Archive for the ‘Shanghai Travel’ Category

Top 10 Photo Spots in Shanghai

Friday, July 19th, 2019
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Plan your Shanghai tour? Shanghai is the most visited city in China with numerous photo opportunities.

If you visit Shanghai for the first time, and look for some guidance and help in locating some photographic locations and subjects such as skyline, architecture, street scenes, everyday life, classical gardening, water town and many more, I’d like to present you my version of Top 10 Sites for Photography in Shanghai.

1. Best Skyline Pictures to be Taken from the Bund
The Bund is the west waterfront of Huangpu River which roughly divides Shanghai into two areas – Puxi ( West of Huangpu River) and Pudong ( the East of Huangpu River).

The Bund has long been the popular site for European and U.S. businesses since the late 19th century, when today’s colonial buildings along the Bund were built to accommodate the banks, financial institutions, a major Asian financial center in the past.

Shanghai Tower stands prominently on the Pudong skyline.

The Bund is a great spot to take the iconic skyline in Shanghai – Pudong skyline. Pudong is a booming zone in just east of Huangpu River. It is awash with trendy and futuristic buildings and skyscrapers, forming a surreal and spectacular skyline in Shanghai if you view it standing on the Bund on the west of the Huangpu River. The skyline is at its best at night with dazzling neon lights and lit cruise ships boating on Huangpu River.

The Bund doesn’t only prove to be a perfect place to view the Pudong skyline, it is also a good spot to snap the sunrise and have some candid photos of the locals practicing Taichi and dancing in the early morning.

2. Best Panoramic Photos of Shanghai from the Skyscrapers in Pudong
Pudong’s burgeoning phalanx of skyscrapers guarantee you a load of great panoramic pictures of Shanghai. You may ascend WFC (world financial center) , Jin Mao Tower, Oriental Pearl TV Tower and set your camera for wonderful shots.

The panoramic view from the Sightseeing Sky Pavilion

When you go up in one of the high-rise buildings, you can look in all directions for amazing photo opportunities. If you are up in the evening, you will have a Blade Runner view. Just imagine the huge change taken place in Shanghai in the past 30 years.

3. Best Pictures of the Shanghai Old Town
The metropolitan Shanghai hasn’t forgotten its root and old tradition along its 30 years’ rapid economic development. Numerous old cultural customs, traditional cuisines, folk art, etc. have been well preserved and even developed.

Shanghai Old Town, south of Yu Yuan Garden, is the best place to shoot the traditional culture in Shanghai with lots of photo-journalistic opportunities, grasping the interesting moments of the community culture and watching a microcosm of Chinese city life.

Mid-Island Tea House in Shanghai Old Town

The Bazaar is the highlight of the old town. You may taste the well-known Nanxiang steamed buns with the fillings of crab, pork, shrimp or chicken and don’t forget to record your trip with your camera!

4. Best Images of Classic Gardening at Yu Yuan Garden
After shooting the people and the old town community, move to Yu Garden ( or Yuyuan Garden ) nearby. The Yu Garden is not to be missed for its typical Chinese landscapes and architecture.

If you want to upgrade your garden back home, this place definitely will update you on some practical and aesthetics information on landscaping. Centered by so-called Currow ancient stone, a porous 3.3-m, 5-ton boulder, today, Yu Garden takes an area of 2 hectares, and is sectioned into six areas laid out in the classical China gardening style. Each area is separated from the others by “dragon walls” with undulating gray tiled ridges, each ending in a dragon’s head.

5. Best Street Photographs Nanjing Road
Nanjing Road, dubbed as “China’s First Commercial Street”, is the most well known commercial street in Shanghai including Nanjing East Road and Nanjing West Road. Nanjing East Road ( now a pedestrian only street ) was once the No.01 commercial street in the far east. Nanjing West Road is now the top end business block in Shanghai.

Nanjing Road

Champs-élysées to Paris is what Nanjing Road to Shanghai. With Metro Line 1, Champs-élysées is linked to Concorde Square while Nanjing Road is connected to Shanghai People’s Square by Metro Line 2.

You may take metro line 2 and exit at People’s Square and walk to Nanjing East Road or get off at the subway station of Nanjing East Road for an easy amble and then move on to the Bund for a fabulous skyline in Shanghai.

Having a night walk along the pedestrian street allows you to have great night shot – its sparkling and eye-popping neon lights and the sea of people.

6. Best Shots of Shanghainese Shikumen Architectural Style
Shanghai Xintiandi is a place you should not miss. “Xintiandi” literally means “New Heaven and Earth’ which refers to a strip of bars,cafes, boutiques and shopping malls based on the former cluster of Shikumen buildings in the center of Shanghai.

