"Shanghai - the Asian metropole" Shanghai by ZenLady34

Shanghai Travel Guide: 3,162 reviews and 8,240 photos

Hi there,

I visited Shanghai again this year (OCT 2011) and before that I visited the city back in 2007& 2004. wow - I must say, so much had changed. Well, imagine a city which never sleeps, were constraction work is done 24/7. The city is changing all the time and therefore the restaurants I've visited in 2007 were all gone. My old tips were, well - OLD.

These pictures are from my second visit (year 2004) to Shanghai but I have also added some recent photos. It is said that the people in Shanghai are the most best dressed up people in China. I believe it is true, is it? Shanghai is the largest city in China and if I remember correctly Magnolia is chosen to be the "city Flower". The white magnolia is among the few spring flowers in the Shanghai area. It is in full blossom in early spring, April.

In Shanghai one can find anything and now I am talking about shopping. There, "shop 'till you drop" comes concretise. The amount of shopping malls is enormous.

Friendly people
The second time I came to Shanghai and took a taxi to a hotel from Pudong airport, the driver did not know the exact location of the hotel. We decided to jump off the taxi in downtown and ask for directions and then walk the rest of it as it was close! So we did.

Many people could not understand or did not know the hotel but then we met two younger school girls. They obviously knew where the hotel we were looking for was, but we could not understand each other… So what did they do? They took me from a hand and walked (yes, walked) us all the way to our hotel! Wasn’t that something? I mean it was closer to one kilometres journey to the hotel…
The people I’ve met in Shanghai has always been friendly and very helpfull!

Nanjing Lu - the walking street

The walking street is kilometres long and at the weekends it is crowded. There are shopping malls next to shopping malls and Mc Donalds after Mc Donalds.

When comparing Shanghai to Beijing I can tell you that these two cities are like a day and a night. So different they are. Mainly because Shanghai appears to be such a modern city and it could be situated anywhere in the world. Beijing, to me, is more a traditional, real "Chinese city" with many cultural sites to visit.

To my experience only some people speak English, like in hotel personnel or some younger Chinese. Ask the hotel front desk people to write the place you are going to in Chinese characters on paper and then give it to your taxi driver. Also remember to take the hotel name card into your pocket and then, again, just show the card to a taxi driver.

It is not impossible to shop goods in Shanghai even if you don't have a common language with the shop keeper. For sure (s)he will have a calculator which you’ll use when negotiating for prices.

I felt that the city is full of contrasts: there are brand new modern buildings, their main shopping streets could be from anywhere of the world and yet one can find alleys like in the picture here.

My advise is that go off the tourist streets and see what you can find from there. You will find genuine Shanghai city behind the scenes. I did some good shopping and bought myself a pair of ladies shoes, leather (tested), for 60 RMB.

If you get lost, and you probably will, just take a taxi back to your hotel. Donot hesitate to look for places outside touristy areas but rather dive into the city and you will discover even more.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:shopping, food, cheap to go around
  • Cons:long flight from Europe...
  • In a nutshell:shopping! Great food!
  • Last visit to Shanghai: Nov 2007
  • Intro Updated Dec 12, 2011
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Reviews (17)

Comments (13)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2007 at 3:48 AM

    Fabulous new accomodation tip here. Interesting taxi tip as well. Usually the taxi companies which are booked through your hotel should be reliable.

  • CliffClaven's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2007 at 10:34 PM

    Useful taxi tips

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2007 at 12:18 PM

    What a lovely page. Loved you shopping tips, I am a great shopper myself ;-)

  • Oct 20, 2006 at 3:50 AM

    I can confirm that the Xiang Yang market has been shut down. I was there in the end of August. Too bad, -the place was great! I´ve heard it have been moved, but i don´t know where to. Unfortunately.

  • Jan 2, 2006 at 3:36 PM

    A lovely page Zen:) How I would love to go to Shanghai! I have to return to this page..... Thank you for sharing, ........Zen:)

  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2005 at 11:49 PM

    I bet the shopkeepers loved you with your lighter!;) Great tips...and I loved that panoramic view of the city! Happy travels, Blu

  • Confucius's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2005 at 1:36 AM

    Nin hao! I'm sure you'll enjoy the Chinese forums. I know most of the folks there and it's a good group of helpful people. Looks like you had a lot of fun in Shanghai!

  • iwys's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2005 at 2:57 AM

    Very helpful tips. Shanghai is amazing.

  • MrBill's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2005 at 12:27 AM

    The lighter & tweezer trick is new to me, thanks. I just have to visit China one day soon. So interesting. Thanks for your tips, Maja. Bill.

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2005 at 5:57 AM

    this is one of the original Metroplitan Cities of the World, from what i've heard. it is there again after a rest ;-)))

ZenLady34

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