunning views of the murky Huangpu River, and is the ideal way to soak up the city's colonial heritage when Shanghai was known as the Paris of the East -- and the ***** of the Orient for its debauched ways. ( 8 p.m. - Take a 10-minute stroll down the Bund to Lost Heaven, a leafy bamboo Yunnan eatery, where dishes are rooted in the traditions of Yunnan, Tibet, Myanmar and Thailand. The steamed cod in banana leaf is delicious, and the vegetarian options are plenty. (

10.30 p.m. - With a floor-to-ceiling 360 degree glass view of Shanghai's skyline and a 17 metre-(56 ft) long shark tank, M1nt club is a must for visitors who want to see and be seen.

Sip on exotic cocktails like a cucumber and wasabi martini and admire some of Shanghai's most beautiful people, of whom there are no shortage. (


9 a.m. - Breakfast calls for some of Shanghai's best dumplings at hole-in-the-wall Jia Jia Tang Bao, located near bustling People's Square. The earlier you get there, the better, as their trademark xiaolongbao, or steamed dumplings, sell out quickly.

10 a.m. - Head over to the Urban Planning Exhibition Centre, a six story building, situated on People's Square. Boring? Far from it. This is the city fathers' master vision for Shanghai, complete with a huge model plan laid out on the floor. (

11 a.m. - Soak up more culture at the Shanghai Museum. Home to 11 state-of-the-art galleries in a spacious, aesthetically beautiful layout, it is one of the country's most modern museums.

1 p.m. - Lunch at Xintiandi, which perhaps more than anywhere else in Shanghai encapsulates the clash between market economics and supposedly socialist politics, with its boutiques and site of the Communist Party's first congress in China.

Dine outdoors at upscale restaurant Steam, where you can share dim sum and dishes like steamed lamb with scallions and garlic.

Even more upmarket is the Chinese-European fusion of T8. (

3 p.m. - Get a sense of Shanghai's burgeoning contemporary art scene at Moganshan Road, an area that has been transformed from decrepit warehouses and factories into a quirky hub for minimalist art galleries and cute cafes. Check out Bandu Music, a cafe that sells a wide selection of Chinese folk CDs and hosts live traditional performances.

7 p.m. - When the Bund gets passe check out the Cool Docks, a newly developed area on the site of the city's old historic shipyard. Stroll around the brightly lit fountains and red brick courtyard, which boast an eclectic mix of new bars and restaurants.

7.30 p.m. - Dine at Stillers, a modern European restaurant and cooking school situated on the outskirts of the Cool Docks area. Run by Chef Stefan Stiller, the menu changes on a regular basis with offerings such as Black Truffle Tortellini and Duck Confit. The outdoor patio offers a calming view of Pudong's glitzy skyscrapers. (

10.30 p.m. - Live jazz and cocktails at 100 Century Avenue, the Park Hyatt's spectacular 93rd-floor bar, is a compelling reason for visitors to venture over the river to the Pudong financial district. ( es/index.jsp#16825388)


10 a.m. - Tucked away off the Bund is Suzhou Cobblers, a fabulous little boutique of the kind Shanghai does so well, specialising in hand-sewn slippers and gorgeous felt and silk bags. (

11 a.m. - Lazy brunch at Casa 13, a Mediterranean restaurant located inside Tianzifang. To walk off the food, explore the plethora of traditional old lanes that have been transformed into boutique stores, galleries and laid back cafes. (

3 p.m. - A short taxi ride away is the city's historic French concession, where locals and expats dwell in beautifully preserved European style houses. Watch the elderly Shanghainese ride their bicycles down the tree lined streets, while expat tai tai's, ladies of leisure, lounge at coffee bars.

6 p.m. - A relaxing dinner at Mesa, a contemporary Australian restaurant, where you can dine on their outdoor terrace and sample dishes such as rare seared tuna tataki. (

9 p.m. - For the fastest and most exciting way to Shanghai's Pudong international airport, take a ride on the Maglev. Unfortunately the magnetic levitation railway doesn't start from the city centre but the journey time is a mere 8 minutes, with speeds reaching up to 430 kph, so hang on to your chopsticks.

Top tips for travellers:

- The standard of English is poor. Have your destination written down in Chinese, and get a local SIM card for your phone.

- Shanghai's extensive and modern subway system is a god-send. Use it where possible to avoid the terrible traffic.