The Shikumen buildings were built in 1860s with a blend of Chinese and western style architectures. The western style of brick door frames, roofs and walls go harmoniously with the inside structures of Chinese traditional houses in the Yangtze Delta Area. Now Xintiandi is an all hip hangout.

Shanghai Shikumen Buildings

Shanghai Shikumen Buildings

Shots of Xintiandi’s tree-lined streets and modern life look even more fantastic at sunset with the orange sun lights shedding through the tress on to the streets. The night view of Xintiandi is awesome with the lit neon lights.

The Xingye Road is flanked by two storey shikumen buildings at the Xintiandi area.
The Xingye Road is flanked by two storey shikumen buildings at the Xintiandi area.

7. Best Shooting of Former French Concession
Shanghai French Concession was a conceded territory for a French settlement in Shanghai from 1849 until 1943. The French Concession remained largely unchanged during the early decades after 1949 after the new China. Despite re-development over the last few decades, the area retains a distinct character, and is a popular photo destination for shooting the colonial buildings.

The Wukang Mansion, 1850, Huaihai Middle Road, Shanghai

The Wukang Mansion, 1850, Huaihai Middle Road, Shanghai

The French Concession now include the north-eastern part of today’s Xuhui District and the western part of Huangpu District (the former Luwan District), lying in the centre, south, and west of the central urban Shanghai.

The Wukang Mansion is a well-known protected historic apartment building in the former French Concession area of Shanghai. It was designed by the Hungarian-Slovak architect László Hudec and finished in 1924. The building is still in use.

8. Best Photos of the Contemporary Chinese art in Shanghai
50 Moganshan Road in Shanghai (莫干山路50号) or “M50″ is a contemporary art district in Shanghai. This area is home to a thriving community of over a hundred artists whose studios are open to the public.

50 Moganshan Road in Shanghai

50 Moganshan Road in Shanghai

It is similar to New York’s SoHo and Beijing’s 798 Art Zone. The art commuinity has become a popular cultural attraction for local and international visitors alike. The studio and gallery are converted from former warehouse complex, offering many photogenic opportunities.

9. Best Candid Snapping of Everyday Shanghai.
Just roam Shanghai and get lost with your camera, keeping away from the must-see tourist spots, and discover Shanghai’s everyday life in your own way.

Many locals still live in Longtang, old and traditional lanes.

Many locals still live in Longtang, old and traditional lanes.

10. Best Shots of the Classical Water Town of Qibao
If you have had enough of the photos of the modern metropolitan Shanghai, Qibao is a good alternative for you to change a taste for a typical China water town.

Qibao Ancient Town is a tiny water town, not far from Shanghai city center and you don’t have to go far to visit other water towns like Zhujiajiao Water Town, Zhouzhuang Water Town and Tongli Water Town.

Qibao Ancient Town

Qibao Ancient Town

The old town is mainly composed of three stone arch bridges, two canals and 4 major streets and several side lanes. You will see its nook and cranny offers plentiful photo opportunities.

Strolling the markets, wandering the old streets, walking across stone bridges and browsing the snack stands, you will snap a load of candid photos of the lively water town community.

Tips
1) This is a crowded place not for everyone.
2) Watch your bag. There are pick-pockets in the crowded place.
3) Need to bargain to get a good price on some things.
4) Be ready for people watch and see of people.
5) Avoid weekend or China Holiday.

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Highlight Day Tour from US$ 60
Afternoon Ambling & Evening Brilliant Cruise Day Tour from US$ 55
Shanghai Ancient Water Town Day Tour from US$ 65
Shanghai Suzhou Zhouzhuang Day Tour from US$ 95

Shanghai 2 Day Tour Package from US$ 145
Shanghai 3 Day Tour Pacakge from US$ 199
Shanghai 4 Day Tour Package from US$ 265 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attraction in Shanghai
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai

Any questions, just drop line.

How to Visit Tianzifang

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
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Plan your Shanghai tour? Tianzifang (田子坊) must be included on your Shanghai travel plan.  Tianzifang is an art, craft  and Shikumen (stone-door-frame houses) enclave developed from an old residential area of the former French concession,  a shikumen residential  built in 1930s in Shanghai.

In 1980s artists, designers and vendors began to set up their studios, art galleries, craft stores, design house, cafes, bars, and restaurants  a kind of creative industry precinct in an old residential area of Shanghai. 

Tianzifang was named after the same name first artist in China by the famous Chinese artist – Chen Yifei who first had a studio in Tianzifang.  Chen Yifei was one of the artists who actively advocated the preservation of Tianzifang area and its stone-framed-door houses.

