Archive for the ‘Shanghai Travel’ Category

How to Visit Shanghai on a Budget

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
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Plan your Shanghai tour on a budget?  Each year millions of travelers and businessmen visit Shanghai,  the largest metropolitan city in China. Shanghai boasts plentiful splurge hotels and posh restaurants, local and international.

But you don’t need to break the bank  to visit this most advanced and futuristic city showcasing the fast development in the contemporary China .  The 10 steps and tips will help  you arrange your Shanghai trip on a budget without forgoing your enjoyment.

Shanghai Skyline

Shanghai Skyline

 1. Travel out of season
First,  you should avoid visiting  Shanghai during  China public holidays:  May 1-3 and October 1 – 8 in particular.  If possible, visit Shanghai  in shoulder or even off season when everything is cheaper – discounted accommodations, entrance fees, flights and many more.

In addition, the hordes of domestic tourist crowds are gone so you can enjoy the city peacefully without  too may other tourists jumping into your pictures. High season: April, May, September and October; Shoulder season: March, June, July, August and November; Low season: December, January and February.

2. Shanghai airport or rail transfer by metro
Shanghai has the highest taxi fares in China. When you arrive at Shanghai by air or rail, basically you should forgo taking taxis except something emergent or you cannot roll your luggage.

The two Shanghai airports – Pudong Airport and Hongqiao Airport are both linked by the same metro line 2 which brings you to the center of Shanghai with the important metro stations of People’s Square and Nanjing Road.

Shanghai Pudong Airport also has the fastest train –Shanghai Maglev in the world. Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station is accessible by metro line 2; Shanghai Railway Station by metro line 1 and Shanghai South Railway Station by metro line 1.

3. Looking for cheap hotels
Though it is rife with luxury hotels,  Shanghai is also a purse-friendly city opening its arms for all with large choices of budget hotels and hostels.  You can easily find a cozy hotel  on your budget.

First you should decide where to stay in Shanghai and then search for an ideal hotel on your desired area without footing the costly bill.  Check Top 10 Shanghai Budget Hotels for more information.

4. Make a beeline for Shanghai’s abundant free sites and attractions.
Many of the must see attractions in Shanghai are free of charge including the Bund, Pudong New Area,  Nanjing Road,  People’s Square, Shanghai Museums, Tianzifang, Xintiandi, etc.  Just a note,  most of the museums in Shanghai are free  for entry as well as many city parks.

Check the Top 10 Shanghai Attractions and Top 10 Most Romantic Places in Shanghai.

5. Tour Shanghai by Metro
As you know, Shanghai has the highest taxi fares in China, plus the possible traffic congestion, in most occasions,  you should just avoid using them except that you cannot manage your large pieces of luggage on your way to your hotel or airport.

All almost all the important attractions in Shanghai can be accessed by metro lines.  Spend a few minutes studying the metro map of Shanghai for a clear direction of your destinations.  See Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town by metro; Visit Qibao Water Town by metro;  Visit Tianzifang by metro and Visit Xintiandi by metro.

6. Take part in the local group tours or Hop on hop off Buses
Apart from using the convenient metro system in Shanghai for city sightseeing,  joining in a Shanghai bus tour can also be money-saving and more sociable, a good way of traveling Shanghai: picked from and returned  your lodging hotel.

The hop on hop off double decker Buses in Shanghai are also a perfect choice for your sightseeing in Shanghai – Booked through your hotel for a joyful Shanghai day tour.

7. Eating out Cheap
Yes, as an international metropolitan city,  Shanghai provides many sorts of cuisines from all parts of  the world with countless posh restaurants. But this doesn’t put you off eating right and affordably at local restaurants. Breakfasts usually are covered by your hotel package.

Suggest you have a fast food lunch while dinner at a clean restaurant.  You may spoil yourself  occasionally by eating at an upscale or nice restaurant.  See Shanghai top 1o best restaurants and Shanghai top 10 vegetarian restaurants.

8. Bargain shopping
Shanghai is a shopping paradise, with countless bustling commercial streets and shopping centers beckoning the visitors. Shopping malls in Shanghai are most fashionable inside country as Shanghai is the window of modern China.

Most of the shopping malls are located in busy commercial centers. Window shopping is a fun even if you don’t  like to do shopping in these expensive shopping malls.  Going to a local market can be an interesting experience.  See Shanghai top 10 markets and Shanghai top 10 shopping malls.

9.  Splurge occasionally
Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you should not splurge on food, an high-priced attraction or shopping occasionally and forgo everything expensive Shanghai has to  offer: at least one dinner at a posh restaurant; ascending the Jinmao Tower for a panoramic view of Shanghai and buying a Shanghai souvenir.

