DIY Travel Guide for Shanghai 2018

Posted by Gelo Echon
Published on December 20, 2017

Shanghai is one of the most cosmopolitan city in Asia. Dubbed as the Paris of the East, the city is a perfect mix of the old and new with its amazing modern skyline, picturesque historical riverside buildings, great temples and gardens, and charming hip neighborhoods. With all the cities in Asia, I believe Shanghai is one of the most unexplored by Filipino travelers that's why you have to visit this great city this 2018!


Booking tickets

Check out sites like Cheap Flights or Skyscanner for affordable airfare. Flights to Shanghai are usually in the same range as Seoul or Tokyo tickets and since it's not really visited compared to those two other cities, securing tickets to Shanghai during promo sales are much easier.


Chinese Visa Application

First, you have to secure a Chinese visa. For more details on how to apply for one, check out Wanderast's visa guide here: How To Get Chinese Visa For Philippine Passport Holders.


Arrival

International flights usually land at Pudong Airport. The airport is relatively far from the city center but no worries, getting to the city is very easy (and cheap!) For the cheapest option, you can use the metro rail. The Pudong Airport Station is on Line 2 so you can easily go to the city center (People's Square) without changing lines! For me, our train ride to our hotel (Hailun Road Station) costs only 7 RMB, which is only around Php 54! 


If you want to try one of the fastest trains on the planet, you can use the Maglev Train. However, the train is only up 'til Longyang Road Station so you have to change to Line 2 when you reach the station.


Accomodation


Shanghai's accomodation is relatively cheaper compared to other Asian cities. Great hotels here are quite affordable so make sure to look at those options. I've read on some forums that renting Airbnb in China is quite a hassle since the hosts have to "register" his/her guests as his/her visitors to the local police. From what I know, once you check in, you have to head out to the police station along with the host to register. Hotels and hostels are the only legally allowed establishments to host tourists so just to be safe, I suggest try searching for hotels first. For our trip, we stayed at Sheraton Hongkou Hotel. 


For areas to stay at, try searching for accommodations near Nanjing Road, The Bund, and People's Square since those are central areas and easily accessible from the airport (their stations are on Line 2.)


Shanghai Metro Map from TravelChinaGuide


Places to Visit


Yu Garden

Station: Yuyuan Station (Line 10)

A garden oasis in the middle of the city. 


City God Temple

Station: Yuyuan Station (Line 10)

An old temple in the middle of Shanghai. The temple is located beside Yuyuan Garden.


Nanjing Road

Station: East Nanjing Road Station or West Nanjing Road Station (Line 2)

This long street in the middle of city is famed for its shopping and huge malls. 


The Bund

Station: East Nanjing Road Station (Line 2)

This beautiful riverside area filled with historical buildings that remind you of European cities.


Pudong

Station: Lujiazui (Line 2)

This is the area where numerous skyscrapers like the famous Oriental Pearl Tower are situated. 


Tianzifang

Station: Dapuqiao (Line 9)

This charming artsy neighborhood in the French Concession is filled with local artisan shops, hip bars, and amazing restaurants.


Xintiandi

Station: Xintiandi (Line 10)

This affluent neighborhood in the French Concession is known for its cool Paris-vibe streets, and stylish pedestrian road made of Shikumen houses.


People's Square

Station: People's Square (Line 2, Line 8, Line 1)

This park is right at the middle of Shanghai, perfect for an afternoon stroll. 


Shanghai Disneyland

Station: Disneyland (Line 11)

No explanations needed. A must-visit in Shanghai!


Suggested Itinerary (4 Days)


Day 1:

People's Square

Nanjing East Road

The Bund


Day 2: 

Xintiandi

Tianzifeng

French Concession


Day 3:

Shanghai Disneyland


Day 4:

Pudong 

Yu Yuan Garden

City God Temple


Final Thoughts


Aside from the metro and accommodation, Shanghai is relatively an expensive city (why do you think Mainland Chinese hoard stuffs when they're shopping overseas lol) Though the food can be budgeted, you have to pay a lot to eat amazing food so don't expect cheap great Chinese food around the city. However, Shanghai is definitely cheaper than Tokyo or Seoul so if you've been to those cities already, you'll find Shanghai a little bit better in terms of budget. 

Despite all of these, it's still worth it to visit Shanghai because the city itself is very beautiful and filled with hidden treasures. It lives up to its name as the Paris of the East. Nowhere in Asia you'll find a city with European charms and New York City vibes like Shanghai. It's like you've been to Europe on a budget!

Plus, there are only few Filipinos exploring the city so better explore it before everybody does! 

About the author

Gelo Echongeloechon
A bum at Wanderast 🌎

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