Tianzifang is compact and mainly composed of three lanes along Taikang Road (泰康路), just across the Exit 1 of Dapuqiao Station (打浦桥) of Subway Line 9.  The three lanes are Taikang Road Lane 210 (Tianzifang), Taikang Road Lane 248(Tianchengli) and Taikang Road Lane 274 (Pingyuanfang).

The Taikang Road 210 is the most noted lane where the famous artist Chen Yifei once set up his studio there. Most of the visitors would choose first to enter Lane 210 in Tianzifang area.

The three lanes are interconnected,  easy to get pleasantly lost wandering in and out of the passages though this area is interspersed with with location maps. So it is a bit hard to navigate and sometimes you have many turns and bends. You will meet a dead-end and then back-track and find a new passage.  It is a fun exploring inside the neighborhood of labyrinthine alleys.

So why Tianzifang?

It is a great place to shop and dine though a bit overpriced. But you do find some original gifts and souvenirs you cannot find elsewhere in Shanghai.  If you are not a big fan for shopping and eating, just concentrate on its architecture.

Tianzifang Travel Tips

1)  The most convenient way of getting to Tianzifang is taking subway line 9 and get off at the station of Dapuqiao (打浦桥) and using Exit 1  and the Taikang Road ( where the three lanes are located) is just opposite the Exit 1.  You may start your exploration of Tianzifang by entering the Taikang Road Lane 210, then duck into the Lane 248 and 274.

2) Go there early to avoid hordes of domestic tourists. You are prepared for being pushed when this area is getting busier.

3) Learn to bargain on the stuff you are going to buy.

4) It is allowed to take pictures in Tianaifang area except the residential area where the local residents still live.

5) A  nice public toilets in the mall across the street where the Starbucks is located.

For you to have a glimpse of Tianzifang, now I just show you some of the pictures taken  of the three lanes in Tianzifang area.

Out from Exit 1 at Dapuqiao Station of Subway line 9, you turn right and see the location signboard indicating Tianzifang.

you turn right and see the location signboard indicating Tianzifang.

you turn right and see the location signboard indicating Tianzifang.

 

The entrance to Taikang Road Lane 274 (平原坊) 泰康路274弄, just left side of Taikang Road Lane 248.

One of the location maps of Tianzifang dotted here and there.  The red travel route for Lane 210, blue for Lane 248 and green for Lane 274.

One of the location maps of Tianzifang dotted here and there

One of the location maps of Tianzifang dotted here and there

 

A creative restaurant on a narrow alley between Lane 210  and Lane 248.

A creative restaurant on a narrow alley between Lane 210 and Lane 248.

A creative restaurant on a narrow alley between Lane 210 and Lane 248.

 

A western restaurant nestled on a narrow alleyway between Lane 210 and Lane 248

A western restaurant nestled on a narrow alleyway between Lane 210 and Lane 248

A western restaurant nestled on a narrow alleyway between Lane 210 and Lane 248

A cafe bar

A cafe bar

A cafe bar

A typical shikumen houses still inhabited by the local residents who still live on top of the establishments (shops, restaurants etc.) with their air-conditioning units outside their houses.

A typical shikumen houses

A typical shikumen houses

Wet clothes hanging and air-conditioning units overhead, not a totally commercial area on Lane 248

Wet clothes hanging and air-condition units overhead, not a totally commercial area on Lane 248

Wet clothes hanging and air-conditioningunits overhead, not a totally commercial area on Lane 248

Electricity cables are still  overhead, adding a residential feel.

Electricity cables are still overhead, adding a residential feel.

Electricity cables are still overhead, adding a residential feel.

A narrow alleyway between Lane 248 and Lane 274

A narrow alleyway between Lane 248 and Lane 274

A narrow alleyway between Lane 248 and Lane 274

A cafe bar nestled on the passage between Lane 248 and Lane 274

The narrow passage in Lane 274

The narrow passage in Lane 274

The narrow passage in Lane 274

Tip:  Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Highlight Day Tour from US$ 60
Afternoon Ambling & Evening Brilliant Cruise Day Tour from US$ 55
Shanghai Ancient Water Town Day Tour from US$ 65
Shanghai Suzhou Zhouzhuang Day Tour from US$ 95

Shanghai 2 Day Tour Package from US$ 145
Shanghai 3 Day Tour Pacakge from US$ 199
Shanghai 4 Day Tour Package from US$ 265 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attraction in Shanghai
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai

Any questions, just drop line.

Tips for Visiting the Bund in Shanghai

Monday, July 15th, 2019
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The Bund is a one-km long strip starting from the eastern tip of Yan’an Road on the south and Waibaidu Bridge on the north. It is a raised promenade on the western bank of Huangpu River in Shanghai.

