Tips for Visiting the Bund in Shanghai

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.

Jingshan Park not to be missed

July 15th, 2019
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 Plan your Beijing tour? A visit to Jingshan Park is not to be missed during your tour in Beijing. Jingshan just sits across the north gate to Forbidden City. After finishing your visit to Forbidden City along the south to north official visiting route, you exit from Forbidden City’s north gate.

Exiting from the north gate and raising your head, you will find a pavilion with three-layered eaves perched on a hill. The hill is called Jingshan Hill ( Coal Hill or prospect Hill). The Jingshan Hill and its surrounding complex is known as “Jingshan Park”.

Jingshan Park add: No.44 Jingshanxi Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 北京西城区景山西街44号(故宫后门对面).

A pavilion with three-layered eaves perched on Jingshan Hill

 

The main road between the north gate area of Forbidden City and the south gate of Jingshan Park is fully blocked. To get across to the south gate to Jingshan Park, you just turn left for 20 meters and take the underground pass.

Line up for the tickets: RMB 2 per person (RMB10 per person during Peony Festival April and May). Opening hours: 6am – 9pm all year round.

Wanchun pavilion perched on the hill

Enter the south gate and follow your nose up the top of the hill and get to the pavilion named Wanchun Pavilion perched high on the hill.

It takes you about 5-10 minutes’ walk along a zigzag stone steps up to the summit. Standing on the pavilion, you are able to have a bird’s-eye view of Beijing city at a great distance.   

A Panoramic View of Forbidden City

  Look north to view the Central Axis of Beijing.

Look north to view the Central Axis of Beijing

Looking down east to view Beijing Business Center (CBD)

Looking down east to view Beijing Business Center (CBD)

After enjoying the exciting panoramic view, you don’t have to go back the same road. Instead, you follow the throng down eastward to see the place where the last Ming Dynasty Emperor Chongzhen hanged himself.

Since the hanging spot is close to the east gate to Jingshan park, you may exit from the east gate.

The place where Emperor Chongzhen who hanged himself

The story of Emperor Chongzhen who hanged himself

The story of Emperor Chongzhen who hanged himself

 
Add On:
See the sunrise from the hilltop of Jingshan Park
See the sunset from the hilltop of Jingshan Park
06611
Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing 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 Beijing:
Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p
Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to visit Terracotta Army in Xian

July 12th, 2019
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Terracotta Warriors.

If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!

____________________________________________________________________

Plan your Xian tour? For many foreign visitors, visiting the excavated Terracotta Army is a must. These Army of Terra-Cotta Warriors were supposed to safeguard Chinese first emperor – Qin Shihuang in his afterlife.

He unified China in 221 BC for the first time in Chinese history and established Qin Dynasty (221–206 B.C.), thus starting China’s over 2000 years’ feudal society

You are kindly reminded that Qin Shihuang’s underground palace is still there and remains intact though some of the burial sites annexing to his mausoleum have been robbed.

Why his own burial site or his underground palace still intact? It is said that his tomb has solid and strict anti-gravedigging system including secret crossbows which may kill people once you are inside the tomb, and a large amount of mercury which will emit much toxic air within the tomb.

Now the entrance for Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum is also included in your ticket for Terracotta Army Museum – One ticket for two sites. The two sites are 2 km apart connected by free shuttle buses.

Terracotta Amy at Pit One

Terracotta Amy at Pit One

Located  2km east of Qin Shihuang Mausoleum, the Emperor’s afterlife army terracotta soldiers are only part of his mausoleum. These vivid over 2000-year-old soldiers of Terracotta Army were discovered March 24, 1974 by a group of local farmers when they were digging a well.

Now this site of Terracotta army has been turned into a world-famous attraction site, bombarded by tons of tourists visiting this museum. I’ve been to the Terracotta Army Museum for several times.

