We took a subway (9RMB) for 3 of us to Pudong. On our return trip back to Puxi, we decided to do the infamous Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. We had our 7 years old daughter with us and thought some cheesy, tourist thing will entertain her.
Well, we were right. She was entertained and I was wondering where my 75RMB went to.
The setup was "interesting". Nice looking automatic trolley cars. That is where it went downhill (for us older than 7), literally and figuratively. The trip took us under the Huangpu River from Pudong to Bund. The trip was under 5 minutes. During the trip, we were treated to a dark tunnel lined with millions of "synchronized" lights (probably bulk purchased from some after-Christmas discount store) to cheesy music piped into the car. Segments of the tunnel are "titled" and the titles were mixed in with the music and spoken in both Chinese and English.
I think the trip would have been more interesting if we were all drunk or stoned.
Unless you have small children, skip this "trap". If you do have kids, it's one of those "been there, done that" deal. Just do it once so you can brag about your insanity later on.
Unique Suggestions: If you really want to pay 30RMB one way for this trip, get drunk first. You may enjoy it more.
Fun Alternatives: Take the subway. Cheaper and faster.
It's usually the westerners who fall into this shopping trap. Take a fake diesel messenger bag for example. An itsy-bitsy Chinese girl drags you to her store to show you her stuff. You ask how much it is. She says, "Because youre my friend, only 800 RMB". Almost as expensive as the real deal. You think, "Hmm...Since I am earning dollars and although the Yuan has appreciated 8.1 to 1 US$, I still get hundreds of Yuans for my dollars, and she called me friend, therefore 800 RMB is cheap, wrap it up, I'll buy it". Think again. In this flea market, prices are jacked up by about 10 x. Start with a really low price like 50 RMB and gradually increase it. If youve reached the maximum you'd want to pay for it, move away and she'll run after you and give it to you. I got mine for 90 RMB although now I think I can get it at 80. The bargaining is the fun part. Sometimes its not the goods you are after, its the bargaining that goes on before you purchase it. Bottomline, do feel free to bargain.
There are limited eating places in Zhouzhuang, and what are available can be rather pricey (though food quality is not bad). Because Zhouzhuang can be a bit touristy, restaurants sometimes seem to charge what they like. Annoyingly, items on menus sometimes have no prices written down. Always clarify the price before ordering, to save yourself a shock when the bill arrives.
Fun Alternatives: If all this sounds too stressful for you, avoid eating in Zhouzhuang altogether. Arrive after an early lunch and leave before dinner - this allows enough time for sightseeing for most travellers and means you can eat in Shanghai where the range of choices and prices is broader.
IT seems to me, these people are hanging around the well known tourist areas, trying to sell anything they can. IF you want to purchase something, always remember to bargain. IF you are not interested in what these people are selling, DON'T say a word, don't smile, don't laugh, or make eye contact....anything that will attract their attention. They can be quite aggressive, and are very persistent. They will stand in your way and pull at your clothes, if they think you have the slightest interest in what they are selling. Personally, didn't have it happen to me, but have observed other people in situations. Just keep on walking....eventually they will stop hounding you and move on to their next victim.
Yuyuan Garden area
This is not 100% a tourist trap. But it is a must see!
Chinese style bazaar area! Within the area is located the Yuyuan Garden itself.
Unique atmosphere! Like a different world from the rest of Shanghai. Full of tiny shops and few bigger department store (or only one with many entrance?). The area represents classical Chinese architecture with its tea house and other beautiful buildings.
Possible to find Chinese items, like wooden acupressure sandals, silk bathrobes, shirts, Chinese paintings etc. But also western style women/men clothes, jackets, shoes... you name it.
Good place for shopping but remember to bargain!
Address: 132 Anren Street
Open time: 9:00-17:00
Means of Communication: Public buses 64, 24, 11, and 926
A MUST-GO-place when in Shanghai!
