Two Things Other Tourist Don’t Do in Shanghai

When I am asked about three most interesting things that other tourists do not do in Shanghai, I typically give the following suggestion.

1. Transit Between Metro Line #1 and Line #2 in Rush Hours

I know you are tired of the routine scenic spots, and try to dive deep into the daily life of people in this city, a metro ride is a must. To be further visually impressed by the energy of this city, you should schedule your metro ride between 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM. You will not only see what we call “People Mountain People Sea”, it is the type of people and the expression on their face, their pace, what they do in the metro cart, and how huge number of people interact with each other. The scene is shocking for myself every time I experience it. Is there anything more significant to see the largest hub of people in a city with 16 million people?

More information: If your hotel is along the Metro Line #1 or Line #2, get on board a train heading to People’s Square at 8:00 PM typically will give you the experience. Follow the signs to the other line, and be very cautious about your step. Don’t ever try to stop in the middle to take video or pictures – it is not only dangerous but also annoying in rush hours. Don’t be discourage when you have to wait for several minutes before the lines moving a little bit. Don’t be scared to see the platform full packed with people and others on the stairs cannot possible move down – it is people’s life everyday.

2. A quiet walk along Wukang Road

After experiencing the excitement and energy (or congestion, or chaos if you want to describe it that way) of this city, I would highly recommend you to spend an afternoon wandering on the Phoenix-tree -covered small roads in Xujiahui. Wukang Road is my favorite. Be impressed by the historical villas along the quiet street with all type of architect styles, and be moved by the details of local residents life. May it be a row of blooming flowers, or hand written characters welcoming post man on their mailbox. Also, enjoy the loneliness of being one of the only few people on the street. It provides a sharp contrast from what you see from almost everywhere in Shanghai. Don’t forget to stand long enough at the government plate before the villas, to know more about the history of the buildings.

More Information: Wukang Road is located in Xuhui District. It starts from Huaihai Road on the south and Huashan Road on the north. The nearest Metro Station is Changshu Road Station of Metro Line #1. You can walk along the Fuxing West Road to get there. Don’t worry to get lose in that area. The whole area is nice and worth some time wandering around.

9 thoughts on “Two Things Other Tourist Don’t Do in Shanghai

  1. Morning Jianshuo,

    What type of computer do you use at home ?

    a laptop or desktop ?

    will you shut down your PC every time after you use it ? or just keep it running , just shut down weekly or monthly….

    some curious questions.

    Beause some of my IT friends only shut down their PC monthly,at least weekly shut down for half day then continous runing.

    its really very bad for the environmental . especially in summer.

  2. I am using a HP Desktop Computer at home. They have very nice sleep button that you can put the computer into sleep mood when you finish using it, and it resumes in 30 seconds.

  3. JS,

    to me it is a great experience to see the “People Mountain People Sea” when transit Line 1 and Line 2 during peak hours because you hardly can see this kind of crowds in many part of the world. Honestly, I had this culture shock during my first visit to People Square Station during a weekend. I backed off and turn around and go home :P

    Now, when I look back to the incident, I will say that is a great experience… and I always recommend my visitors :P

  4. Those are great things to do, specially when you have people visiting you want to send them somewhere but through a nice or interesting route. By the way you wrote that theese where your suggestions for the -three- most interesting things to do, and you gave two! jeje! But its allright, made me think what could be the third. A couple months ago I was walking north from the bund, a bit further from those hotels (hyatt and some other hotels) their building there a new passenger port, I easily sneeked in and passed through the construction site and ended up in a huge platform with a massive view on the bund and pu dong, I guess the same you must have from the hotels, but just without having to pay the fancy dinner!!

  5. Yesterday I took a couple visiting friends to Wukang Rd, but we found that a lot of the villas on that road are behind high walls :( It seems that there must be better roads in the French Concession to walk along.

  6. Thanks for the insight into Shanghai. My wife and I are coming to Shanghai at the end of November. Although I have been several times, this is the first visit for my wife.

    We are planning on visiting the zoo and riding the Maglev train as well. Your description of the quiet walk is intriguing and we will check out some of your favorite roads.

    Also high on our list is a visit to the 1221 restaurant. This place has the best food in Shanghai. The hotel concierge can usually help guests locate the restaurant and arrange for reservations (highly recommended) and taxi instructions.

    Another destination for us will be the 100th floor observation deck at the World Financial Center. On a clear day (we can always hope), the view is spectacular.

    Do you have any other suggestions for a short visit (only 3 days) to Shanghai?

  7. Yes! Human Mountian/Human Sea is great! To many people it may seem terrible or a bother but this is the energy of the city and the great people watching experience.

    When my wife first came to Shanghai from Anhui (before marriage), she wouldnt dare to ride the Metro, it was so crowded and no air to her. She used to ride the bus everywhere and whenever we met she was late. But then she had the village girl mentality and would just say something like “What is your hurry? If you want to see me you must wait. If not, don’t. Your business.” Charming but annoying.

    Then one day she called me and said “I will be at your house in 20 minutes. Come by Metro.” When she arrived I questioned her. “Oh, you are so brave. How long have you been cheaing on me?” She: “I cannot tolerate the bus, it is too slow and I have many things to do. Metro is very good.”

    Then I knew there was hope for the future. Now she thinks Metro is too slow. Now a Shanghai lady.

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