Below are some of the Terracotta Army travel tips for your reference if you are going to make your maiden trip to the world-famous Terracotta Warriors and Soldiers Museum:

Tip#1: How to get from Xian Xianyang Airport to Terracotta Warriors (TCW)

1. Xian Airport to Lintong Special Bus.
At Xian Xianyang Airport, first take the Airport to Lintong Special Bus. Arriving at Lintong, then change for the local bus for Terracotta Warriors (TCW).
Departure time from Xian Airport: 10:30、12:30、15:30、17:30
Bus fare: 30 yuan ( excluding the local bus from Lintong to TCW)

2. Airport Shuttle Bus No.02
First take the airport bus no.02 from Xian Airport to Xian Railway Station. Upon arrival at Xian Railway Station, then you change for the special Tourism Bus 5 (Bus no. 306) running between Xian Railway Station to TCW.
Departure time from Xian Airport: half an hour per bus ( 08:00 – 21:00)
Bus fare: 26 yuan ( excluding the bus from Xian Railway Station to TCW)

3. By Taxi
Arriving at Xian Xianyang Airport, line up at the official taxi stand and take taxi for TCW:
Taxi Ride: about one hour and 66 km
Taxi fare: approx. 193 yuan, plus toll fee: 30 yuan

4. Private Transfer
Before getting to Xian Xianyang Airport, you can book a hassle-free private transfer from the airport to TCW. Check out Xian Car Rental with Driver for more information.

Tip#2: How to get from Xian North Railway Station to TCW
If you take high speed train to Xian, you will arrive at Xian North Railway Station.

1.By Bus
First take Bus 266 from Xian North Railway Station to Xian Railway Station. Upon arrival at Xian Railway Station, then you change for the special Tourism Bus 5 (Bus no. 306) running between Xian Railway Station to TCW.

Bus 266 from Xian North Railway Station to Xian Railway Station: about 20 minutes per bus ( 08:00 – 21:00)
Bus fare: 2 yuan ( excluding the bus from Xian Railway Station to TCW)

There is a  luggage deposit office on the southern square outside the station.  20 yuan per piece. Please go to Information Center for more detailed information.

2.By Taxi
Arriving at Xian North Railway Station, line up at the official taxi stand and take taxi for TCW:
Taxi Ride: about one hour and 50 km
Taxi fare: approx. 150 yuan, plus toll fee: 20 yuan

3. Private Transfer
Before getting to Xian North Railway Station, you can book a hassle-free private transfer from the airport to TCW. Check out Xian Car Rental with Driver for more information.

Tip#3: How to get from Xian Railway Station to TCW
It is very easy to find the special Tourism Bus 5 (Bus no. 306) running between Xian Railway Station to Terracotta Army Museum. If you stand facing Xian Railway Station, The Bus 5(306) parks at the parking lot on your right (or east side).

You don’t have to buy the bus ticket in advance. Just jump on the bus and later a bus guide will come to you and collect the money – RMB 7 per person.

Basic Information on the Bus
Bus Line: Tourism Bus 5 (306)
First Bus: 08:00; Last Bus 19:00
Departure Time: Leave when full.
Line Length: 42 Km
Drive Time: 0ne Hour
Bus Stops: Totally 12 stop on route
Bus Stop No.01: Xian Railway Station
Bus Stop No 08: Huanqing Hots pring
Bus Stop No 12: Terracotta Army

Be sure to get off at the last destination – Terracotta Army Museum since the Bus 5 (306) is scheduled to stop at several tourist attractions including Huaqing  Hot spring, Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum.

You don’t need to get off at these stops. The very last stop ( the 12th stop ) of this bus is the Terracotta Warriors. Just stay on the bus until you get to the last stop. Remember where you get off the bus terminal.

After finishing your visiting the museum, come to the same parking lot and take the exact bus No 5 (306) since there are some other “fake” bus 306 which eagerly push you to take their buses.

Tip#4: Basic information about Terracotta Warriors and Soldiers Museum
Located 30km east of Xian, the Army of Terracotta Warriors are undoubtedly the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century. The museum is composed of three pits: Pit 1, Pit 2 and Pit 3.

Pit 1 is most impressive and the highlight of the museum. Pits 2 and 3, though interesting, are not as impressive as the pit 1. If you don’t have sufficient time, PIT 2 and PIT 3 can be avoided.

The movie -360 degrees, the background film, is in English and very cool, which takes about 15 minutes long. It gives some background to what you see with your own eyes. It is worth the 15 minutes. The film ticket is included in your entrance fee.

Tip#5: Don’t expect too much from the Museum
Before you visit the terracotta warriors, if you have already read a lot and seen tons of pictures of the Army of Terracotta warriors, you may feel a little disappointed. So there is much hype which causes your visit to be a letdown.