Probably the most irritating place in the world, the merchants here are gonna put up the price 7 or 8 times for you. You'll have to hassle for 30 minutes for each item you want to buy at a fair price. This is everybody's opportunity to learn the best hassling in the world. Really, I didn't see this even in Cartagena which is famous for their merchants :)
Unique Suggestions: Hassle, hassle, hassle, be irittating right back at them, just provoke cause this is the only way to keep your balance. Unless you're a fan of people grabbing your hands, ripping you off while they smile in your face and pretend stupid to you.
Fun Alternatives: No alternative, this is the best place to buy fakes... and if you have patience and skills, you're gonna get them very cheap too :)
You may be approached by "pretty ladies" asking you for the time... "Excuse me sir, what is time?".... in the streets of Shanghai. They will introduce themselves and invite you for a drink or a meal somewhere. Dont be fooled thinking that its your attractive good looks that made these women suddenly interested in you (unless you look like Brad Pitt) .... it more like your wallet!! They would probably bring you a shady bar nearby charging atrocious prices. These girls get a nice tip/comission from the owners of these dodgy places. You'd probably end up paying 40 US Dollars or more for a cup of coffee or a glass of beer.
Unique Suggestions: Be wary of local ladies approaching you in Shanghai appearing very friendly, eagerly trying to make conversation. They're probably working girls or trying to do some con job on you. Just smile and say no thanks... unless you have some serious $cash$ to waste. Believe me, some of these ladies are really attractive. One of my Japanese buddies got "trapped" by such ladies, called me via his mobile phone for help. My other buddies and I had to fish him out of a shady bar trying to charge him something like 200 US Dollars for a round of beer (5 glasses)... that's like 40 dollars for a glass of beer!!. 4 of us spent 1 hour to looking for the bar somewhere along Nanjing Rd and finally found it. Knowing that it was a scam we told the owner of the bar that we are not paying for the drinks and the 5 of us just walked out and hopped on the first cab we saw back to the hotel.
Fun Alternatives: Remember it was superiority in numbers (5 grown men) and some aggresive attitude that saved my buddy from this scam. We took a risk by just walkig out. So i suggest that you exercise some common sense when approcahed by nice looking ladies in Shanghai.
This tunnel linking the Bund to Pudong area across the Huangpu river is what I would call a tourist trap.
A small glas tram rides from one side to the other across strange lights and sounds. Ride takes about 2 minutes and it is really nothing special... most like a psychodelical journey...
Fare one-way: RMB 20,00
Fare return: RMB 30,00.
Unique Suggestions: Just enjoy...
Fun Alternatives: Take the subway... it's cheaper and less psychodelic...
While walking down the pedestrian street, Nanjing Rd., a young Chinese woman began walking next to me and explained that she was a student, wanted to practice her english, and could she walk along with me. After a few hundred meters, she suggested having "coffee" and she knew about a great coffee shop on the 7th floor overlooking the stage, near the Howard Johnson Hotel, on Nanjing Rd.. Well, once up in the restaurant, a couple of "coffees" ended up with a bill of over 800RMB! When I protested, a couple of large Chinese blocked the elevator until I signed a credit card slip and added another 10% for using a "foreign" credit card. I'm American, but there was an Aussie in the restaurant having the same experience.
I really felt there was no alternative but to sign the charge slip and get out. I'll protest the charge with the credit card company, but I don't know if that will be successful.
I should have insisted on going to Starbucks!
Unique Suggestions: Just don't go. The place was named S.U.N.D.A.Y., and is located above a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet.
Fun Alternatives: If someone suggests going up to S.U.N.D.A.Y., suggest instead talking to the police.
I do not really like fake goods but this place is so tempting. Touts there are really irritating. Good place to get fake fiberglass shaft golf clubs, Dinner Beads Bags, Samsonite and Wegner Luggage, Fakes Watches (Automatic), Shoes, Fake Ski Jackets (Northcliff), Good quality silk ties, Fake Tiffany Jewelleries (Bad quality), Bad quality and expensive "Antiques", Good quality "Branded" overcoats. You should not buy anything for less than 70% discount. The following guide will give you the max price you should pay for your shoppings. All in RMB.
