Shanghai trip suggestions

Discussion in 'Asia' started by thegrailer, Mar 28, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    I saw the Shanghai photo thread and my goal is to add to it after my trip. Thus, I need suggestions from the crowd. I'll be quartered at the Park Hyatt [freebie ;)] and will have 2+ days on the ground. So far I have the Maglev, cart food [Dangerous/unhealthy? I've lived through eating/drinking some dodgy stuff in other places] and tall buildings sort of planned. What should I not miss in my limited time?

    Cheers -
     
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  2. taiwaned
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    taiwaned Silver Member

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    The Bund is a must, People's Square of course.
    If you want a nice view, the Oriential Pearl (TV Tower) is pretty good.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    You can take a cruise in the evening along the river, including the Bund, but IIRC the boats do not leave from the Bund area.

    If you're staying in a very high hotel, you can skip the ride to the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower and just enjoy the view from your room/lounge.

    In the basement of the Oriental Pearl Tower, there's a touristic museum about the history of Shanghai, which provides a good introduction. There's also something similar in the basement of one of the buildings near People's Park. The art and archaeology museum in People's Park is world class, but I liked the art museum and modern art museum near Le Grand Meridian Hotel better because they displayed a unique collection of contemporary Chinese art.

    Don't miss a stroll and maybe a meal in the old French Concession neighborhood.

    The Shanghai Expo grounds and some of the remaining pavilions might be open. In particular, the China and China provinces ones were expected to stay permanently. Go if there aren't lines. Otherwise, you might enjoy the architecture in the Expo area.
     
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  4. jpruzins
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    jpruzins Silver Member

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    Be careful with cart food - sometimes doesn't sit well with westerners. I noticed that popular street food also includes corn on the cob and sweet potatoes, which might be safer. Don't drink the water.
    Go to Yu Gardens (bargain for everything) & eat the dumplings there (it'll be the place with the long line). There was a place near by our hotel (Holiday Inn Vista) that had fried dumplings -- Yang's Friend Dumplings -- different b/c most dumplings we ate were steamed.
    I did a 1hr. night cruise of the Bund - beautiful. You can see the contrast between old Shanghai and new Shanghai.
    Also, pricey, but pretty neat- go up to 100th floor of WFC. Aquarium is also located nearby (next to Pearl Tower) - one of the nicest aquariums I've been too. They have a penguin and sea lion exhibit and several underwater tunnels.
    My boyfriend and I ate a 'M' - it is not chinese cuisine at all - its also priced much higher than a typical chinese restaurant, but the food was absolutely excellent. It also has a beautiful view of the bund. www.m-onthebund.com/You will need a reservation - it was busy on a Monday evening.
    My tour group also did a day trip to Sizhou - Venice of the East - not worth it. Run down and dirty.
    Have a good time,
    Jessica
     
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  5. joanek
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    joanek Silver Member

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    I spent a fascinating hour or so at the Jewish Refugee Museum-- and also at the history museum mentioned above. They're not too far away from each other. take a Sunday stroll through the People's Park and check out all the matchmaking parents trying to marry off their children!
     
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  6. MSPeconomist
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    You'll notice how virtually every nuclear Chinese family you see will have exactly one child. It took me a while at first to figure out what seemed strange about the families in the park and on the street.

    The matchmaking is a concern because of the demographic imbalance in the Chinese population: there are many more boys than girls, so that many young men will have no realistic hope of ever marrying and having children themselves to continue their family's line.
     
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  7. savydog
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    savydog Gold Member

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    Pay the little bit extra to go inside Hu Gardens, the crowds outside do not want to pay so it is quite a good break after shopping in the Bazzar. I had fun in the French concession, street food kicked in I think about 4 pm with some pork buns and later more grilled fare, I had the beef cheek and later some hot flat bread that was covered in sesame seeds.

    The bund does have to be done at night and during the day so plan a couple of visits there. The pearl tower and that area gets you on the opposite side of the river. The main shopping area at night has a lot of people trying to sell you watches dvd's and such. They will come from across the crowd to annoy you. Best not to say anything, even no seems to make them think they have got your attention.

    I went during the expo but had no hope of seeing the china pavillion. Got there one day, before the gates opened and the passes had allready been allocated for the day, maybe to bus tours, I didn't really understand. 4 days for zip, good news as stated above it will now be a permanent attraction and from what I read and heard while there it is worth seeing.

    My brother is a train driver and he enjoyed my footage of the MagLev train getting to431kph. I hope you have a lot of fun and of course look forward to those pictures :)
     
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  8. THREEA4ME
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    THREEA4ME Silver Member

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    Questions:

    1) Any great night life work exploring for two single guys that is safe?

