Shanghai, China Travel Guide

Your Shanghai travel itinerary should include a visit to the Bund, a Shanghai Museum, and a Shopping excursion.

The Lobby of most Hotels (Even Budget hotels) is a gold mine of free Tourist Brochures.

Fill your bag. Most important are a good Shanghai Map, with directions, a Bus and Subway schedule.

Shanghai or (Shang Hai) will be overwhelming at first.

Many streets are lined with food stalls, fascinating cultural sites, and a dense population of people in a big hurry.

It can be a very expensive city, but it can also be very reasonable.

more overcrowded than ever

Any Shanghai Travel will be affected by the massive crowds.

There's a time for everything, even a stroll along The Bund in the Huangpu District.

The locals have learned to deal with the crowds by throwing common courtesy out the window.

They will challenge your patience, especially on the crowded Subways.

Crowds on 'The Bund', Shanghai China

Out with the old, in with the new

The newest buildings in Shanghai are massive skyscrapers.

They are impressive in scale, but they were built upon the demolished charm and history of the old Shanghai.

Most Locals are driven by status and wealth alone. New Shanghai has given them that, but has robbed them of so much of the city's rich and unique history.

Some landmarks have been preserved. That's where you want to be, even if they have become tourist traps.

Many of the poor now operate in back alleyways that were once vibrant areas of the City.

Seek them out. That's where the true riches of the city can be found.

The brightest red light districts of old once boasted the best soup kitchens and housed the finest silk vendors.

Many of those ares are gone.

'Hustlers' now use the dark, neglected back alleys to entice tourists into buying pirated goods and useless trinkets.

These are the areas that host the most popular tourist scams in Shanghai.

finding love in shanghai

Many people have written stories about getting scammed by prostitutes in Shanghai.

It's a story about internet romance and eventual betrayal. There are many men who would do and believe anything for the slightest prospect of Love.

They make the perfect victims.

It can be difficult for anyone to accept the possibility that they may never find love again.

I know that story all too well.

The mistake is believing that Chinese women are any different. They will use that hope against you.

If you are making your first Shanghai travel plans, Read what others have written here.

Shanghai is a city you can never be too prepared for.

everything is fake

It's common find an Armani Shop on the main road, with a steaming soup kitchen, and pirated CD vendors in the alleyways behind it.

The noodle / soup kitchens are filled with cheap and delicious food but be careful of the salt in the glass jar on each table.

It isn't salt, but purified MSG. This was long ago banned in most countries, but the Chinese soak it up like a delicacy.

It has been proven to cause certain forms of Cancer, but can make almost anything more delicious.

Getting to Shanghai central from PU DONG Airport

Shanghai Taxi

It was the middle of the night when I arrived at Pudong International airport.

If you land after 10pm then you'll get through immigration and out into the cold dark evening in under 20 minutes.

I don't envy you.

The mornings are the busiest times at Pu dong Airport. You should expect processing through immigration to take at least an hour.

Arriving at PU DONG AIRPORT after 10pm

Maglev Train

You'll have no problem finding a taxi parked up against the wide concrete sidewalk, the driver salivating at your arrival.

During the Daylight hours, Taxi fares are regulated by the Chines government.

They charge per Kilometre, but Central Shanghai is pretty far from Pu Dong airport. so prices are already high.

You must try the Maglev Train, which travels at 430 KPH!

All those options are for those who arrive before 10pm.

do not arrive after 10pm

I once arrived in Shanghai after 10pm at night. 

I was too ignorant to book the Airport Shuttle Service in advance, so there was no option but to grab the cab driver.

Taking a taxi cab is slower and more expensive than any other for of transportation after 10pm.

Many Taxi Driver drivers only work nights for this very reason, as well they are never licensed.

Check out all other Shanghai Airport transportation options

Headed to My Hotel

I directed the taxi driver to the address of a hostel I had found in my 'Budget' Shanghai Travel Guidebook.

It's was called the Captain Hostel and seemed very nice with good write ups in that book.

They told me of the real prices of rooms when I got there. The Guidebook had said that the prices were reasonable.

$60USD for a single room per night, if you arrive late at night without a booking.

$18USD a night to sleep on a bunk-bed in a dorm room with 12 snoring men and their hacking lungs and flatulence filled bowels.

I felt like a monkey being tested. They wanted to see my reaction when they took my banana away.

They knew it was too late for me to find another hotel.

I think they were also quite proud of their ability to ask such a ridiculous price. They had been written up in a famous Budget Shanghai Travel Guidebooks, after all.

They got reasonable since I was last there. in 2020, your own room is $38USD, and a shared dorm room is as little as $10USD.

Book online if you want to secure those prices.

Without A Room for The Night?

