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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Shanghai Tours - Excursions
Shanghai Tours Guide - TravelPuppy.com
Walking Tours

There are no organised walking tours offered in Shanghai. But, the French Concession and the Bund are probably the best areas for tourist to explore on foot, seeing as they are compact and have fantastic character. Several of Shanghai’s residents walk along the Bund at weekends, while the parks of the French Concession are peaceful refuges.

Bus Tours

Jinjiang Shanghai Tour (tel: (21) 6270 1667) runs a hop-on hop-off bus service that leaves from outside the Garden Hotel on Maoming Nan Lu every 45 minutes Monday to Friday 09:00-17:15, Saturday and Sunday 08:45-1745, arriving at each stop every 1/2 hour. For RMB 18 (tickets can be purchased on the bus), the tour takes in Pudong, Yuyyan Gardens, the Bund and Renmin Square, returning to the Jinjiang Hotel. multi-lingual commentaries are available. The tour is hop on-hop off and lasts 30 minutes between stops.

The Shanghai Transportation Bureau excursion buses (tel: (21) 6426 3555), a few with commentary (in Chinese only), travel from the east side, Xu Jia Hui (parking lot four) of Shanghai Stadium, out of metropolitan Shanghai and travel through some significant sightseeing destinations. The routes taken vary. For example, the No 3 Bus Line, leaves every 1/2 hour 07:00-17:30, to Pudong, while the No 10 Bus Line, goes every 15 minutes 06:30-19:30, to Huaihai Dong Lu and Nanjing Dong Lu. The journeys cost from between RMB2 and RMB50.

Half Day Excursions

Songjiang

Approximately 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the southern outskirts of Shanghai, Songjiang offers lots to see that is of interest. A Square Pagoda dates to the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1126) and the most ancient Buddhist structure in Shanghai, the Toroni Sutra Stela, dates back to AD 859 and is now incorporated within the grounds of a school.

Still another ancient site is the 14th-century mosque. There are also picturesque old streets away from the centre. Shanghai Transportation Bureau (tel: (21) 6426 3555) sightseeing 1A Bus Line departs from Shanghai Stadium to the Square Pagoda, every 1/2 hour, daily 07:30-17:30.

Whole Day Excursions

Suzhou

A well known picturesque silk town, Suzhou is situated 70 kilometres (43 miles) due west of Shangai. Roughly 2,500 years old, the town is much older than Shanghai and a contender for the title of ‘Venice of the East’ – several of its canals and gardens have not yet fallen prey to redevelopment. Among many sights of interest are the towering North Temple, the Taoist Temple of Mystery and the leaning Yunyan Pagoda on Tiger Hill.

Beautiful gardens are the Garden of the Master of the Nets, the Humble Administrator’s Garden, Garden for Lingering In, the Lion Grove and the Blue Wave Pavilion.

There is also the Suzhou Museum and the Suzhou Silk Museum. Bus routes to Suzhou from Shanghai operate hourly services, 07:15-16:15, from Hutai Lu, Zhongshan Bei Lu or Xujiahui bus stations and sightseeing buses departing from Shanghai Stadium at 08:00 on the weekend. The China International Travel Service office, Zhongguo Gouji Luxingshe (tel: (21) 522 2223) and additional branches at the station and in Nanling Hotel, offer information on the city’s many attractions and museums.

Zhouzhuang

This is another lovely water town, situated 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of Suzhou, with cobbled streets and canals that draw hordes of local tourists. Yet Zhouzhuang still maintains an oases of peace. It is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Town has official residences, gardens and temples and is 100 percent pedestrianised. One RMB 60 ticket covers admission to all the major sights of the Old Town. Buses to Zhouzhuang from Shanghai include four daily services at 07:00, 09:00, 12:10 and 14:00 from the western end of Shanghai Stadium, and slower services from other stops.

Zhouzhuang Ancient Town Tourism Corp of Suzhou, Quanfu Road, Zhouzhuang (tel: (0520) 721 1654 or 1655; fax: (0520) 721 1029) can provide additional information.

Hangzhou

Located on the Qiantang river in southeast China, 180 kilometres (112 miles) from Shanghai, is almost unbelievably popular. Some 2200 years old, the town hosts droves of tourists to earn its tag as the ‘tourist capital of China’. Hangzhou’s West Lake has been immortalised in paintings and poetry by countless brushes, and its Lingyin Temple, with a 20m (66ft) wooden Buddha, is a site of pilgrimage for endless tour groups.

Additional sights include the mausoleum of the heroic Song Dynasty commander, General Yue Fe, and the Six Harmonies Pagoda, a former lighthouse for river traffic (reached by bus 308 from Pinghai Lu).

Buses to Hangzhou depart from numerous stations. The long-distance terminals at Hutai Lu and Zhongshan Bei Lu (costing RMB 54) and the tourist bus terminal outside Shanghai Stadium (costing RMB 50), and Hongqiao Airport (costing RMB 70). The journey times to Hangzhou takes about 2 hours. Trains also depart Shanghai’s main station for Hangzhou, with journey times also approximately 2 hours and fares start from RMB 33. The local China Travel Service office (tel: (571) 8708 0888; fax: (571) 8708 9224) is among the best local sources for information and tickets.