Shanghai Off The Beaten Path

  • The 1911 Jewish Club on Nanjing road west.
    The 1911 Jewish Club on Nanjing road...
    by gaolei
  • Qibao Church
    Qibao Church
    by cheezecake_deli
  • Bridges and canals
    Bridges and canals
    by cheezecake_deli

Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Shanghai

  • koolkatz_76's Profile Photo

    Get A Massage... A Little Piece Of Heaven

    by koolkatz_76 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    In most cities where a massage on your arms and legs costs you an arm and a leg, Shanghai proves to be a pleasant surprise. In fact, China is probably one of the last cosmopolitan cities on the planet where massages are so affordable.

    Some people might be wary that they are stepping into the unknown, but Chinese massage (sometimes known as tui-na) is really one of the most effective massages I've ever tried, and it can be very soothing as well. It works away the tension knots in your body, and I find it especially good on the shoulders after a long day thumping away on my laptop.

    Though many massage places are fronts for more dubious activity, by and large the ones I've come across in Shanghai are still legitimate ones offering actual massages minus accessorial services.

    Dragonfly is a prime example, and it's impressed me so much that I have to share this with fellow travellers. I've only been to one outlet so far (the one in DongHu Road), and can't speak of the experience in any of its other outlets. But the Donghu Road one is really out of this world.

    The atmosphere can match that of any high-class spa and is entirely soothing, with tasteful dark wood furnishings, and soft low lighting. Once you step into the massage area, you find yourself in little cubicles separated by curtains. I didn't have any regular masseuse, but the one assigned to me did a fantastic job. Let's put it this way... My head was feeling so disconnected from the rest of my body, after putting in an all-nighter for a rush project. But after the massage, the world looked right again. :-)

    If you've got time to try only one massage place, go to Dragonfly. I would go there every day if I could.

    Oh, did I mention the price? It cost about RMB 120 (USD 15) for a 90-mins massage. Though it's not the cheapest in Shanghai, it's a steal.

    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort
    • Business Travel

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    Catch a train to Suzhou-it is easy!!

    by albaaust Updated Mar 17, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We decided that we would be adventurous and catch the train to Suzhou by ourselves and make our own way there. It turned out to be very easy and one of our better days in "Shanghai".

    We first of all caught the subway to the central station and then queued to buy our ticket. It was made easier in that there was a non- Chinese speaking queue (look for the sign) and then it was just a matter of saying what time we wanted to leave for Suzhou and what time we wanted to get back so we bought a return ticket.

    Best to get there around 9am. We didn't and ended up catching the 2pm train (number 5074 leaving at 14.00 20 Yuan) but we still managed to walk around Suzhou and visit the pagoda with its beautiful gardens and the main street and have a Korean meal.

    I would consider in hindsight that one thing we could have done is organise with the driver of the Tuk Tuk (3 wheeled taxi) to take us to a number of places for the day.

    We caught the T 719 which left at 19.42 (15 Yuan). This was actually a faster train back and seemed to only take 30 minutes.

    Queuing to buy train ticket Inside the train Shanghai to Suzhou The train
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Trains

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    Magnetic Levitation Train

    by ahoerner Updated Jul 6, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For tech-addicted tourists, this is a single experience.

    The train is the famous Transrapid, originally built and tested in Germany, and it levitates over magnetic rails reaching the impressive mark of 431 km/h.

    It links the Longyang Road subway station to Pudong Airport station. If you arrive in Pudong you can take it, but you will need to take the subway from Longyang to downtown.

    One-way ticket costs 50Y. Round-ticket costs 80Y and they must be used the same day.

    Definitely interesting!

    Impressive speed.

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  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Tang Dynasty Health Care Centre

    by xuessium Updated Jul 12, 2007

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    This is massage from the blinds. They do both body and foot massages. Just the thing you need after a long day of walking/exploring/shopping.

    A foot massage costs RMB68 while a 1 hour body massage costs RMB58.

    No hanky panky here.

    Address: 339 Shangcheng Road, 2F, Pudong.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • Check out the Dongtai Lu "Antique" Market

    by fengo5 Written Oct 7, 2004

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    Dongtai Lu is a quiet little back street located off of Xizang Lu near the eastern end of HuaiHai Lu. Although it's getting more popular, it still offers a nice break from the crowds of Nanjing Lu or Huaihai Lu. All along Dongtai Lu are hundreds of "antique" dealers, some in actual shops others in quasi-permanent stands. Even if you don't plan on buying anything it is still an interseting place to go and spend a few hours window shopping.

