Archive for the ‘Shanghai Attractions’ Category

The Old World Charm in Shanghai

Sunday, May 13th, 2018
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When you arrive in Pudong Airport and move further into to the city center of the megacity of Shanghai, you will be bombarded with trendy and futuristic skyscrapers  as well as amazed by the old world charms of the colonial buildings and traditional Chinese alleys and elegant architectures.

Shanghai has many superlatives which you won’t miss on your first trip to Shanghai – the fastest maglev train in the world, the tallest observation deck, the highest hotel and the list could be longer.

If you are an old world charm enthusiast, you will be definitely excited by what the fish-village-turned metropolitan Shanghai can offer.  The surviving old town area, mainly inclusive of Yuyuan Garden, Yuyuan Bazaar and Town God Temple will catch your imagination of the old world charm in Shanghai.

Though a bit gone through some gentrification, the old town area still largely keeps its old Chinese buildings,  charming private gardens, Chinese temples, street-front shops; tea house, silk, Shanghai cuisines, snacks and local products.

For more information on How to get to the Old Town in Shanghai, please check out How to Visit Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar.

If you have enough time in traveling the old world in Shanghai,  sit down in a tea house which is located in the heart of the Nine-Bend Bridge and Pond. The Nine-Bend Bridge and the Pond is the core of the bustling area of the old town. The tea house is known as “Huxinting Tea House” , literally “Mid-Lake Pavilion Tea house”.

Huxinting Tea House  is an old wooden two-story house with up-turned eaves perched on the pond.  The two flags with the big character “茶” ( Tea ) are fluttering in the wind, an old way to attract visitors to come for a sip of Chinese tea and sit above a bit distant cacophony of noise and motion.

Huxinting Teahouse perched on the pond

I walk up the ladder to the second floor and order a cup of green tea and some snacks which costs me about 10 US dollars.

You have a quite variety of tea choices with some being very expensive. So be vigilant about your tea selection.

I walk up the ladder to the second floor and order a cup of green tip of Chinese tea

Two qipao-clad Chinese girls are playing pipa, a traditional Chinese string instrument.

Two qipao-clad Chinese girls are playing pipa

Sitting leisurely and sipping Chinese tea, talking, laughing and enjoying the quietness in the middle of noise and human motion below.

Sitting leisurely and sipping Chinese tea,

You can have a better view overlooking the old world charm below with people moving against the traditional Chinese buildings, zigzag bridges, alleys and people to people watch.

You can have a better view overlooking the old world charm below

On the first floor in the teahouse, you will have an opportunity to watch people how to manually make green tea, by frying the tea on a big wok.

Watch people how to manually make green tea

Walk around the hustling area,  have a peep show accompanied by singing commentary, an old recreational performance.

A peep show accompanied by singing commentary,

Waiting in line to buy watering steamed buns with pork or other delicious fillings.

Sipping the soup in the bun by using a plastic tube.

 

A chic Starbucks housed in a traditional architecture

Planning your Shanghai tour? No matter you like it or not, a side trip to the old town in Shanghai is worth your valuable time

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 package 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

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018
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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 Zhujiajiao Water Town. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
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Plan your Shanghai tour? While fascinated by Shanghai’s  futuristic buildings and fast developments, but if you are keenly looking for something old Shanghai, a kind of the old world charming, a half day trip can bring you to the old water town of Zhujiajiao. It is located on Yangtze River, about 30km in the west of Shanghai.

It belongs to Qingpu District under the Shanghai Municipality.The villages and towns on Yangtze River Delta have long used the water and canals for irrigation and transportation.

So there are many villages and towns constructed on canal systems.  Modern transportation and infrastructure have mostly taken place of old canals, but these villages and old towns have still kept using the water system for hundreds of years.  The most famous water towns around Shanghai include Zhouzhuang Water Town and Tongli Water Town.

If you don’t have enough time to visit Zhouzhuang Water Town and Tongli Water Town that are a bit far from Shanghai, Zhujiajiao Water Town is a good substitute to immerse yourself in an old town with a history of over 1700 years. Zhujiajiao Town was once a trading hub for the surrounding countryside.