Unique Suggestions: Golf Clubs comes complete with 3W, 7I,3 Weg, Putter, leather Standbag, Shoe Bag, Umbrella and Travel Bag. (1500-1700).Beaded Dinner bags@50-100. Luggage 150-250. Ties (good quality)@100,bad quality @20. Tiffany@30. Overcoats@150-250.Ski Jacket@150-300.Adidas Sports Jacket@60-80each.
Trick is to offer 20% of their starting price and work towards the above price range. If they refuse, walk away and they will pull you back. Do not follow touts to alleyway to get DVDs and Watches as they are much more persistent to get you to buy things off the street. Do not feel bad about not getting anything because I feel that this is the fair price to pay for the goods. I travel to Shanghai at least 20x a year and visit there everytime. If someone rejects your price, go to the next shop and chances is that you will get the price finally.
Fun Alternatives: No Alternative in the future as this place is scheduled to be demolished in December
When you arrive in Shanghai Pudong International Airport, the taxi stands are on the floor above the arrival hall. Go straight to the upper level and get into a *metered* cab. Expect to pay around 130-150RMB to get to the city center in Puxi.
Do not accept the help of the touts there who may whip out a cell phone and call their driver friend. These would be unlicensed cabs with no meters in them. They will try to cook up a story about changes in rules, etc., and try to charge you more (up to 400RMB).
I've went to public toilet in xiayang market. There is only chinese language sign, I saw 3 something and assumed that 3 yaun/person/time. I go with my mom and give them 10 yuan bank note. At first, they not give me the change untill I've try to get the change. Then they give me back 4 yuan. Once I've met my friends I just found out that the sign said 3 mao (10 mao = 1 yuan). I was cheated... that's really bad.. so don't do the same as mine.
Unique Suggestions: Try to get the information from your friends or someone nearby about the real cost.
Fun Alternatives: Or you could try to find the free toilet in big department store or other public toilet that give you enough info.
There is a very nice fake stuff shopping center, located in the outdoor called Xiangyang Market .. if you're up for it, go ahead. But you have to be extra carefull in choosing the stuff you buy, in terms of the seams of the bag, clothing, and also the placement of the brand tag. You have to be good at bargaining too at these kinds of market, because they will come up with a ridiculously high price that you have to bargain very low in order to get a good price that both sides will agree.
Unique Suggestions: Sometimes, the sellers will try to grab on to you to get your attention. For most people, this might be a little annoying, but the best way to get rid of the sellers is to ignore them. Do not give any eye contact because it will only get them excited and grab on to you even more or may start arguing with you.
When you bargain, don't fall into the "final sale" trap, because it isn't. They only want to get you to agree to their price. Always bargain starting about less than half of the price that they are asking, and go up from there.
Fun Alternatives: Few steps from the Xiangyang Market is the Huahai Lu (Road) in which there are a lot of department stores, such as Gucci, Benetton, etc where you don't need to bargain .. ever.
yes, restaurants are everywhere.... thousands of them all over shanghai
thousands of restaurants are no match for millions of hungry hordes.....
... on nights out during public holidays
Unique Suggestions: pix taken on x'mas eve.....
there were actually 2 queues for tables.....
1st Q inside restaurant next to tables...
2nd Q outside restaurant!!!
fortunately the fruits stall is next to restaurants.... so bite an apple or two whilst you Q
Fun Alternatives: cook your own food!!!!!
Travelling around Shanghai on the subway is the cheapest mode of transport other than you own a bicycle;p
Many could afford a car but choose not to drive because of the hassle of driving on the road. You will pratically live in fear and stress when you drive. I must say that they are the most aggressive drivers i ever met.
You either employ a chauffer or take a taxi.
But if you are a tourist or they can smell that you are not a local, they will bring you for a round the expressway ride. you can see what happened on Amazing Race.
If you think that the taxi driver is bringing you on a joy ride, you may take down their licence numer and simply give the company a call to report the driver and he would not get a cent.
My "American Friend" lives in Pudong. Usually he will be mistaken as a tourist or on business trip. He knows the taxi fare very well. If the driver gives him a joy ride, he will not hesitate to call the company or pay the driver the fare he thinks the trip will cost. My friend even showed me a list of bad cabby;p
If you agree with me, then make sure you give this tip a good ranking. Thank you!