It runs from north to south paralleling Zhongshan East No. 1 Road flanked by the 22 heritage art deco buildings built during the concession era in 1920s and 1930s. Across the river stands the skyline of the futuristic skyscrapers, a sharp contrast with the old buildings by the Bund.

Strolling along the Bund is the first thing to do in Shanghai if you visit Shanghai for the first time. It is the most awesome urban city walk in the world though you may have your own favorites such as Piccadilly in London, Champs-Elysees in Paris, Fifth Avenue in New York and Victoria in Hong Kong.

Tips
tips-11. How to Get There
Various options to get to the Bund given the different locations you stay in Shanghai. The most used way of travel is to take the subway line 2 and 10, then get off at the station of East Nanjing Road.

 

The Buildings on the Bund

It is less than a 10-minute walk along East Nanjing Road to the Bund. But very often it takes you much longer time as you may be distracted by East Nanjing Road itself, the most popular shopping traffic-free shopping street in Shanghai, plus so many people moving on relatively narrow sidewalks in the east direction of the Bund.

2. Early Morning Stroll on the Bund
If you are an early riser, come to the Bund to see the first sunshine lights on your new day, the magnificent sunrise over the forest of the high-rises.

Morning Stroll on the Bund

An interesting bonus is the Taichi crowd and morning exercises that enliven the Bund, a great way to mix with the locals.

3. Daytime Walk on the Bund
A daytime walk on the Bund gives you a clear picture of the Pudong Skyline, a remarkable achievement in the past decade. Here you can see the second highest building in the world plus plenty of dazzling skyscrapers.

Daytime Walk on the Bund

The modern skyline is sharply contrasted by the elegant historic Concession buildings on the Bund. If you have enough visit time, you are recommended to walk through the Peace Hotel or Fairmont, just across from the Bund, viewing the Art Deco interiors which meet or surpass those  in Europe or North America.

3. Night Walk on the Bund
The Bund is at its best when night falls, sandwiched by the two strips of the illuminated buildings, ultra-modern and historic Concession buildings with lit-up boats plying on Huangpu River.

Night Stroll on the Bund

Night Stroll on the Bund

The dreamy nigh neon show attracts huge crowds of visitors from so many cultures, young and old, all enjoying the views. It is a great place full of energy, people-watch, a unique night during your Shanghai tour.

4. Night Cruise on Huangpu River
When the sun sets, it is a good option to take the river cruise for better views of the amazing lights on the both sides of the river  with the Bund on the west and the Pudong skyline on the east, flowing through a fairyland.

Night Cruise on Huangpu River

At present, there are two kinds of cruises on Huangpu River – Highlight Cruise (RMB 100: 1 hour) and Classic Cruise (RMB 150: over 3 hours). Buy your tickets at Shiliupu Wharf ( No.171, Zhongshan South Road ), 15 minutes’ walk south of the centeral area of the Bund.

5. More Options to View the Skyline
Taking  the cheap short ferry ride from the Bund to Pudong is a good option for viewing the awesome lights show on the river banks.

You may consider to see the skyline from one of the bars or restaurants on the Bund. For this, you may need to pay a high price drink.

Alternatively you may enter for dinner the Hakkanan in Building  No. 18,  or drinking cocktails on the rooftop bar of The Peace Hotel, a fantastic place to take the perfect photo of the Bund and the skyline.

6. Snack and Drinks on the Bund
There are few places to eat and drink on the Buns, and relatively expensive around the Bund. So make you have something to eat before or after your visit to the Bund.  You may bring your own snacks and bottles water.

7. Touts on the Bund
Each tourist place has itinerant vendors pushing you to buy,  selling everything from Rolexes to sexy massages, an annoying act.

If a touts approaches you,  just ignore them.

8. Tourist Scams on the Bund
Anywhere around the world where there are larger groups of humans, there will be more opportunities for scams. The Bund has no exception.

Try to avoid striking a conversation with a strangers and deny their offering services.  Be careful of the tea room scam and pickpocket.

9. Toilets on the Bund
You can find some pay toilets nearby. You are better off calmly entering a hotel close to the Bund.

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Highlight Day Tour from US$ 60
Afternoon Ambling & Evening Brilliant Cruise Day Tour from US$ 55
Shanghai Ancient Water Town Day Tour from US$ 65
Shanghai Suzhou Zhouzhuang Day Tour from US$ 95

Shanghai 2 Day Tour Package from US$ 145
Shanghai 3 Day Tour Pacakge from US$ 199
Shanghai 4 Day Tour Package from US$ 265 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attraction in Shanghai
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai

Any questions, just drop line.