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The Tips For Travellers podcast helps you make the most of your precious vacation time and money with first-hand travel inspiration, advice and tips from travel expert, author, blogger and YouTuber Gary Bembridge.

Jul 21, 2014

Gary Bembridge of Tips for Travellers shares observations, tips and advice for visitors to Shanghai in China.

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This show covers among other topics:


  • Dramatic changes over years I have been visiting.
  • Modern without defining a distinctive Chinese feel while stunning  lit up at night.
  • Always been the most cosmopolitan city in China
  • Massive city over 20 million people.
  • Shanghai means up from the sea  - massive port - busiest in world - but has some limitations.
  • Pollution and smog - big issue - asthma and breathing issues


  • Started as a fishing village developed into centre of textile industry and major trading port developed from there. Chinese government made it free port (no taxes, not subject to Chinese laws) after the First Opium War and boomed with British then French and American concessions.
  • Rich and decadent especially in 1930s - "Paris of the East" - Japanese occupied for time in WWII - after war hand back to Chinese and after Communist entered city in 1949 and became more closed.
  • Now one of the four cities in china that are directly managed by Central Government

Getting there

  • Need a visa before go - plan well in advance - can be costly to process - consider using a visa agency.
  • Watch what packing and bringing in as conservative and strict
  • Two main airports - Pudong and Hongqiao
  • Cruises port - modern Wusongkou International Terminal - 45 to 90 minutes to Peoples Square / Bund

Getting around

  • Maglev Train from Pudong airport to Pudong Longyanglu station (20km in 7 minutes)
  • Busses -  complex
  • Taxis - colour coded by company - avoid red ones as independent and not metered - always have where going written in Chinese
  • Metro - modern and easy to navigate as also have English names - ticket machines coins.
  • Car hire not recommended even though signs have English

General Tips

  • English often understood in tourist places.
  • Safe but can be hassled a lot by vendors.
  • Many attractions close at 4 or 4:30pm.
  • Good tourist maps and leaflets in hotels and information centre

Must Do:

Oriental Pearl TV Tower-
Shanghai World Finance Centre - 100th floor observation tower - including glass floor looking down 100 floors
Jin Mao Tower - Grand Hyatt Hotel (tallest hotel lobby in world 56th floor) - observation floor on 88th - only 45 seconds to get to top
Shanghai tower - 632 m high opposite opened in 2014

The Bund and huge Huangpu Park

Grand old buildings known as the World Architectural Gallery.

People's Square
Shangai Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art
Shanghai Art Museum
Shanghai Grand Theatre
New Town Hall
Urban Planning Museum - past and future Shanghai

Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar

In the old town, built in the Mid 16th C and took 18 years it build
Bazaar aroudn it has many stores and it is fu

Jade Buddha Temple

Counterfeit markets largely closed down and driven under ground now
Nanjing Road
Yuyuan Bazaar

Night River Cruise

Shanghai Acrobatic Show