10. Tourist Scams
When you are traveling in Shanghai and planning your city trip on a budget,  you must be vigilant on possible tourist scams which may happen to you.

The tourist scams in Shanghai are more or less than the same as those in Beijing,  see ” Top 10 Beijing Tourist Scams” for your reference. If you are a victim, just keep calm and contact the police immediately.

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

Shanghai Highlight Day Tour from US$ 65
Afternoon Ambling & Evening Brilliant Cruise Day Tour from US$ 55
Historic Shanghai and Ancient Water Town Day Tour from US$ 59
Shanghai 2 Day Tour Package from US$ 145
Shanghai 3 Day Tour Pacakge from US$ 199

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

How to use ATM in China

Saturday, June 9th, 2018
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Plan your China tour? Generally speaking, China is a very ATM friendly country, especially in the large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hongkong, Macao and the list can be much longer.

Most of the local ATMs machines accept Visa and Master. CITIBANK card and HSBC are also very popular in China because Citibank and HSBC have an agreement with UnionPay.

For other cards, you may check the ATMs you are going to use and see if they have the logos and signs for your credit cards.

Then how to use ATMs in China?

 

ATMs in China

 1. It is a good idea to get most of cash you are going to use in China through ATMs by using your credit card or debit cards, and dont’ be bothered with great amount of cash before your departure carrying from your home country.

2. Don’t forget to inform your credit card company that you’ll be visiting China or oversea so they don’t block your purchases.

3 Scan your cards (front and back), keep emergency numbers separately in case you lose your credit cards.

4. You should take some home-currency cash with you to exchange at the airport or your hotel upon arrival for taxis or other small expenses, mainly in case that ATMs don’t work or run out of money. Takes one ATM card and possibly a back-up.

5. The major ATMs of the local banks in China include Bank of China, Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and China Agriculture Bank.

VISA and MasterCard debit cards work in most Bank of China ATMs. For the ATMs of the other major banks, please look for a network symbol on the machine that matches a network symbol on the back of your card. CITIBANK card and HSBC card can work in most ATM in China because Citibank and HSBC have an agreement with UnionPay.

6. Most Atms distribute the foreign languages including Chinese(simplified), Chinese(traditional), English, French, Spanish, Portuguese…

7. Most Chinese banks distribute 100 yuan note(You can withdraw 100 yuan minimum.). Check out “How to recognize Chinese currency?“.

8. Most ATM cards issued by major networks can be used in China, transaction fees may be different though, most charge around RMB20 or RMB30 for a one time transaction of RMB2500.

If you are using an ATM Debit card, usually the charges are comparable to drawing money in your own country. If you are using a Credit Card, it can be extremely expensive depending on your bank and how long you take to pay back the money.

9. Keep your ATM receipts so you can re-exchange your Chinese currency back for your home currency on your way out.

10. Basically taking cash out of the ATMs in China is very safe.

06611Tip:  Hassle-free China 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 China.

China join-in small group tours.
China Private Tours.
China Train Tours.
China City Tours.
China Provincial Tours.

Further Readings


Top 10 China experiences China’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains
The Top 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in China The most beautiful waterfalls in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China Top 10 Most Beautiful Villages in China
Top 10 Old Towns in China The Most Beautiful Rivers in China
Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in China

Any questions, just drop a line

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station

Sunday, May 20th, 2018
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following quick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors using Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station. If you have any questions or anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
__________________________________________________

Plan your Shanghai tour? Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station is part of the Hongqiao Transportation Hub, the largest transportation hub in China, combining airport, railway, subway, city bus and long-distance bus.

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station mainly operates Beijing–Shanghai High Speed Rail, Shanghai–Hangzhou High Speed Rail and Shanghai–Nanjing Intercity High Speed Rail.

The construction of this huge station building follows the principle of “entering from the above and exiting from the below”.

F3: Commercial floor for restaurants and shops and Vip lounge

F2: Departure floor as well as the station waiting area ( Also for ticketing offices )

F1: Platforms and tracks for outgoing and arriving high speed trains

B1: Arrival floor for arriving train passengers, a huge traffic transit hub for subway, flight, taxi, city bus and long-distance bus. There are several ticket selling outlets on the B1 floor.

B2: Platforms for subway lines (subway line 2 & 10)

B2 Floor Information
The B2 floor is designed for subway platforms – Subway Line 2 and 10 linking the railway station with the center of Shanghai.

If you want to go to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station by subway, you are advised to use Line 2 and Line 10 and get off at Hongqiao Railway Station and take the escalator up to the B1 floor ( arrival floor ), or continue to  the second floor ( F2 ), the waiting room for departure.

B2 Floor  is the departure floor for Subway Line 2 and Line 10, where you take an escalator up to B1, and F2. The signboard to the service you are going to use when you arrive at Hongquao Railway Station by subway at B2.