I ran out of that Hostel, angry but aware of another hostel along the road on the way in.

It was a heck of a long walk. but I soon gave up and relaxed into a slow walk.

I'll never forget that night, strolling the empty streets of Shanghai. 

Passers-by rode past on their old fashioned bicycles, singing in Chinese, their bellies full of rice wine.

I decided to start this website during that long walk. I was angry and yet in love with the feeling of being lost and alone in a strange place.

People still laugh today, when I tell thee story. They say I put too much work into a website that counts Expedia, Travelocity and Google Travel as its competitors.

But those 'Huge' web sites offer little information about any of the destinations except a place to fill in your credit card details.

Are we just consumers now?

Where to Stay in Shanghai

I kept walking toward where I'd seen the other hostel on the taxi ride in.

It was a long walk but I was full of excitement for all the Shanghai travel I'd done on that first night.

My bag was heavy and everyone I met along the way wanted something only my wallet was meant to carry.

I finally made it to the Mingtown Hiker Youth Hostel. It was a great little place with dorm beds at $12USD a night (2020) and single rooms for $20USD a night.

There is wireless internet access in the rooms and it's just a 5 minute walk to The Bund on the Yangtze River, which overlooks the Oriental Pearl Tower and is a must see on any Shanghai travel excursion.

I wanted to be as close to The Bund during my Shanghai travel adventure as I could. There are many other areas in Shanghai but 'The Bund' really is at the heart of it all.

The Bund is the best place to see a Shanghai Museum or do some Shanghai shopping along Nanjing road.

Also, the Bund is well dotted with access stations to the Subway system, which will get you anywhere in the city.

Have a look at the map below. Good Fodder for Shanghai Travel plans.

Shanghai MapAn Ever Changing Shanghai Map

Click here for a highly detailed Shanghai Map.

Things to do in Shanghai

See the Shanghai Zoo if you want to but I felt sad after my visit (Now is July 2020) but I saw it 3 years ago.

There are many other things to do in Shanghai. Like any huge city, they have all the amenities.

    If you keep your activities between 10am to 2pm on weekdays, you'll avoid the stifling crowds.

Get more information on things to do in Shanghai, including when to go, how to get there, and what it'll cost you.

Finding work in Shanghai

Shanghai was a place of opportunity and growth. Not so much in 2020.

I was employed within a week of landing in the city.

The newspapers and job sites were crammed with jobs but few paid very well, especially if you don't have a university degree.

They consider a college degree to be everything, not so of your experience. They don't even care how well you can actually do the job.

It still is massive amounts of people all gunning for their own piece of the pie.

Monday mornings are great. Most Chinese people shower on Sunday evening.

But, they do not bathe again until the following Sunday. It makes for a Friday night Rush-Hour that is enough to send you home on the next flight.

Shanghai Travel TV Tower LinMy First and Last Love

Spoiled foreigner I am.

I might be exactly the same if I had been brought up in the same conditions.

But, there are times when you just have to react, and often it becomes regrettable.

We're all human, and the way of the people in Shanghai is abrasive.

commom scams to be aware of in shanghai

Beware the most common and current scams for foreigners in Shanghai.

I hate seeing people get ripped-off, and I saw a lot of it, including myself.

I once walked into a restaurant and ordered some food from the menu. About 20 minutes later, they brought me the bill.

"But, I did not eat anything". I said. That reply brought out 2 giant Chinese men who demanded I pay the bill.

Typical Shanghai Weather

It gets pretty cold in the winter months in Shanghai.

Enough so that you should consider the Shanghai weather cycles in your Shanghai travel plans.

Learn more about Shanghai Weather patterns and why you shouldn't buy suitably warm clothes until you get there.

leaving shanghai, china

I enjoyed my first few months living in Shanghai, but it is a Rat Race on steroids. The noise, the stress, and the crowds eventually broke me.

If you have to work a 9am - 5pm job, taking the Shanghai Subway each day ... it will eventually drive you mad.

Tell us Your Story of Shanghai, China!

You can't visit Shanghai without forming some strong opinions. Lay them out here so others may learn and maybe even have a better trip for it.

Don't be afraid to ask us any Questions about Shanghai here.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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scammed by working vietnamese Girl in Judy`s 
I was in Judy`s Tongren road, very nice Ladys there, but i got scammed from an nice girl who played the poor girl who need the money and get cheated from …

Scammed by Prostitute Shanghai 
Hi, I was scammed by a massage girl whom I contacted by internet before my arrival to Shanghai. She was very pretty on the net and gave me her mobile …

Thank You Shanghai Travel Advice Not rated yet
My BF and I will travel to Shanghai in a month, so I was making some research about the place and found your page. Thank you very much for all your …

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