You’ve been in Shenyang for a long time and have already seen everything in the city and outside? Then this article is for you. China is a very big country with a lot of beautiful cities and towns, national parks and places to visit. You have a great possibility to spend your weekends walking along rice fields or playing poker in the biggest casino in the world!
This post is about the second most famous city in China: Shanghai. It lies on the east coast of China equidistant from Beijing and Guangzhou. Being a major financial and trading center as well as a worldly metropolis, Shanghai attracts millions of tourists from around the globe.
How to Get There.
The easiest way to get there from Shenyang is by plane. The flight takes around 2.5 hours, so you can fly on Friday evening after work. Prices can vary greatly, depending on the season during which you travel and whether there is a major Chinese holiday close to your travel date.
When you arrive, you can of course take the subway or taxi to get to your hotel but I advise you to try the Maglev train. It is the fastest way because it accelerates to up to 430 km/h and it takes 8 minutes and 50RMB to get to the city (for example, by subway it takes 6 RMB but 75 minutes).
Finding a Hotel.
Then you will need a hotel. There are many opportunities for every budget, but the most famous hotel in all of Shanghai at the moment is probably the Park Hyatt Shanghai (http://shanghai.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html). This hotel is located in a skyscraper called the Shanghai Financial Center. Locals call it the “bottle opener” because of its shape. At the moment, it also houses Shanghai’s highest observation point on the 100th floor.
On your first evening in Shanghai (especially if you are tired after your flight) I would just recommend you have a dinner in a restaurant near your hotel and then go to the famous Capitain’s Bar because of its reasonable prices and breathtaking view of the night city. The bar is located on the rooftop terrace (with indoor and outdoor seating) of a popular Shanghai Youth Hostel right by the bund. From its terrace, you have an unimpeded view of the famous Shanghai skyline.
In the morning after a good breakfast, you should start exploring the city from the riverside. Walk along The Bund (Wai Tan). For the best effect, you should see this very beautiful place both during the daytime and at night. When you get tired, you can book a boat tour along the river. Then cross the river through the underground tunnel via taxi to get to the island with its skyscrapers. The most popular tower is the Oriental Pearl Tower. I do not recommend you to buy a ticket to the highest point, but to the level with the glass floor instead. It is more exciting and funny there. But be ready to wait in the queue for some time, because there are plenty of people every day who want to go up.
If you miss the European spirit, take a taxi and go to the Old French Concession. It is a historic walking area where you feel like somewhere in Europe. There are many restaurants where you can have lunch.
In the afternoon, you can go to People’s Square, which is the main square in Shanghai with a big park, underground shopping malls and the Shanghai Museum. This place is also very close to Nanjing Street – the main shopping street in Shanghai. The best entertainment for evenings is Shanghai Circus World. There are no animals in this circus but only acrobats who perform amazing and breathtaking shows.
Shanghai is a city with skyscrapers and a busy way of life, but it is also possible to find rather quiet and peaceful places there – for instance the Yu Garden. It is a classical Chinese-style garden with a nice pond and small pagodas. It might be comparatively quiet inside, but when you leave the garden, you will get to a noisy street with hundreds of shops in the best Chinese traditions. These buildings are looking like pagodas or temples but with shops inside. There, you can buy everything: tea, street food, clothes, watches and countless other useful and useless things. If you are not afraid of big queues, you should go to Nan Xiang restaurant in this area. It is a dumpling house with the most delicious Chinese dumplings ever!
To continue the classical Chinese theme, you should go to Longhua Temple. It is the biggest Buddhist monastery with the highest Temple that was built in 977! If you like temples, you should visit Jade Buddha Temple. This Temple has two Jade Buddha statues. Both the Sitting Buddha and the Recumbent Buddha are carved entirely from white jade. The Jade Buddha statues are truly unique for their carving and craftsmanship.
Try to finish your trip on Moganshan street, 50 (M50). It is an artists’ quarter. Nowadays, there are a lot of galleries and fashionable places there. In this area, you can find cheap pictures from unknown artists as well as very expensive ones from those who have already managed to become famous. Walking in the atmosphere of art and creation is a very nice end for your weekend in Shanghai.
Tell us what you think of my proposed itinerary in the comments below!