- Pick up a copy of free listings magazines in English, like Time Out Shanghai or That's Shanghai, at restaurants and bars around town.
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Tourism surges 38 percent for week
8 October 2010
Shanghai Daily

WITH the World Expo drawing them in, more than 8 million tourists from both home and abroad swarmed into Shanghai this National Day holiday, 38 percent more visitors than last year over the same period, local tourism authorities said yesterday.

The brisk travel business generated revenue of 6 billion yuan (US$8.9 million), a 30 percent increase over last year, the Shanghai Tourism Administration said.

The Expo was the hottest city destination during the "golden week." The Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center said half of their customers during the holiday were heading for the Expo site.

However, the tourism administration also received more than 140 complaints during the holiday, most of them targeting "online travel agencies."

"Some travel service companies are not legal or qualified to organize tour groups, and tourists may easily cheated," said Li Ping, an administration official. "We urge tourists not to believe the exaggerated advertisements of such black companies."
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Shanghai is indeed a place with perfect blend of rich culture and tradition along with the state of art technology. I think that it would be a very good thing to have the best of the results, thus it is quite likely that you will fall in love with the city. On top of that the beauty of the city with the astounding and splendid architecture is indeed a very good thing that would just provide some additional reasons.
I went to Shanghai last week of September. Enjoyed the Trip

Here is a link to my Blog Entries about Shanghai. Places-China(Shanghai)
Expo over, Shanghai in deal for Disney theme park
Shanghai signs deal for Disney theme park that is expected to cost $3.6 billion

Friday November 5, 2010

SHANGHAI (AP) -- Just days after Shanghai wrapped up its role as host to the World Expo, China's commercial capital is setting its sights on another big tourism draw, a long-awaited Disney theme park.

Walt Disney Co. and the city government agreed Friday on plans for a joint venture to manage the project, expected to cover 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles) out of a total 20 square kilometers (nearly 8 square miles) for the entire resort, the city government said Friday in a statement.

The cost is reportedly estimated at 25 billion yuan ($3.6 billion).

Plans call for the theme park to be a "strong international tourism resort," with a pleasant, low-carbon environment, the city said. A joint venture between local companies and Disney will be responsible for construction, management and operation of the Disneyland theme park, it said without giving any details about ownership or investment.

Some residents were long ago moved off farmland in Chuansha, a part of Pudong district near the city's main international airport, to make way for the park.

Disney issued a statement confirming its discussions with the Shanghai government.

"We can confirm the statement from the Shanghai government that we have taken another step forward in the approval process," it said.

But the company said it was still awaiting final approval of the joint venture by the central government and completion of necessary procedures.

"We will not have any further comment at this time," it said.

The six-month-long World Expo, which ended Sunday, drew a record 72 million visitors, mostly Chinese tourists. That event was the culmination of a construction frenzy that gave the city of more than 20 million nearly a dozen new subway lines, new highways, airport upgrades and other modern facilities.

With the Disneyland project due to start, the city appears likely to resume its building boom.

The agreement Friday came exactly a year after China's national planning agency approved the plans for the park -- a major step toward getting the project started.

The park will give Shanghai, the mainland's main financial and commercial center, a new showcase. While the city is one of China's most modern and affluent, it has relatively few big historic landmarks compared with ancient capitals like Beijing and Xi'an.

Disney has said the Shanghai resort will include a "Magic Kingdom-style theme park with characteristics tailored to the Shanghai region."

Disney has been expanding its presence in mainland China after opening a theme park in Hong Kong in 2005. That venue, which has suffered from disappointing attendance, is in the midst of an expansion as it maneuvers to compete with the future theme park in Shanghai.

Associated Press researcher Ji Chen contributed to this report.
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When I followed the last summer Olympics I got the impression that China wanted to sell Beijing as their unequaled centrepiece to the world . Despite the governing dominance of Beijing it appears that they must concede that Shanghai is (or will become) the city most symbolic of China.
huge city center, small surburb(relatively).
When I followed the last summer Olympics I got the impression that China wanted to sell Beijing as their unequaled centrepiece to the world . Despite the governing dominance of Beijing it appears that they must concede that Shanghai is (or will become) the city most symbolic of China.
No doubt that Shanghai is one of the showcase cities in mainland China. But I think it is pretty hard to find a city symbolizing China the most. A better way to look at Chinese cities is to check out centerpieces of regional areas of distinct cultures and traditions, i.e., the major cities such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen in the pearl river delta in Southern China, Shanghai in the Yangtze river delta in Eastern China, Tianjin in the Bohai bay area in Northern China, and Chongqing in central/western China. Although these cities may have similar modern look because of the skyscrapers, they are quite different from each other, for instance they each have own dialects that cannot be understood by other Chinese (except Tianjin).

