Shanghai, China

There are few countries in the world with a culture as distinct as China.  A country of contrasts, China offers thriving Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau, but also extremely rural and underdeveloped areas in the western part of the country.  

This is a country stuck between the developed and developing world.  Rapid change has attracted curious people from around the globe, so it is a great time to dip your toes into this amazing culture and explore the country.  Each day creates a new China. While I dislike the pollution of many of the big cities, the countryside and food are incredible. 

Shanghai Skyline

ℹ️   Travel:   Shanghai is served by its international airport Shangahi Pudong.  There are an abundance of busses and taxi’s waiting outside the arrivals hall to escort you to your hotel.  HOWEVER, and this is a big one, if you are one of those people that leans towards this way of transferring just stop for a moment and consider the airport shuttle train.  

The Shanghai Maglev Train (SMT) operates between Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Longyang Road Metro Station.  With the technological cooperation from Germany, this is the world’s first commercial magnetic levitation line designed with a maximum operating speed of  265mph (430 km/h). The whole  18 mile (30 km)  trip will take only eight minutes!!!   The fare only costs 50 CNY (GB£6)

British nationals need a visa to enter mainland China, including Hainan Island, but not Hong Kong or Macao. With effect from 1 November 2018, all visa applicants aged between 14 and 70 inclusive will need to make their visa application in person at a Visa Application Centre. As part of the application process, biometric data will now have to be provided.

ℹ️   Currency:   The Chinese Renminbi/Yuan.  (CNY)

ℹ️   Credit Cards and Banks:  ATMs are common place in almost every shopping street, with several ‘bureau de change’  around the city centre, with almost every retailer accepting Mastercard and Visa.  There is no fear of an establishment declining card payments.  

ℹ️   Weather:    The hottest month is July, with an average high of 32 °C (90 °F).   The coldest month is January, with an average low of 1 °C (34 °F).   March to May and September to November are the best times for travelling in Shanghai.

Shanghai Maglev Train

China’s most Western city and is also home to one of its largest international airports. These facts, combined with the lack of historical things to do and see in the immediate vicinity of Shanghai, make the city a great place to get your bearings in advance if you are planning a longer stay in this Country.

History be damned, however, there are a lot of modern things to do and see in Shanghai. Take the Shanghai Metro to Lujiazui station and walk around in the futuristic district of the same name, which literally means “east side of the Huangpu River.”  Cross back over the water and walk along the 1920s-era Bund, that provides great views of one of the most modern skylines in the world.

Shanghai Skyline

The Shanghai skyline is a metropolis of bright light’s and modern skyscrapers to equal those skylines of any American city.

Dig deeper into Puxi (the west side of the Huangpu River), whether you can explore “People’s Square” and the “Shanghai Museum”, shop and eat street food along East Nanjing Road, stroll through the historic French Concession or see one of the only “old” structures in Shanghai, Jing’an Temple.

I recommend spending between 2-3 days in Shanghai. Depending on your itinerary other things to see and do near Shanghai are the cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou, the ancient “water town” of Zhujiajiao and the Anji Bamboo Forest, where the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was filmed.


is a famous waterfront and regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. It is on the west bank of Huangpu River from the Waibaidu Bridge to Nanpu Bridge and winds almost a mile in length.

The most famous and attractive sight which is at the west side of the Bund are the 26 various buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance.  Once you have taken your fill of the skyline cross back over the river again and wonder between the illuminated buildings of the Shanghai Financial Centre.

The Bund


Yuyuan Garden is believed to have been built in the Ming Dynasty more than 400 years ago. The beautiful layout, stunning scenery, and the artistic style of the garden architecture have made the garden one of the highlights of Shanghai.

Yuyan Gardens is located in the centre of Shanghai’s Old City, a few blocks south of the Bund.  To get here take the subway Line 10 and alight at Yuyuan Station.​   Yu Garden is composed of six scenic areas:  Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall, and the Inner Garden.  The highlights of the garden are: classical Chinese architecture, sculptures and carvings, and the busy Yuyuan bazaar.