 

The signboard to the service you are going to use when you arrive at Hongquao Railway Station by subway at B2.

 After arriving at Hongqiao Railway Station, if you would like to use Shanghai subway, then you walk down the escalator from the F1 floor ( platform ) to the B1 floor (arrival floor), buying subway tickets on B1, again walk down to the B2 floor to connect Shanghai subway, either line 2 or line 10.

B1 Floor Information
The B1 is arrival floor for train passengers, a huge traffic transit hub for subway, train, flight, taxi, city bus and long-distance bus. There are several ticket selling outlets on the B1 floor.

1.  To go to T1 of Hongqiao airport, you should take subway line 10 and get off at Hongqiao airport.

2.  To go to to T2 of Hongqiao airport, you can easily take a moving walkways for 10 minutes to get to T2 of Hongqiao Airport.

3.  To get to the city center of Shanghai, you should take subway line 2

4.  To get to Pudong airport, you should take subway line 2 ( about 1.4 hours )

5.  To get to Shanghai Railway Station, you should first take subway line 2 and interchange for Subway line 1 at the stop of People’s Square and get off at the stop of Shanghai Railway Station.

Buying high speed train tickets on the B1 floor or F1

Buying high speed train tickets on the B1 floor

The B1 floor is mainly designed as the arrival floor for train passengers at Hongqiao Railway Station. 

The B1 floor is mainly designed as the arrival floor for Hongqiao Railway Station.

Line up for the taxi in and starting form B1 

Line up for the taxi in and starting form B1

F1 Floor Information
First floor (F1) has totally 16 platforms with 30 tracks for outgoing and incoming bullet trains.

First floor (F1) is the platform for outgoing and incoming bullet trains.

F2 Floor Information
The second floor( F2 ) of covers 10,000 square meters, used as the waiting room for the high-speed trains. You first wait on the second floor and look for the signboard for your train number.When it approaches the departure time for your train, passengers will line up before the signboard.When it is time for embarking, passengers will be guided to take the escalator down to the platform on the first floor (F1). So please wait on the second floor and look for your train number sign.

They are passengers waiting for high speed trains in the waiting lounge on the second floor ( F2 ) of the terminal building of Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station.

If you need any help at Hongqiao Railway Station, please go to the Enquiry Counter with a question mark “?” on the second floor.

Enquiry Counter with a question mark “?” e Enquiry

F3 Floor Information
The third floor is for restaurants and shops and Vip lounge. The McDonald’s or KFC at T2 of the Hongqiao airport offer 24 hours service.  Hongqiao Train Station and T2 of Hongqiao airport are connected by a moving walkway, 15-minute walk.

Restaurants on the third floor

Restaurants on the third floor.

Adjacent to the Terminal 2 of Shanghai Hongqiao Airport
Note: if you want to go to Terminal 1 of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, you should take subway line 10 and get off at Hongqiao Airport Station.Walking from B1 of Hongqiao Railway Station to the Terminal 2 of Hongqiao Airport

Walking from Hongqiao Railway Station to the Terminal 2 of Hongqiao Airport

Remarks:

1. Luggage Deposit
There are some self-service baggage deposit areas on the second floor. The instructions on how to use the self-service baggage storage are all in Chinese.

If you cannot handle the self-service left luggage lockers. If you may turn to “Enquiry Counter” for help, which is located in the center of the waiting hall on the second floor.

Deposit Time: between 06:00 – 21:00
Service Line: 1502659 0673
Complaint: 95105105

Baggage deposit service fees:

Large suitcase: RMB 20 (8 hours)
Small Suitcase: RMB 10 9 8 hours)

2. If you need “Red Cap service” (Hong Mao Zi Carrying) which assists seniors or people with too much luggage who need someone to take their luggage on to the train coach, please go to the Enquiry (information center) in the middle of the waiting hall. When you are on the arrival floor, you will see the porters from Red Cap Service are waiting for business.

 

the porters from Red Cap Service are waiting for business

the porters from Red Cap Service are waiting for business

Red Cap Service Fees
1) RMB 20 for large suitcase.
2) RMb 10 for samaller one.
Service Line: 021-51245660
Complaint: 95105105

3.  The McDonald’s or KFC at the Hongqiao airport offer 24 hours service.  Hongqiao train station and Hongqiao airport are connected by a moving sideway, 15-minute walk.4. A Smoking Room is by the Gate 4 ( south) on the arrival Hall ( second floor)

Smoking Room

Smoking Room

 

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

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

Shanghai Hongqiao Airport.
Shanghai Pudong Airport.
Shanghai Railway Station.
Shanghai South Railway Station.
Shanghai Subway.
Shanghai Taxi.
Shanghai Public Bus.

Any questions, just drop a line.