An Essential Guide To Visiting Shanghai, China

4:00:00 PM Pinoy Boy Journals 0 Comments

There's no time difference between Shanghai and Manila but fuck, I'm dead tired. I've been walking the streets, shopping in Nanjing, SuperBrand Mall, Yuyuan Gardens, everywhere, and drinking at I love Shanghai and Bar Rouge at 18 on the Bund. I've been walking for four days in Shanghai. I've got no sleep, I'm drunk and tired. But i am a very very happy boy. i just want to lie down and think nothing except the best and most memorable experiences i had in Shanghai.

Shanghai is a really beautiful. It's a fast paced city, maybe like New York. They use electricity here like crazy. There's lights everywhere. Lights in the major highways, intersections, hotels, shops, even Aurora - the calculator has a building with too many lights. Lights, lights, lights. Indeed, Shanghai is bright lights, big city!

Where do we start? We arrived at Pudong International Airport early in the morning via Cebu Pacific. There's no one in the airport.  Supposedly, we would ride the Maglev Train but with the schedule, we decided to ride a taxi going to the hotel instead.

Taxi cost us almost 200 RMB, around P1200 to be exact. It's actually not bad for a 45 minute ride. Tip i got is to ask someone from the airport to write the name of the hotel in Chinese. The taxi drivers don't speak nor understand English. It's actually confusing but good thing we came prepared.

We arrived at Wusong Road, where HengSheng Peninsula is. Before we decided to book our accommodation there, we already knew of the mix reviews. So i didn't expect much. It cost us around P16,000 good for two for four days stay - quite expensive but after my Hongkong accommodations, i knew i wanted comfort and luxury. You can read the story here.

Honestly, i've got no bad words for Hengsheng Peninsula, we stayed at 22nd floor with a really amazing view of Huangpu River and Pudong Area including the Oriental TV Tower, The room was big, the aircondition maybe better but it was ok. The bed was perfect just the way i like it, soft-hard with really amazing comforter. There is a breakfast buffet.

Not the McDonalds breakfast vouchers i got in my hotel in Hong Kong. The best part is there is a roof deck on the 26th floor of the hotel where there is a sightseeing area for the guests free of charge. There's a bar there, too, so you could grab a beer, or sip your cocktail (don't worry the price of drinks is almost the same in other bars/restaurants) while enjoying the amazing view of Shanghai.

There are mandatory scenic spots i think every traveler should visit in Shanghai whcih are great for picture-taking, experiencing Shanghai culture, meeting people, walking, shopping, getting drunk, music, etc. With too many things to do in Shanghai, i guess my top ten is very much short-listed.

1. Yuyuan Gardens
It's a really beautiful spot to take pictures with so many temples, zig-zag pathways to the pond area and shops which sell everything from souvenirs to local hand-made stuff. This is where i bought my souvenirs of Shanghai.

There are tees, adornments, Chinese dolls, playing cards, post cards. Everything's here. There's even a mall and some shops.

2. Bund Platform 
As i would like to call it. It is the sightseeing area with a magnificent view of Pudong. This area is like our Manila Bay walkway. Luckily, my hotel is near this area. It's in front of which is a great view of art-deco buildings which are all well-lit at night. Spectacular! Over on the other side, one could really see how progressive Pudong is.

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is like a spaceship that has docked. I tell myself Shanghai is a mix of two worlds, the old world Bund area and the New World Pudong Area. If this is a futuristic movie, the aliens may have landed in Pudong, waiting to attack the Bund area to conquer. Great Contrast if you see, the Huangpu river divides.

3. Nanjing Road
Shopping. Shopping. Shopping. This is the magnificent area to get your pictures taken because this area is where all the lights are at night. Amazing!

I go here for shopping, with numerous brands to choose from and Hongying Plaza, a mall where i eat for fine dining Chinese Style. But there's KFC and Pizza Hut if you fancy western food.

This is also the land of too many local sellers all saying, "hey, you want louis vuitton, rolex..." Of course, they are referring to fakes. Shanghai is a place to buy fakes, everything's here - from watches to ladies bags, to ballpens, to sunglasses. Everything Vuitton, Gucci, Coach, Chanel. I actually went inside one shop but sorry Fake is never for me. I always believe in my saying... "Never Trust Anyone Who Wears Fake".

4. Xintiandi (French Concession Area)
It is a walkway very much inspired by French Style. There are numerous restaurants here. There is even a bar called Rendezvous where a Filipino band is headlining performing every Monday night.

and really good stores around international brands like Evisu, etc. There's also a mall here. But i am late for a night out so i had to pass on the mall. This is also a place if you want to explore as there is a museum here, even art exhibits where paintings and portraits are for sale.

