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