Well folks, we are continuing on exploring and adding (somewhat) new destinations to our Shanghai living experiences – working out various day trips from Shanghai.
In this posting we will cover the trip to Sheshan (佘山) Hill.
How to get there? Take the number 9 metro line headed to the south part of the city – in the direction of Songjiang (松江). Once you reach the Sheshan stop – disembark and look for a taxi just outside of the metro station. Ask the driver to take you to any of the Sheshan Hill entrance gates. We had a ride to the North gate as it was easier to get to according to our driver — the others apparently were more congested. Admittedly, we visited during the Chinese New Year (the day after) hence the crowds were large …
Once you get to the gate – proceed to enter — there are no tickets. Here is a gallery of some photos from walking through the park. There are a lot more of these – I will publish them in an Amazon eBook shortly and will add a link on this blog. It was very interesting to do some people watching while at Sheshan Hill – the day after Chinese New Year was sunny and relatively warm, which helped.
There were tons of kids chasing soap bubbles and overall having fun
Shanghai is one of the best places in the world to experience Chinese New Year… Why you may ask? Because here, in this city, you have the opportunity to see both the old and the new traditions associated with this holiday.
As I mentioned in my earlier posting, Shanghai becomes relatively empty during the New Year holiday. As a result you have to “fight” with significantly fewer people when going out to check out the various happenings.
Here is one of the good options for experiencing the celebration in a traditional local way – pay a visit to the Longhua Temple in Southwest Shanghai. The temple is located at Long Hua Road – in Chinese characters it is 龙华路853
How do you get there? Obviously, taking a cab to the address listed above is one – easier- way, but I would suggest to get on the number 9 line and just head to the Long Hua Road metro stop.
Going to this temple will allow you to see the Shanghai people in action – payers are in full swing, tons of special prayer envelopes and banners are being handled and of course you get to see and hear the sounds of the festival.
The temple bell is also omnipresent – striking it is a symbol of the new year, and also a method for chasing away the evil spirits. As a result we heard the bell multiple times while at the temple on the 16th of February – New Year’s Day – in 2018;
Here are some of the photos we took from visiting the temple on the first day of the New Year of the Dog
Well, in the future, if you are planning to be in Shanghai for Chinese New Year, and have some time on your hands, you should plan to explore the Longhua Temple…!
This Christmas holiday our family spent a lot of time thinking about what trip we will take – and the winner turned out to be the Sanya Trip. How did we come about it? Well there was a lot of anguish and debates. We polled a large number of our acquaintances in Shanghai… Where should we go
Southern China? Sanya?
The unanimous feeling from the crew was that we must escape the close to zero (early in the morning) Celsius temperatures of Shanghai and find a more pleasant (read warm) weather in the southern parts of the Northern hemisphere.
The condition the family put forward as a very important one was the length and ease of flights to our desired destination…
So, Sanya was a clear winner in that regard. However, many of our friends told us “you should avoid Sanya….it is overpriced and overrun with tourists…”
Well, we decided to play the contrarian card – and chose…..wait for it…. Sanya,
In the following few installments on this blog I will share our experiences with summaries and photos. Here are some of the initial images to give you an idea….
If you are in the area of the Beijing Olympic village you may want to visit the Xin Ao Shopping Center. The area is a good place to go walking and get some city sightseeing exercise. The shopping mall is actually sort of hidden under an artificial lake. The address is No.9 Hujing East Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing.
The shopping mall also includes some very good restaurants. I ate in the Yunan Food restaurant (Yun Nan Cai) — worth the visit.
How do you get to the mall? You can take the number 8 metro – the metro station exits right in the shopping mall – very convenient. Parking is available on the near by surface streets.
In the evening while walking around I took some photos and then took some from my hotel room – I stayed at the near by Intercontinental BeiChen hotel.
The area outside of the mall is very lively in the evening – you can encounter people dancing, singing…all sort of group activities. Great people watching overall….
