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.