Its buildings can date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties ( 1368-1911).  In the past, goods and people were carried by small boats on the narrow canals from house to house, passing under numerous ancient stone bridges. Some of the canals and stone bridges are still used by the local people and now tourists as well.

Zhujiajiao Water Town boasts many old historical buildings and sites of historic interest, such as banks, rice shops,  spice stores and even a Qing Dynasty Post Office, Fangsheng Bridge, Kezhi Garden and the Yuanjin Buddhist Temple. The alleys in Zhujiajiao are teemed with numerous vendors selling souvenirs, snacks, and locals cuisine.

Latest Update from Phil:
One major update on the directions on how to get to Zhujiajiao. Since December 30, 2017, there is a new metro line, 17 (an extension of line 2), that has a station at Zhujiajiao. It cost me 8 RMB for the metro from Puxi to Zhujiajiao and it took about 80 minutes; only a little longer than it would by taxi, but much cheaper.

Once you get to the Zhujiajiao station, go out the exit that is the bridge over the road and take the stairs down to your right. From here you can either walk (about 1 km – 15 minutes), take a bus, or take a taxi to get to the tourist areas of town (I walked). To walk turn left at the road in front of you (Zhuxi road), then take the first major right turn (Xiangningbang Road) and then take the second MAJOR left (Xinfeng Rd).

The tourist information office is a couple hundred meters down Xinfeng road on the right. On the return to the train station, we took one of the pedicabs from Xinfeng road which was 15RMB.

This place is definitely worth a visit. It is a mini Venice with an Asian flair. The boat ride is now 80RMB for up to 6 people for a 10 – 15 minute trip. Also, there are MANY bars, restaurants, and tea shops along the river. Don’t eat before you get here.

This place is good fun!

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If you only want to spend about 1-2 hours to stroll along the old streets, see the old houses and bridges, you don’t have to pay. If you are interested in the sites of interests and historical sites, you are kindly requested to buy a thorough tickets to cover the 8 inside sites in Zhujiaojiao Water Town.

The ticketing  office ( served as Tourist Information Center as well ) just north of the KFC. Ask for an English map of Zhujiajiao from the informtion center. Many people would visit Zhujiajiao free of charge by just walking around the old town.

At the northern tip of Xinfeng Road (新风路) is a T-junction where you will see a direction sign, confused? You just turn right and start your Zhujiaojiao exploration. You may come back on the same route or have a loop tour and return on the other side.

a T-junction where you will see a diretion sign, you just turn right.

You will first come across Fangsheng Bridge, the largest 5-arch stone bridge in the Yangte River Delta. It is one of the over-30 stone bridges in Zhujiajiao. Standing on the bridge, you have a beautiful view of the surrounding waterfront houses and rowing boats.

Fangsheng Bridge, the largest 5-arch stone bridge in the Yangte River Delta

Fangsheng Bridge, the largest 5-arch stone bridge in the Yangte River Delta

Standing on the bridge, you have a beautiful view of the surrounding waterfront houses and rowing boats.

Standing on the bridge

Standing on the bridge

Walking down the Fangsheng Bridge, you turn left side to explore one of the old alleys in Zhujiajiao.

Walking down the Fangsheng Bridge

Walking down the Fangsheng Bridge

The narrow lane is rife with snack stalls and souvenirs stores.

The narrow lane is rife with snack stalls and souvernir stores.

The narrow lane is rife with snack stalls and souvenirs stores.

At the end of the narrow alley, you will see a canal flanked by two waterfront streets named the same name of  Xijing Street (西井街). Three bridges span the canal with the first bridge named, Dragon Head Bridge, Dragon Body Bridge and Dragon Tail Bridge. You walk through the Dragon Head Bridge, then walk along the other side of the street, continue to come cross the third Dragon Bridge, return on the same Xijing Bridge.

Here is the typical water town views – boats, waterfront houses, and trees, constituting an impressive scroll of Chinese traditional painting. You may take a break drinking coffee or tea in the waterfront bars.  The narrow canal is connected to the bigger canal.

The first bridge – Dragon Head Bridge ( Yong’an Bridge ) on Xijing Street.

Walk across the first bridge and stroll on the other side of Xijing Street. You will see the old water town life – rowing boats, local residents chatting,water front house and wharfs.