    2) Any great museums?

    3) Any cool walking tours?

    4) Anyone have any experience with the Arrivals Lounge (flying in on AA in biz) and also best One World lounge to hit on the way out?
     
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  9. MSPeconomist
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    1) the Bund (bars and restaurants in 3 on the Bund, etc., there's also a contemporary art gallery that's open late) and Xiandu, you might like the bar at top of Park Hyatt in Pudong for views.
    2) I like the art museum and the contemporary art museum, also the history one in the basement of a building near people's park and the touristy history place in the bottom of Oriental Pearl Tower.
     
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  10. joanek
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    joanek Silver Member

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    I listed a couple of great museums in my post up thread...
     
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  11. LXofSweden
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    LXofSweden Silver Member

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    The Best view of Shanghai is by far from Vue Bar at Hyatt on the Bund: http://www.shanghai.bund.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp?null

    Nowadays they charge a cover fee of CNY100 (USD15) which comes with a drink. Well worth it.

    Shanghai is filled with magical places and it is difficult to discover them all unless you have someone who lives here to take you around. A good starting point, however, is to check out www.smartshanghai.com. This site is a great resource with contents ranging from all event that are on in the city, to nightlife & dining, to whatever.

    I personally would advise you to spend as much time outside of Pudong (that's the well-developed part east side of the river) as possible during your stay. There's nothing there but fancy buildings.
     
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  12. LXofSweden
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    LXofSweden Silver Member

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    The most exclusive clubs and restaurants are at the Bund. Bund No. 18 hosts Bar Rouge (mostly French go there), Lounge 18 and Mr. and Mrs. Bund (restaurant/bar) which all are high class places. Mint (http://www.m1ntglobal.com/club-shanghai) is the most famous club in the city and has a 360 degree view from the top of the building. You might need to get on the list to get in (you just call them and ask them to put you on the list).

    The best night life atmosphere, however, is by far in the French Concession. Cool bars and clubs are scattered here and there across this place.
     
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  13. savydog
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    savydog Gold Member

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    I noticed some cool jazz clubs as I was walking along in the afternoon, probably should have had long pants on and better shoes and I could have stayed there the evening as well :)
     
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  14. LXofSweden
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    LXofSweden Silver Member

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    Yes! :) Shanghai has got some great jazz clubs!

    - JZ Club on Fuxing Road near Yongfu Road.
    - House of Blues and Jazz on Fuzhou Road near Sichuan Middle Road.
    - The jazz bar at Peace Hotel with a genuine 1920s atmosphere on Nanjing Road East near the Bund.
     
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  15. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    Awesome info.
    I have been looking at what everyone has listed.
    1. I'll be careful with the cart food
    2. Will walk through the French concession - any info on Tara 57 for a few drinks?
    3. The Bund during the day and night.

    I've also found that most places have 2-4-1 drink deals - yea.

    A few follow up questions
    1. Maglev to metro to Park Hyatt area - any idea on the trip time?
    2. I want to assume that ATM's are readily available but I hate assuming - are they? Other currency issues that I need to know about?
    3. How late does the metro run? I know I can look it up but in other cities, internet info has been incorrect [it sucks making plans based on a certain metro closing time only to find out that your night is cut off by x hours]

    Are there dress codes for a lot of places? I travel carry-on only meaning one set of shoes [sneakers], limited changes of casual clothing, etc. I guess I can pack an additional shirt or pair of pants but would like to avoid that

    Cheers -
     
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  16. jpruzins
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    jpruzins Silver Member

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    You will need Chinese money (conversion rate is awesome). It was easy to find atms (even in the metro). Places will take credit card but our tour guide advised us it was best not to. We took the metro pretty late on some nights after dinner (can't remember the time). Also, in case you need to take a cab anywhere, write down the name of your hotel in the Chinese letters, it will be easier for the driver.
     
  17. savydog
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    savydog Gold Member

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    Being an aussie I was of course in shorts :) I think long pants and clean sneakers would be fine for the Jazz Clubs, but maybe not for some of the high-end Bund drinking holes. Worth trying anyway. I did make a note in my book that there was a new MRT station on line 10 called Shanghai Library that was a better starting point for the French Concession but YMMV :)
     
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  18. savydog
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    savydog Gold Member

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    Good tip and one I have used. This trip I bought a little application from the apple store called Shanghai Taxi Guide and it had my hotel and the Expo loaded into it so could just bring up in chinese on the screen :) Other tourist places are listed and it worked with every driver I used to get back home.
     