One of these cities worth special mentioning is Guangzhou. This city has undergone serious urban development at a fast pace(sounds like cliche since this can be applied to many Chinese cities), and it recently had a 'face-lift' for Asian Games opening next week in addition to the already construction boom. See these threads (1, 2, 3), and you will realize it is not much behind Shanghai or Beijing (if not already on the same level in some areas).

Sorry hkskyline, I am not intended to derail your thread:D great thread as always! looking forward to seeing more of your pictures.
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China is one of my dreams and so as Shanghai :)
Write also about the Historical part of the citiy (World War II)
But yes I wish I could be there :banana:
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nice thread....
Local tourism reaps Expo rewards
3 November 2010
Shanghai Daily

THE World Expo Shanghai is over so now is the time to look at what benefits it has brought. One obvious winner from its Expo presence is the Hangzhou tourism industry, as Xu Wenwen discovers.

When Zhang Jianting, vice mayor of Hangzhou and director of the Hangzhou Case Pavilion, turned off the power at his pavilion at the end of the World Expo Shanghai, the pavilion's work was done.

Receiving 1.45 million visitors and distributing 120,000 Hangzhou tourism coupon books during 184 days was the pavilion's main achievements.

So what exactly did the 184-day-long gala bring Hangzhou, a city 200 kilometers from Shanghai?

"Popularity and reputation!" Wang Xinzhang, deputy director of Hangzhou Tourism Commission, gave as his answer.

It was estimated that more than one-third of Expo visitors travelled to nearby cities, and in a survey conducted by the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, Hangzhou, among all the cities in the Yangtze River Delta region, was the first choice for visitors.

"Our hotel's occupancy rate has been up to 85 percent since May," said Lu Yuan, operations manager of Elan Inn Hangzhou, a budget hotel. The boom even extended to the latter part of October, when "the occupancy rate even reached full house during weekdays."

Higher-end hotels also benefit from the army of Expo visitors.

Last month, the World Expo 2010 forum on Harmonious Cities and Livable Life opened in the Dragon Hotel Hangzhou, with almost 700 guests from nearly 70 countries and regions attending.

"The large-scale forum has much promoted the hotel brand," said Antonia Pao, director of communication of the Dragon Hotel Hangzhou.

"During the Expo, many Shanghai companies came to Hangzhou to hold conferences, greatly facilitating Hangzhou's hotel conference and exhibition industry," she added.

As for the latest figures, from January to September this year, international visitors spent an average of 3.13 days at Hangzhou per capita, 0.13 days higher than the same period last year.

China Travel Service Zhejiang, the designated travel agency authorized to sell Expo tickets, sold 860,000 tickets in the past six months.

"The World Expo brought us unprecedented opportunities," said Chen Anxin, marketing supervisor of China Travel Service Zhejiang. "It has influenced Hangzhou and even east China's tourism."

The influence has been more than selling Expo tickets, said Chen. Because the Expo boosted tourism in east China, the agency has cooperated with many travel agencies outside of Yangtze River Delta, and therefore raised its popularity.

Chen suggested that travel agencies design new tour routes in the post-Expo period.

Besides designated agencies, others have found increased business opportunities as well.

Hangzhou International Travel Agency has taken 60,000 visitors to the Expo, and "the domestic travel agencies experienced a half-year-long boom season," said Han Jun, operations supervisor of the agency.

Han said the Expo business was so good that at the opening of the event, some agencies had to decline customers because they weren't able to cope with the number of tourists since tour guides, cars and hotels in Shanghai were in short supply.

But even now the Expo is over, its influence still carries on.

At Hangzhou's most well-known West Lake, tourist boats depart every 20 minutes to carry tourists around the lake.

However, at the beginning of the Expo, the boats departed every 40 minutes. The schedule has been changed since there were so many travellers, many of whom held Hangzhou tourism coupons which allow 20 yuan (US$2.99) off the price of the boat ticket.

