I hope everyone is doing well, I have been working hard on my blog and social media outlets trying to make many strong connections. This city mini guide is hopefully the first of many guest posts that I will have here on my blog. This guest post is done by the lovely Julie Cao.
Julie is Originally from China but currently lives in Toronto. She is an avid traveler and has lived in several places all over the world.
She is chronicling her journeys at alwaysonthewaytravel.com.
Article Break Down
- Shanghai Overview
- How To Get Around The City
- Quick Facts
- My Recommendations
I have lived in Shanghai for two years, which provides me ample opportunities to explore and get to know the city. Although I do not speak fluent Shanghainese like an individual born and raised in Shanghai, I have always been attracted to its multiculturalism, the eclectic blend of the East and the West, the friendliness of locals, and its food scene. I would not hesitate to visit Shanghai again upon returning to China.
Shanghai is a directly controlled municipality in Mainland China, and it serves as an economic, financial, and international trade hub. It is a modernized city mixed with traditional culture, a fast-paced lifestyle, and stunning urban landscapes. People from all over the world flock to Shanghai to travel, work, start foreign investments, and establish families. Shanghai consists of 15 districts and the city is split by the Huangpu River. Areas located along the west bank of Huangpu are called Puxi, while the east ones are called Pudong. The former is the city’s historical center and the latter is a financial district featuring skyscrapers and foreign enterprises. Moreover, if you visit French Concession, at the North section of the Xuhui District, you will sense a strong European flair that dates back to 1849 when the area was under the reign of the French, until 1946, when this area was returned to the Chinese government.
How to get around the city
Shanghai has an extensive public transport system including subway, shuttle buses, city buses and taxis. Metro are the fastest ways to get you from point A to point B. All subways are air-conditioned, clean, and have both Chinese and English announcements. Travel by bus is cheaper, as the fare can reach as low as 1 Chinese Yuan, but buses can be very packed at the rush hour. For those who are able to speak and read in Chinese, buses is a viable option. Taking a taxi is another way to interact with Shanghainese and get to know the culture. Most taxi drivers prefer to speak Chinese, so be sure to have your address written down in Chinese characters for drivers to read. If you arrive at the Pudong International Airport, you can choose to take the airport shuttle to the city center. For visitors who want to sense the advanced development of the public transport, take the Maglev; its speed peaks at 432km/hour.
Directly controlled municipality in Mainland, China
Population: 22,315,4749 (2016 census)
Land area: 2,248 square-miles
Currency: Chinese Yuan (Renminbi)
Language: Mandarin and Shanghainese
My recommendations for things to do in Shanghai
Qibao Ancient Town – An old water town featuring restaurants, traditional shops, tea houses, a pavilion, and little canals. The Qibao Old Street is filled with budget-friendly restaurants and food vendors selling traditional Chinese food, including Tang Tuan, soup dumpling, stinky tofu, lamb, and pig trotters.
Nong Tang (old alleyways) – Take a walk in the old alleyways that showcase the old Shanghai charm and the traditional way of life. Here, women shop with their pajamas, shopkeepers keep their radios turned on, family members dry clothes and quilts on their balconies, and children park their bikes on side streets. Beyond people-watching, Nong Tang features coffee shops, Shanghai soup dumpling restaurants, and new wine bars.
The Bund – This is an iconic place in Shanghai. It has a famous waterfront that offers a panoramic view of the British Concession and Pudong Area. This place is particularly charming at night with the illumination of various buildings in different styles on both sides.
South Yunnan Road – This is a food street featuring scrumptious Chinese dishes, such as soup dumplings, roast duck, baby lobsters, and chicken congee. The food is dirt cheap and visitors can spend a full-day on South Yunnan Road just to tantalize their taste buds.
Shanghai Circus World – Inside a geodesic dome, performers display their extreme talents by showcasing one of the most magnificent acrobatic acts in this world, including trapeze acts and motorcycle stunt.
Marriage Market at People’s Square – Marriage market is the best location to have an understanding of the marriage culture and the tight-knit traditions of Chinese family. There, parents get together to seek a perfect spouse for their offspring. Attendees do not need to make any reservations, just get dressed casually, bring your resume, and be prepared to answer questions pertaining to your education, profession, salary, and housing.
There are several additional interesting sites to explore in Shanghai. Some popular attractions have been left out so you can explore the city less – traveled and get to know more of Shanghai’s culture.
– Thank you so much, Julie, I thank that was an excellent City Guide.
Are you planning a trip to Shanghai?
Have you already been?
What would you add to the recommendations to make it a truly memorable trip to Shanghai?