    If you do buy anything there a few things to keep in mind:

    1. Realize that many of the items offered for sale are not actual antiques. Some items may be from the early 1900's . Others may be relatively new and artrificially aged. Certainly there are actual antiques to be found but they will be expensive. Many of the dealers are educated and business savy. If someone is trying to sell you a Ming vase for US$10.00 don't believe him.

    2. Buy what catches your eye. Whether or not it is an antique, whether or not you like what you purchased is what counts..Unless you are specifically looking for an antique and know what your doing don't get caught up in how old an item is. I have a beautiful painted bowl that I proudly display in my home. Frankly I don't care how old it is.

    3. Haggle, Haggle, Haggle. If you are Caucasion the starting price will be about twice as high as if you are native Chinese and that price is about twice what the dealer really expects to get. I can usually get away paying 10-30% of what was originally quoted.

    Have Fun!!

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    Zhu Jia Jiao - Venice of Shanghai

    by aukahkay Written Feb 7, 2006

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    Most tourists to Shanghai will take a day trip to Zhou Zhuang to see the water village. However, I decided to visit Zhu Jia Jiao, about an hour's drive from Shanghai. Unlike Zhou Zhuang, which is specifically catered to tourists, Zhu Jia Jiao is a real water village with normal inhabitants inside the village. Take a boat ride down the river while admiring the traditional houses on both sides. Restaurants and tea houses line both sides of the narrow canals.
    As you walk through the narrow lanes of this village, you will find shops selling a traditional local speciality - braised pig trotters. You can buy a piece of pig trotters and consume it back in your hotel for dinner later in the evening.
    If you want to have lunch at Zhu Jia Jiao, their main specialty is seafood. However, I did not like the seafood at all - the steamed fish was so bony that you had to tease the bones away. The boiled prawns were so tiny that there was hardly any meat.

    The canals of Zhu Jia Jiao Canals of Zhu Jia Jiao Main street of Zhu Jia Jiao Backyard of people's homes Panoramic view of Zhu Jia Jiao
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • Travelchili's Profile Photo

    Wander along the old streets of Shanghai!

    by Travelchili Updated Jul 2, 2005

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    Wandering along the old streets of Shanghai was probably one of my favorite parts of the stay. Why? Because those were the best places to observe the local life. During my early morning walk I could see how people were waking up, exercising, having breakfast, getting ready for work... and during one of my evening walks I saw them playing games, women chatting or doing some handwork. Many families were having dinner outside, so I could get an idea what they were eating. Also, those old streets are great for wonderful photo shots of people, houses, and alleys.

    Old streets of Shanghai
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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  • cheezecake_deli's Profile Photo

    Duolun Culture Street

    by cheezecake_deli Written Sep 28, 2006

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    Duolun Road in Hongkou district, north of Suzhou Creek, was home to many of Shanghai's most famous left-wing writers and intellectuals in the 1920s and 1930s. During this time, the road was just outside the formal boundary of the International Settlement, and between 1932 and 1945, under the de facto Japanese military occupation. Consequently, many left-wing writers who lived here felt fairly safe from persecution by the Guomindang government at that time. The road has now been pedestrianised, and most of the historical buildings along it preserved. Some of the more interesting one are: a French-style mansion at no. 145 where the League of Leftist Writers was founded in 1930; the former residence of HH Kung (Finance Minister during the Guomindang government) at no. 250; and the Old Film Cafe at no. 123.

    Duolun Road is off Sichuan Bei Lu (Sichuan North Road) in Hongkou. The nearest metro is Dong Baoxing Lu on Line 3.

    Duolun Road
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  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Yu Yuan Lu for local delights

    by xuessium Written May 4, 2005

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    Hunt down Yu Yuan Lu and you will find yourself entering the other side of Shanghai. No cosmopolitan restaurants; no coffee cafes. Simple establishments selling simple local delights. Less than RMB9 for a big bowl of dumplings with minced pork noodles - this is the real taste of Shanghai!

    Yu Yuan Lu is about 10 minutes walk from Jing An Shi station in Line 2 of the subway, near the Shanghai Hilton.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Food and Dining
    • Backpacking

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  • Shanghai Zoo

    by mke1963 Written Apr 26, 2004

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    I'm not sure if a zoo really counts as off-the-beaten track, but Shanghai Zoo is one of the better ones in China, and if you have children it can be a pleasant break from museums, shopping and temples. Personally I don't really like the whole concept of zoos, but I have two children who are fascinated by wild animals. Their interest extends way beyond the big ones, and there is particular current interest in Hoolock's Gibbons and spider monkeys. Both can be seen in Shanghai, and the former are particularly attractive and - unusually - will interact with visitors who stay for a while by their enclosure.
    The zoo is trying very hard to create a better environment and the spacious grounds allow plenty of opportunity to do that.
    It is crowded, and you will see plenty of stupid people feeding everything (despite the signs) but it *seems* a good place with good intentions.
    Recoomended as a breathing space from the high-rise, manic rush of Shanghai.