According to the West Lake Scenic Spot Management Committee, from June to September, the number of tourists to Linyin Temple and Yuefei Temple increased 57 percent and 44 percent against the same period last year.

The boom has continued even after October's golden week, usually the busiest period for the Chinese tourism market.

Last month, the Songcheng Theme Park that showcases Song Dynasty (960-1279) culture received 20,000 visitors everyday, as much as they received in the golden week, and the figure is more than 60 percent higher than the same period last year.

Though the grand event is over in Shanghai, Hangzhou is going to hold its own gala, the three-month-long Second World Leisure Expo next year. Last month, some agreements were signed in preparation for the event.
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Travel by cruise liners set for robust growth
26 January 2011
Copyright 2011 China Daily Information Company. All Rights Reserved.

The number of visits by cruise liners to Shanghai this year is expected to maintain the historic level reached in 2010 that was driven by Expo 2010 Shanghai, underscoring the rapid development of the city's cruise liner industry.

According to statistics from the Pujiang Frontier Inspection Station, which inspects inbound and outbound liners, cruise liners will make about 200 visits to Shanghai this year, with an "overwhelming majority" by cross-border liners.

Zhang Jin, who works at the cruise department of SAL travel agency, said she has observed a gradual increase in the number of visitors since SAL introduced the cruise business eight years ago. "Last year was a surge," said Zhang. "Costa had an extra cruise traveling to Shanghai and that's why we have more than doubled the visitor numbers from 1,700 in 2009 to 3,800 in 2010," she said.

The station attributes the surge in 2010 to the Expo, which ended on Oct 31. The event brought 4.25 million foreign visitors to the city.

In 2010, cross-border cruise liners docked 177 times in the city, up 48 percent year-on-year, bringing approximately 240,000 visitors, nearly double the figure in 2009, the station said.

"The fact that the number this year did not drop sharply even after the Expo wrapped up means the city's cruise line industry is developing steadily and the demand for cruise tourism is catching on among the city's rich," said Lu Jun, an executive official with Pujiang Inspection Station.

"In fact, the developing cruise liner industry is part of the city's plan to become an international shipping center by 2020. And the industry's rapid development is a result of various government policies aimed at promoting it," Lu said.

Not only Shanghai, but the whole country's cruise sector witnessed robust growth last year, with the mainland receiving 223 international cruise ships in 2010, the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association (CCYIA) said on Jan 25.

The figure, a year-on-year rise of 42.9 percent, shows that China has become a key player in Asia's cruise sector, said Zheng Weihang, secretary-general of CCYIA, the cruise industry watchdog.

In 2010, a total of 790,000 mainland tourists traveled abroad via cruises, a rise of 20.1 percent, and 462,000 international tourists visited China on cruises, CCYIA figures show.

However, the cruise market is dominated by international brands such as the United States-based Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises and the Italian-based Costa Cruises, according to Zhang Jin from the SAL travel agency.

"As taking a cruise is not really a localized leisure industry and lots of Chinese aren't really familiar with that way of traveling in a luxurious boat, a large percentage of our passenger source actually comes from regular customer recommendations," said Zhang.

"It's possible that we will build our own cruise liners and start as soon as we know more about the operating model ," she said.

At the same time, the port of Shanghai is addressing infrastructure concerns and the local government is offering help. The port currently holds 80,000-gross-ton cruise ships and manages 1 million passengers a day.

Shanghai's government rolled out a series of preferential policies, including those targeting the cruise liner industry, to upgrade the shipping capacity after the city set the goal in 2009 of becoming an international shipping center by 2020.

In January 2010, Ying Mingyong, vice-head of Hongkou district, the cruise ship hub in Shanghai, said that the district has worked out a spectrum of policies, such as loans and land subsidies and operating tax exemption, to lure more international cruise liners.

In the draft of its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), the city's economic development guideline for the next five years, Shanghai vowed to make two "historical breakthroughs" in its cruise line industry. It vowed to master the technology of independently building luxury cruise liners and to register the first local cruise line company within the next five years.

By 2016, the number of visits to the city by cross-border cruise liners will reach 500, bringing 1 to 1.2 million visitors, the plan said, while the cruise liner industry will contribute 15 to 20 billion yuan ($2.3 billion-$3 billion) to the city's economy.
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