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  19. SST
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    SST Silver Member

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    I just spent a few nights in Shanghai. 3 on the Bund has some great places in it worth checking out, including the Wine Bistro on floor 5, and the good restaurant/bar on the same floor, with outside views of the Bund to die for, prior to about 22:30, when they turn many of the lights on the buildings off. The Pudong view is spectacular from here, the best in Shanghai I believe.

    The Glamour Bar (M on the Bund's bar) in 5 on the Bund is a great evening, nice conversation with expats and locals who mostly speak English.

    I spent an evening in the Grand Hyatt's bars in Pudong. Mighty dead. Nice rooms, but better as a romantic date.

    In the French Concession, there's a load of bars and clubs, but a lot of them didn't seem to be more than pickup places to me; if you were looking for meeting people for DISCUSSION etc., I don't have a recommendation although some of the others' advice may be good--- I was based at the Hilton when I went out, and only found bars and restos nearby that involved getting propositioned. The Hilton itself has a decent jazz bar uptop.

    One thing nobody has mentioned: Xintiandi. On these two recent trips, I've only been there during daylight or early evening, but the restaurants and clubs there were the best on my previous trip. This was a couple years ago. This time, I just ate there. Good restaurants abound. Have a great time! I did!
     
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  20. thegrailer
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    I just saw that the PVG outlet for one of the MUC beer gardens [can't remember the name :eek:] is offering spargel on the Bund. That is something I might have to try.

    Cheers -
     
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  21. joanek
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    joanek Silver Member

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    I didn't have any problems finding an ATM. I took out cash at the airport, and again at two banks in the city.
    As for clothing---you are in a major metropolitan area. Think San Francisco or New York. I don't know your age, but (I think) that, while you'll be fine with casual clothes during the day, don't wear shorts to restaurants or clubs. I didn't see any adult Chinese men wearing shorts during the week, might have seen some in the parks on the weekend.
     
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  22. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    Thanks for the clothing info. No shorts and I'll be in a collared shirt at night. I am hoping to be good to go.

    I thought PVG was going to be similar to other large cities, I just didn't want to assume and not ask.

    Cheers -
     
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  23. joanek
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    joanek Silver Member

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    You should be fine---but why not report back so the next guy knows....
     
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  24. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    So I am back - what a fun city.

    Jeans and a collared shirt were more than enough for the bars in the French Concession. The bar in the Park Hyatt was a bit more upscale but jeans and the same shirt were fine. Sneakers worked too. In fact, that type of outfit was good to go virtually anywhere.

    A couple of notes:
    • Take the Maglev both directions. The time saved and the coolness factor are well worth the extra few dollars. Topped out at 431km/h
    • When you find a place to eat in a more "touristy" area [a main street or a better known street], walk to the the next block, turn the corner, walk a block or two from the main street and you'll find great food at a fraction of the cost in an authentic Shanghai restaurant. The beer is cheaper too. But see the next point.
    • Get a picture dictionary! It not only helped us but also the group of Spaniards that saw us through the restaurant window just having a good ole time and decided they needed to eat in the same restaurant. Alas, they spoke less Chinese than us, but they did ask how we ordered - viola, the picture dictionary. Even the waitress came back and "asked" to use the book [pointed at] for a 3rd table that couldn't communicate with the staff [appeared to be a different dialect than they staff knew???]
    • Wait until later in the day to take pictures or take them at night. The smog/pollution seemed to blow/burn off my mid afternoon giving a much better shot. BTW: does the skyline look like something out of the Jetsons or is that just me?
    • The tea is really good
    • Be prepared for hocking and spitting - wow - I had read about the spitting but was still shocked about how loud and how prevalent it really is.
    • Do the bars close? 5AM comes rolling around and we're still drinking [absinthe at Tara57]. It was Vegas-like. We only left because we thought that a few hours sleep would make the next day a bit more bearable.
    • Apparently there has been a recent over production of Rolex watches and Mont Blanc pens since everyone seemed to looking to sell one to me [maybe last year's model?]. Anyways, if you ever need a watch or a pen, I could probably direct you to the right place.
    • The bird and plant market was something to see and is worth the short detour.
    • Taxis are cheap. Save the time [avoiding rush hour] and take the taxi - you'll also get to see more of the city.
    • Did I say Shanghai was a lot of fun? I'd go back, all I need is a decent fare :)
    Not sure how much I can help others but ask or PM and I'll do my best

    Cheers -

     
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  25. joanek
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    joanek Silver Member

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    you mean like this?
    [​IMG]
    Glad you had a good trip---and thanks for the tips.
    (i took this photo June 2009, and I'm sure more buildings have sprung up since...)
     
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