Tip#06: Rent an audio guide? Hire a tour guide? or Using a guidebook?
How to visit the museum? You have three choices:
1) Rent an audio guide ( recorded guide ). You just pay RMB 40 an audio tour. The voice sounds like an American accent and it is easy to understand and informative.

2) Using a tour guide service. When you are going to buy your tickets at the ticketing office, tons of tour guides will come to you, eager to offer you the guide service.

If you haven’t done much homework before you came to Xian. You are advised to hire a local tour guide to guide or translate for you at the price of about RMB 100-150. You will get more knowledge than from a guidebook or the recordings. Just avoid the shopping sites your local guide may suggest you to go.

3) Using a guidebook to guide your tour in and around the museum.

Tip#7: Walking from Ticketing office to Entrance Gate
It takes 5-10 minutes walking from the ticketing office to the entrance gate. If you pay RMB 5, you take a small tram ride to the entrance gate. In my opinion, if you are in good shape, just avoid using the small tram.

Free luggage storage service:
On the left side of the Ticketing Office is the Tourist Information Center which offers free luggage storage service.

Tip#8: Exit from the museum
After you finish visiting the museum and leave for your bus terminal, or in a word, on the way back, you have to pass through an area with a lot of shops and restaurants. This obviously poses some pressure on you to buy some souvenirs or spend some money here.

If you are tender-hearted, and going to buy something to support China’s economy, please bargain!

Tip#9: Some Restaurants Rip off
There are many restaurants leading up to the museum. Some of them just rip you off. So take great care of your money!

Tip#10: Toilets in the museum are free
For the toilets outside the museum, you have to pay. But once you are inside the museum, you enjoy free toilets. They are the same squatting-style facility like everywhere else in china.

Tip#11: Take a taxi to the Museum
It takes about 160 RMB by taxi from the downtown Xian to Army of Terra-Cotta Warriors. Very often you have to bargain with your taxi driver.

Tip#12: Terracotta Army, not Qin Shihuang Mausoleum
If you take Bus 5(306) from Xian Railway Station to Terracotta Army Museum, don’t get off at Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum. Qin Shihuang’s Mausolem is not much worth visiting since it is just a mound, not excavated yet.

So don’t confuse Terracotta Army with Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum. The entrance for Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum is also included in your ticket for Terracotta Army Museum.

A closer look at soldiers and horses

A closer look at soldiers and horses

Tip#13: Opening time and entrance fees
Ticket Selling Hours: 8:30 – 17:00 (March 16 – Nov 15)
8:30 – 16:30 (Nov 16 – March 15)
Time for ticket collecting: 8:30 – 18:00 (March 16 – Nov 15)
8:30 – 17:30 (Nov 16 – March 15)
Entrance Fee: RMB 150 (March 1-November 30); RMB 120 (December 1-the end of February)
The ticket also includes the entrance to Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum.

Note: There is a cap for the number of visitors ( limited to daily 65000 visitors ). But  basically  you won’t have any problem buying your tickets if you avoid visiting the site during National Holiday ( Oct 01 -07 ).

For booking the tickets online, you use the following two websites ( both in Chinese ):
1) http://piao.ctrip.com/ticket/dest/t1444.html
2) http://order.bmy.com.cn:88/ticket/index.htm

Tip#14 Free luggage storage service:
On the left side of the Ticketing Office is the Tourist Information Center which offers free luggage storage service.

The Terracotta Warriors Museum is open all year round – 365 days every year! Children under the height of 1.2m don’t have to pay.

06611Tip #15: Hassle-free Xian 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 Xian guided tours:

Xian City Day Tour from US$69
Xian Terracotta Warriors Day Tour A from US$85
Terracotta Army and Song of Everlasting Performance from US$135

Xian 2 Day Tour Package from US$170 p/p
Xian 3 Day Tour Package from US$235 p/p

Terracotta Army  Join-in Escorted Bus Tour RMB 480 p/p
Terracotta Army  Escorted Private Tour  US$ $125 P/P

Further Readings


Beijing Xian High Speed Train Experience
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian
Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
How Visit Terracotta Army
How to Visit Daming Palace National Heritage Park
Top 10 Photography Spots in Xian
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Tips for Visiting Hanyang Tombs Xian
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show in Xian
Tips for Visiting Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Best Time to Visit Xian

Any questions, just drop a line.