Shanghai – a fleeting visit

After some peace and tranquility and finally getting some village life, it was time to head back to the city! This time we were heading for Shanghai! It was a pit stop and a tick box as Shanghai is renowned for being an expensive city… and we are on a budget!

Where to stay

This time our criteria was to be near the city centre as we were only stopping for a short time and close to a metro.

We managed to tick these boxes and get a pretty decent hotel! Hao du hotel was really good! It hasn’t long been refurbished so the rooms were pretty awesome. Plus it had free laundry facilities, free bottled water and really comfy beds!

The hotel was also 5 minutes easy walk from daishu metro station and a few eateries/supermarkets around the area ✔️✔️✔️

We are not usually a fab of hotels, especially in cities, as they are so clinical and unfriendly, but this served a purpose.

How to get around

Similar to Beijing the metro system operates in the same manner. The only difference being that it accepts RMB 50 notes too! See my Beijing subway blog on how to use the metro to see the city sights.

Where to go

Having only arrived that lunchtime, once we checked into the hotel we went straight out Our main aim was to see the city and more specifically the city lights around the bund waterfront.

Our first night was literally a washout! It rained, then stopped, then rained, then didn’t stop!! We were soaked!! So, we gave up and went home.

The next day was a mission to find a decathlon as Ethan needed new trainers and Jasper needs new walking shoes. The joys of growing boys! Unfortunately we didn’t get jaspers shoes but got a few other items.  We certainly find plenty of shopping malls, some very extravagant!!

By the time we got back to the city it was early afternoon and then we rested before heading to the bund, take 2!

This time was more successful and we enjoyed seeing the city come to life with a beautiful skyline! However, the bund itself was rammed. There were people everywhere and some stairs were one way to accommodate the flow!

Other things to do in Shanghai

Water towns – one of the top activities is to visit the nearby water towns. The no. 1 town being Zhouzhuang. However, rather than taking a day trip like most people we decided to start a few days to catch up and have some down time.

Boat cruises – there are plenty of cruises, especially for the night view, going up and down the Bund and Huangpu River. Some looked like floating hotels so choose wisely!

Climbing towers – if you want some spectacular views there is the choice of either the Oriental pearl TV tower or Shanghai world financial centre.  The letter also had a glass viewing platform. It offers amazing views across the city, but the cost was a little high for is to justify!

There’s obviously a Disneyland here, and I know I’ll burn in hell for this, but Disneyland isn’t really our thing. It’s pretty expensive for what it is and we’ve already taken them to Disneyland in Paris so I doubt we’ll go again. But never say never! But if you a fan, then it’s an option


Obviously Shanghai first and foremost is just another city. We included it in the itinerary as we didn’t stop here during our last visit. It was good to see what it offered and to see the city by night but it’s not somewhere I’d choose to return to.  If time allows, I would include it in your itinerary, if only for the water towns, but not as a long stop.



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