Fengjing ancient water town is one of the ancient water towns within a day trip from Shanghai. The history of the town is very long – per some of the local people, the town is about 1500 years old. Some of the references I saw on-line desrcribed it as one of the gate towns to Shanghai. The streets in the old town criss cross old houses, restaurants and tea shops. Probably the main attraction that we saw (at least) are the canals that create the old city – the interesting houses being built all around the canals.
Fengjing is certainly much less visited by tourists – while Qibao is much easier to access, Fengjing is significantly larger, and much less over-run by tourists. Let’s put it this way – during our visit on October 6th, we saw only one obvious foreign tourist in the area. I am sure there were plenty of tourists overall, but all in all, it is one of the off the beaten track locations.
The local folks sell tons of food items – it appears frog legs are a major specialty here – we did not dare try, but tons of other folks did not hesitate as far as we can see…
Folks art is a big thing in the area. I did not care too much for it – but if you like it, there is plenty of it.
In terms of getting to and from the city – here are some instructions – hopefully useful for you to use:
The town is easily reachable via metro and bus. The town is located approximately 60 kilometers southwest from downtown Shanghai (e.g. Jing’An district).
Instructions to get to Fengjing Ancient Water Town:
Travel on metro line 1 to Jinjiang Park station
Exit either via 1 or 2 North exit
Turn left and walk to the bus terminal – the name is West Meilong Bus Station
You need to get to a ticket window and buy a ticket for the FengMeiXian bus line – the ticket is 12RMB and you can use your Shanghai Metro card to purchase it (or use cash)
The bus takes about 55-65 minutes based on how heavy traffic is
Once you reach Fengjing, the bus will drop you off infront of the Ancient Town. You can then walk to the left of where the bus drop you off or to the right and in both cases bypass the visitor center and walk into the Ancient Town
On the way back, you need to remember to walk back to the same spot and look for a city bus with a sign (unfortunately in Chinese – Jin Mei Xian – this is a local city bus which can transport you to the town main bus terminal (you pay 2RMB as you get on that bus, you can use your Shanghai metro card again) – at the main terminal you will get back on the Feng Mei Xian to travel back to Shanghai.
The bus will stop at the Lianhua Road Metro Line 1 stop – or you can stay on the bus all the way back to the main terminal in Shanghai and walk back to the Jinjiang park metro stop
If you are going to the Shanghai Natural History Museum, you will very likely stroll through the Jing'An Sculpture Park. It is a pleasant oasis in the middle of the hussle and bustle of the busy Jing'An area of the city.
The park provides a nice setting for both leisure strolls and exercise. As you walk or run through it, you can admire the interesting sculptures in it — please see the photos in this posting
This park is located at the intersection of Beijing West Road and Shimen 2 Road. It is also at the Natural History museum stop of the number 13 metro line.
There are tons of trees in the park as well as of course the sculptures of all sort and shapes – some of them pretty whimsical (in my opinion)
This morning, during my morning run, I took a bunch of photos. Several of them are below in this posting.
One of the big uses of the park is for morning exercises. Go here around 7, or 7:30am on the weekends, and you will find groups of folks doing all sort of TaiQi. Then there are the groups of sword dancers – the old grannies are well organized and moving in unison… I come across to do my monring runs as well.
Enough said, here are some photos to give you an idea…
Visit Nanxiang and you will have quite a nice experience. According to local history, Nanxiang is the birthplace of the famous in Shanghai and all over China, xiaolongbao. These are the small soup dumplings made with pork or crab filling. They are great!
Then there is the Old Street. Interesting place, of course packed with people, but nevertheless very interesting. My family and I walked the street and encountered many kids playing and of course all the old China architecture you can absorb. This town is certainly a good place to visit for multiple reasons
Easy access — via metro line 11
The main landmarks and places to visit are within easy walking distance from the metro station
Great food! Did I say xiaolongbao? Of course I did – the dumplings (no matter whether they originated here or not) are extremely tasty…
Here are the next set of photos from the trip here: