My China trip turned out to be better than expected. I’ve had people telling me stories about visiting China but luckily enough we got through it all and still had an enjoyable time. Shanghai was our last stop in our trip after Beijing and Xián. The city is much more modern than the others and offer a much different experience.
We stayed at a very strategic location in the city near Nanjing East Road at Mingtown Nanjing East Hostel. It’s very near to a metro station and main attractions. Nanjing Road is the spot where you’d wanna get your retail therapy fix. It is the longest shopping street in the world at 5.5km and one of the busiest as well. You’re going to be spoiled for choice here as the whole stretch is filled with department stores serving various items for sale from high end luxury brands to the local souvenirs.
Head to the east end of Nanjing Road and you’ll reach the Bund, which is a waterfront area by the Huangpu river. Here we felt like we were transported to Europe as along the road here, the building here have European influences architecture due to the British settlements in the past as well as once housing banks and international trading houses. Look for the Bund Bull here as well which is similar to the Charging Bull in New York city.
From the Bund, you can get a beautiful panoramic view of the Lujiazui area across the Huangpu river which has various skyscrapers decorating the skyline. Our view was a bit obstructed due to either fog or haze in the air at the time. To head to Lujiazui, we took the metro at Nanjing East Road and head west 1 station to Lujiazui. Alternatively, they have a sightseeing tunnel to cross the river. Once you reach there, you can walk along the elevated ring road to reach the main attractions of Lujiazui. Some of them include the Oriental Pearl Tower and a flagship Disney Store.
Oriental Pearl Tower
We wanted to take a ride up the unique looking tower but felt that it would not be worthwhile as the sky was too foggy for us to be able to see anything. Going up can cost from CNY35 up to CNT230 depending on which level or attraction in the building you would like to go for. Nevertheless seeing it up close from outside is already mesmerizing.
Shanghai Disneyland Park
Most of our 2nd day was spent at Disneyland Park as it definitely requires a day to go through most of the rides and attraction in the park. The metro going to the park from Nanjing Road requires two changes of lines but it took less than an hour to reach there. We went on a Friday but the crowd was not bad at all. We manage to go on most of the rides with queues not taking more than 75 minutes at most for us. For those with longer queues, we took the Fast Pass tickets which was very convenient. We didn’t experience any negative things that people have been talking about the park compared to other Disney parks around the world. I guess it has been handled well. Stay for the 7pm fireworks show which was just spectacular. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there. Can’t wait to come back.
Xin Tian Di
On the way home, we stopped by an area called Xin Tian Di, which is suppose to be the new hip enclave in Shanghai with restaurants and bars where the city’s young adults flock to. It was quite a nice visit for us to see another side of Shanghai which is much more modern than the other Chinese cities. Even the building around have that European feel to it.
If you’re looking for cheap souvenir to bring back home, Fuyou Road has them all for you. There are even CNY10 stores which sells all items at CNY10 or less. That’s a relief for me as I’m really not the haggling type of person. Items from fridge magnets, keychain, umbrella, scarves and even drones are all available to purchase here along the road.
Fuyou Road Mosque
Along the road as well, we stopped by the Fuyou Road Mosque for our afternoon prayers. The wooden interior gives a cooling and calming effect from the hustle and bustle of the road outside.
Our initial plan was to go into Yuyuan Garden nearby but we felt we’ve been to a lot of garden throughout this journey that it wasn’t going to be too much of a difference. However, we were surprised that the surrounding area of Yuyuan Garden was as vibrant. Chinese style buildings line the narrow alley ways around the garden. Suddenly, we met with crowds of people compared to the more quiet streets at Fuyou. An elder man who is a volunteer guide took us to a teahouse located at the top floor in one of the buildings that gave us a nice view of the Shanghai skyline.
After our lunch, we just decided to visit the nearby Gucheng Park to enjoy some nature and give our tired feet a rest after 9 days of travelling. There were areas filled with bamboo trees, fishing ponds as well as viewing platform above another pond that gave a serene feeling as compared to the surrounding skyscrapers.
Compared to Beijing and Xián, we didn’t need to go too far to enjoy the city. Almost all that we see were within a few metro stations away. There were some places that were in our itinerary that we didn’t get to as we felt the city in itself is a pleasure to explore.