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    Jin Mao Tower

    by imstress Written Jan 4, 2005

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    Jin Mao Building in Pudong is the tallest skyscraper in China and a soaring monument to Shanghai's economic boom.

    Jin Mao has 88 floors and an octagon floor plan. It was topped out on August 28 last year and completed on August 28 this year.

    The 420.5-meter-tall building is an engineering triumph. Many technological breakthroughs were required to erect it. The builders drove 1,062 steel pipes as far as 83.5 meters down -- the longest steel piles ever used in a land-based building -- and poured a four-meter-thick concrete base 19.6 meters under the ground to support the building.

    Jin Mao is sheathed in glass and a framework of aluminum alloy pipes that give the facade a silvery patina. The top level is an observatory deck for sightseers. Two high-speed elevators can send up to 35 people straight to the 88th floor in 45 seconds. Grand Hyatt Shanghai, a five-star hotel, occupies the 53rd to 87th floors. The lower floors are for offices, retail and dining outlets.

    Jin Mao Tower photo taken from Oriental TV Tower

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  • Chinese Circus and Acrobatics

    by ThomasWolff Updated Mar 18, 2007

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    Do not miss the magnificent Circus and Acrobatic shows in Shanghai. I saw three of them, ERA in Circus World, Acrobatics Show in Lyceum Theatre and Happy Circus in Circus World. All of them very breath-taking and very different - each one a must to see if you are long enough in Shanghai. ERA more Chinese music, Happy Circus + Acrobatics show more mixed music. Happy Circus takes longest time and also includes stunning animal shows with horses, dogs, bears, lions and tigers. Furthermore I would have liked to look at the Kung Fu shows - but time ran out, not enough evenings available during my time in Shanghai. Quite strange that it was easy to get tickets shortly before the shows - but this was in March and maybe in summer this is different. All these shows would probably be sold-out anywhere else than Shanghai.

    Go to the homepage http://www.culture.sh.cn/english/ and then select the item "Acrobatic&Circus" - there you get an overview of the current shows in the different places in the city. Just the pictures given there are far less spectacular than the shows.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music
    • Theater Travel

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    Cheng Huang Miao

    by imstress Written Jan 4, 2005

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    This is the Cheng Huang Miao where people come to offer prayers and joss sticks to the deities in the temple.

    Cheng Huang Miao, is only a short distance from Yu Yuan. It is a touristy but impressive warren of lanes and stalls. Once every city and large town possessed a temple to the town gods, but few have survived.

    Cheng Huang Miao

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    The Old City Wall - Built in 1553

    by MaosRedArmy Updated Mar 5, 2004

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    When Shanghai was a little smaller than today (back in the mid 1500s) the city's forefather's decided to erect an 8 meter wall around the entire city to proect citizens from Japanese pirates.

    Only a small piece of the wall (50m) remains today, and it can be found at the corner of Renmin and Dajing Road. The wall is housed in structure that was built during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

    While it is not a structure that will keep you occupied for hours, it did provide us with a unexpected history lesson about Shanghai in a tiny "museum" that housed a model of the city surrounded by the Old Wall, as well as old pictures of daily life in Shanghai.

    Admission for adults is 5RMB.

    The last piece of the Old City wall
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits

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    The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel - Who needs LSD ?

    by MaosRedArmy Updated Mar 5, 2004

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    Welcome to Shanghai's version of the TWILIGHT ZONE.

    If you want to take a "unique" ride in a plastic bubble car under the Huanpu River, then you have come to the right place!

    This ride takes you from the PuXi Waterfront (the Bund) to the PuDong Waterfront area (or vice versa) and takes about 5 minutes.

    The entire sightseeing tunnel is lined with flashing, strobing, and pulsing lights in all shapes, sizes and colors. I definitely think the person that designed this ride either a) loves to take pyschodelic drugs;. or b) is stuck somewhere in the 1960s; or c) both. I am surprised Hunter S. Thompson hasn't already written about this ride.

    If you have children and want to keep them occupied OR if you and your buddies are loaded and want to kick up your buzz, this is for you.

    One way ride = 20RMB
    Round-trip = 30RMB

    I'm trippin, dude !
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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Shanghai Off The Beaten Path

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