5. Pudong Area
I was suppose to ride the elevator to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, but due to health reasons and lack of time i passed on this one, too. But i had my picture taken just in front of the tall structure. I really couldn't believe i was there. No joke, it looks like a set location for a movie. It looks so amazing. Near the tower is Superbrand mall,

the biggest mall i've been to where 5 hours only took me to explore 1/8 of the mall. Everything's here! There are brands like Sephora, H&M, Uniqlo, Zara even Hotwind (yes, the ladies stiletto heels shop in Manila, sells personal stuff and menswear in Shanghai). Numerous restaurants are here as well. I ate Thai food this time. I was craving for Pad Thai. I know, i'm in shanghai but i'm craving for Thai food.

6. Huaihai Road

This is a long, long road of so many shops. H&M's here, Zara, local brands, different stores, usually catering for women shopping. There are restaurants here as well.

If you're walking from Huaihai, i think in a few minutes you'll be in Xintiandi already. So it's best to plan Xintiandi and Huahai together. Luckily again, HengSheng Peninsula is very near the two areas so taxi wasn't that expensive.

7. Bund Tourist Tunnel

I've heard a lot of negative reviews about this particular place -that it's not worth it, that it's hyped.

Basically the 7 minute ride is all about the different facets Shanghai is known for. But this is a really weird ride. If you're interested in the arts like me, i can very much relate with the concepts - marine life, city life, etc. as projected with the splash of colors. Turn off the flash and take as many pictures as you like. There is one seat, i was given the seat by the locals, laughing because i was taking too many pictures to capture the light. I was laughing with them, too. Very friendly! One way ticket is 40 RMB, 50 RMB for round trip. By the way, the entrance is just below the platform i was talking about earlier.

8. Huangpu River Cruise 
think is the most famous tourist attraction in Shanghai. I got myself the expensive one, 100 RMB, but there's a 50RMB as well. The advantage i have is, it's a bigger boat - like a pagoda, where the view is better because on the roof you have an unobstructed view of the cityscape.

and Bund area

at night with all the lights, and all that jazz. You could buy tickets near the parked boats. There are a dozen of counters there. Just choose one. I got the 7PM departure. You can also get your pictures taken if you insist professional help. But word of advice, some locals charge you for too many pictures. If you say, one picture, he'll take two sets one full body shot and one half body. WTF, right? Anyway, it'll cost your around 10 RMB for each pic, which is already printed in 6R size and laminated.

9. I love Shanghai
It's the bar near the river in the Bund Area. This is, for me, the best bar in the Shanghai. Voted as the best dive bar in Shanghai by some reviews. The music is eclectic week-long. Mondays, there's a Filipino rock band, everyone's a Filipino here. I went there Saturday with too many foreigner drunk. I went to the bar, ordered Tiger, and draft beer (Carlsberg) because i need a good kick so i can sleep early. Beer costs 40RMB. But since my friendly powers started showing already, i met and chatted with the owners, the girl is half pinay, half Chinese, while the guy is half american, half-chinese. I got free shots of vodka and tequila which really kicked the hell out of me for the night. Met locals and South Africans. All good. Nice people. Affordable food. Good music. Lovely people.

But Bar Rouge is the place to hook up. Sadly, the locals who go here are prostitutes. Everyone's friendly. And westerners always have a good time dancing to house music which is already long forgotten in Manila. Entrance is 100RMB, beers cost 50RMB, while cocktails are a 100RMB. I told myself on my first night in Shanghai, i wanted to see the nightlife. At night, you could see all expats flocking M on the Bund.

10. Maglev Train 
From any hotel, you need to ride the taxi towards the nearest railway station. Just show the cab driver that you're going Honquia, i think. They will show you an amount, around 150RMB to Pudong International Airport direct. But since i wanted to experience this fast train. So, i did. One way ticket would cost you 50RMB. 7 minutes ride 301 km/min. They say, the train could go as fast as 410 km/h. I was actually pretty scared of the pressure. And as much as i wanted to look outside, i couldn't because i felt dizzy as soon as i saw cars passing by. I could even distinguish which is which. It's that fast.

This i didn't go to because during my last day in Shanghai, it was raining really hard. I was really scared that my flight to Manila later that day would be a disaster. But that's another post. Anyway, if i had one more day to spare, i would go Hangzou and Suzhou (not sure with the correct spelling) for more sightseeing. It would be a welcome addition for your journey, as these two places are a lot more calm and quiet thn the bustling city of Shanghai. I so love Shanghai. FYI, this review took me two days to upload... ssshhh... bad blogger, hmmmph.