You may pay RMB 65 to rent a 4-6 people boat to cruise on the canals in Zhujiajiao.

You may pay RMB 65 to rent a 4-6 people boat to cruise on the canals in Zhujiajiao.

You may pay RMB 65 to rent a 4-6 people boat to cruise on the canals in Zhujiajiao.

Zhujiajiao Water Town is still inhabited by the local residents doing routine life.

Zhujiajiao Water Town is still inhabitted by the local residents doing routine life.

Zhujiajiao Water Town is still inhabited by the local residents doing routine life.

The old stone paved streets and simple stone steps used for wharfs and washing clothes and vegetables.

The old stone paved streets and simple stone steps used for wharfs

The old stone paved streets and simple stone steps used for wharfs

The second bridge Dragon Body Bridge (Zhonglong Bridge) 中龙桥

 

Enjoy boating on the canal

Enjoy boating on the canal

 

The last bridge on the canal by Xijing Street – Dragon Tail Bridge

 

The last bridge on the canal by Xijing Street - Dragon Tail Bridge

The last bridge on the canal by Xijing Street – Dragon Tail Bridge

 

This is Ao Restaurant & Bar.

This is Ao Restaurant & Bar.

This is Ao Restaurant & Bar.

 

 

 Yuanjin Buddhist Temple

Yuanjin Buddhist Temple

 

 

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 1

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 1

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 1

 

 

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 2

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 2

 

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 4

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 4

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 5

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 4

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 5

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 6

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 6

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 6

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 Shanghai World Financial Center

Saturday, April 28th, 2018
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Plan your Shanghai tour? Would you like to have a bird’s-eye view of the fast developing Shanghai? Only after Shanghai Tower – the tallest skyscraper in Shanghai, Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) is the second tallest building ( 492 meters ) offering no less magnificent panoramic views from the sky over the magical city of Shanghai.

The most outstanding feature of the skyscrapers is an aperture on its summit, which is often dubbed as “the bottle opener” by foreigners and Chinese.

In Shanghai,  there are four major tallest buildings that have fantastic observation decks from the sky with mesmerizing panoramas – Shanghai Tower, Jinmao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center and Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

The left is Shanghai World Finacial Center ( the bottle opener )

If you are an enthusiast for panoramic views from tall buildings,  you can choose any of the four skyscrapers – Shanghai Tower ( 623 meters ), Shanghai World Financial Center ( 492 meters ) , Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower ( 470 meters ), and Jinmao Tower (420 meters ).

The Tallest Buildings on the concrete forest of Pudong Skyline

Today let’s go up Shanghai World Financial Center!  Shanghai World Financial Center stands adjacent to Shanghai Tower on its east and Jinmao Tower on its southeast. It is a multi-use skyscraper, encompassing offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and ground-floor shopping malls.

How to Get to Shanghai World Financial Center?
Add: No. 100, Century Avenue, Pudong, Shanghai 浦东世纪大道100号
By Subway: Just take subway line 2 and get off at the station of Lujiazui and walk to the tower

Practical Information ( Tickets and Business Hours )
Business Hours: 8:00 – 23:00 ( latest entry at 22:00)
Ticket for the 100th floor deck: 150 yuan

The 1ooth-floor observation deck – sightseeing Sky Pavilion Deck
It is said that there are three observation decks on the building. But you won’t miss the tallest 100th-floor observation deck known as “Sightseeing Sky Pavilion”.

Inside the Sightseeing Sky Pavilion

The Sightseeing Sky Pavilion is housed on the 100th-floor in Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC). It is a 474-meter high suspended long corridor over the aperture of the bottle opener.

Taking pictures from the Sightseeing Sky Pavilion

From the transparent corridor, you can see both the turrets of Jinmao Tower and Oriental Pearl TV Tower. As if walking in the clouds, you can glimpse all the beautiful sights on both sides of Huangpu River.

Selfie from the Sightseeing Sky Pavilion

Inside the 55-meter long sightseeing corridor, there are three transparent floors through which you can easily see the pedestrians, vehicles and the whole city moving under your feet.

The panoramic view from the Sightseeing Sky Pavilion

 

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 package 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

Any questions, just drop a line.