Xu Jia Hui Cathedral
Xu Jia Hui Cathedral Xujiahui Catheral, the largest Catholic church in Shanghai, was constructed at 158 Puxi Road in 1910. It is a French Gothic construction. The two belfries tower over the sky. The outer walls are made up of red bricks. The eaves, gates and windows are of Gothic design. The church is richly ornamented by marble sculptures. The highrise and slender structure creates a mysterious illusion of the heaven.
Some movie and TV directors love this place for shooting. Actually, I like it too though I am a buddhist.
The Maglev (431 km/h!)
Upon arriving at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport at the start of my week long visit in May 2008, I was faced with the choice of how I was going to make the 30km journey into the city centre.
Did I want to spend the best part of an hour in the back of a taxi, sitting in heavy commuter traffic, or did I want to reach the city in just 7 minutes on board The Maglev train; one of the fastest trains in the world? The decision was easy!
The Maglev runs between Pudong Airport and Longyang Road in Pudong (where it connects with the city’s metro line #2) frequently throughout the day. The first train from the airport to Longyang Road departs daily at 07:02 and the final train of the day departs from the airport at 21:32. In the opposite direction, the first train of the day departs from Longyang Road at 06:45 and the last one at 21:30. A full timetable can be found HERE.
The Maglev’s technology baffles me, but as far I can understand some sort of powerful electromagnetic suspension allows the train to “levitate” above the tracks and the train can consequently reach the high speeds that it does due to the lack of friction between the train and the tracks.
So, how fast does it go?
I had read before my trip that the Maglev is capable of speeds of up to 430km/h, so I was a little disappointed on my early morning (08:47) journey into the city when the train “only” reached 301km/h. I could tell that that was the maximum speed reached thanks to a digital display inside the train’s carriage which informs passengers of the current speed and time of the journey. At the end of my stay, on my return to the airport, the Maglev reached its maximum speed of 431km/h. I later read that the Maglev reaches a top speed of 300km/h before 9am and after 5pm and reaches a maximum speed of 430km/h between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
The train accelerates at a very rapid pace, reaching its top speed just a couple of minutes into the journey. It then spends the next 5 minutes gradually slowing down.
How much does it cost?
I would have expected this high speed journey to cost much more than it did. A one way ticket, as at May 2008, cost just 50 Yuan / 4 GBP, while a return ticket cost 80 Yuan / 6.50 GBP. Furthermore, if you present a flight ticket for that day when you purchase your ticket you get a 20% reduction, so a one way ticket costs just 40 Yuan.
The Maglev departs from Terminal 2 at Pudong Airport; this is a 10 minute walk from the arrivals hall in Terminal 1. The journey from the airport to Longyang Road is direct, with no stops en-route, and takes between 7 and 8 minutes depending on the time of day.
Tickets are purchased from desks at the airport and at Longyang Road and after purchasing a ticket you and your luggage must pass through a security screening area.
The train carriages have comfortable seating and ample space for luggage storage. In contrast to the city’s metro, the Maglev is uncrowded and you’ll have no problem finding an empty seat.
There are plans to extend the line from the airport to the city of Hangzhou (160km away from Shanghai) and, if complete by 2010 as some suggest, this would be the world’s first Maglev train to link two cities.
The world’s first commercial Maglev train – arrive in Shanghai at 430km/h! Highly recommended!
Cloud 9 Sky Lounge
The world's tallest hotel: Grand Hyatt Shanghai. Cloud 9, located high up at 87th floor of Grand Hyatt Hotel, enable you to see the city below in its 360 degree splendour. Me and my Cheese Cake at the highest lounge in the World!!! This tea set only cost RMB50, including a piece of cake of your choice and coffee/tea. Cheaper than paying to go up the Pearl TV Tower! Worth of Money. Highly Recommended!!!
Beam me up Scotty!! Oriental Pearl TV Tower
When you look at the Oriental Pearl TV Tower across from the bund it is such a dreamlike building I believe most people want to see it up close and if possible climb it. Well, we did!
The day/night we went it was quite misty so we opted for the 70 Yuan ticket to go up ¾ of the way up. There are various options in terms of going up the tower. Once up there the view is spectacular. With a height of 468 metres it is the highest TV tower in Asia and third highest in the world. If you can time it to be there just as sun going down so you are there for view during day and night.
Make sure that you save time for the museum at the bottom of the tower.
Shanghai A Cosmopolitan
I remember reading somewhere in a forum in VT, someone was asking about some question about China and said it was a third world country. Well, I never did like people saying third world country or so, as most country would have the nice part as well as the slumps. A good example, London, you see people actually using underpass as their homes...!! As China is till listed as a Third World country by some, but if you have been to Shanghai, you can get almost anything you want here that is legal. They have a very good mixture of the old and modern, just across the river from the bund its the modern city of Shanghai, Pudong, where the Pearl Tower stands proudly showing off the lights in the night.
After like travelling in China for 12days, Shanghai was our last stop. Every city you go to, its seems like they have their own rule, some you can stop anywhere and some they stop strictly only at designated area. So when I arrive in Shanghai, I had to collect my cousin's apartment key in Nanjing Lu, so I got into a taxi which was waiting in a waiting lights, not knowing that there was a police (but the driver told me to hob in). So eventually we were stop by the police and he got a ticket for picking us up.
Then when he got his ticket, he drove on but have not turn on the meter yet, so I ask him that the meter was no activiated yet, he made a U'e and only activated the meter when he got back to the same place he picked me up...!!! The best part was he even said thank you very much and insisted me to take the receipts....!!! A really strange taxi driver.
This is the only think which I do not really like while my stay in China, people just do not queue or give way...!! imagine, you are trying to get out of a subway during a rush hour when everyone is pushing to enter...!!!
I would say, the finale of this trip was the best, got to ride on the fastest train in the world, the MagLev (magnetic levitation)...!!! it took only 8mins from Longyang Station to Pudong Airport in 430km/h...!!!! Its really an unforgettable 8mins experience.
Before I got to Shanghai, even back at home, people was asking me that I have to eat this and that...!!! but I think I didn't try anything. Had Pizza for lunch on the first day, then Brazillion BBQ for dinner, dumpling for next day lunch and North Eastern food for dinner..!!!!
But I have to say, when you are there in winter, try the stawberries coated with a layer of candy and BBQ lamb screwer. Its yummy....!!!!!