Now Shanghai has the fastest maglev train in the world.
If you want to get to the airport with 7 mins, from the exit of Long Yang metro station, you should take the maglev train. The highest speed reaches 437km per hour. At least, it's a great experience.
It's an image that Shanghai wants to show the world that it is catching up with the world. However, the technology is designed by Germany which they have not tried in their own country.
Price: 50RMB for one way and 10RMB can be deducted as a discount if you have the airplane ticket of the day.
Next to Long Yang Station of No.2 metro.
The Maglev train operates from Pudong International Airport to the city's eastern fringe. The train operates on a system called magnetic elevation and can reach speeds up to 400km. On our trip to the airport it reached 300km per hour and gave us a very fast but smooth ride. Top speed is 431km, however if you travel prior to 8:30am and after 5:00pm the speed is limited to 300km.
One way ticket was 40 Yuan ($7) for customer with flight ticket, otherwise 50 Yuan. Taxi fare from our hotel to station 21Yuan.
We used the metro on 2 days during our 5 day visit to Shanghai. The station was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel. No problem walking the street daytime, we took taxi during the evening.
The ticketing is similar to most large cities, electronic machines where you touch screen the destination and ticket is printed upon payment.
All stations are displayed in both Chinese and English. There are helpful English speaking metro employees who assist should you have a problem.
On our second day we experienced a problem when changing lines the electronic entrance rejected our ticket. An assistant checked our ticket and then opened a door for entry.
The metro trains we traveled on were all new looking and very clean.
Shanghai subway system is the best way to get around Shanghai.
The system covers the main places in Shanghai and it is a quick way to reach places you would need lots of time by taxi, with the advantage of paying much less than for a taxi ride.
I had only ever caught a subway twice in Bangkok, which I found quite easy to do. So, Tracy and I entered Nanjing East Station, apprehensive and not having a clue where to go or what to do! We simply just followed the crowds - and it worked! We bought individual tickets for each trip, I believe you can also buy a reloadable card, but we didnt see where or how to do that. Simply go to the ticket machines which are extremely easy to use. Select English, then select which line you want, we always used Line 2. Then select which station you want to go to and it will then come up with the fare. Most machines only accept coins, but there was one that also accepted notes. Fare to Pudong was 3rmb one way and fare to Xinyang Markets (Science & Technology Museum stop) was only 4rmb one way. All the stations we used were well sign-posted in English and very easy to use.
The subway was quick, air conditioned and we usually got a seat. There was a train coming to Nanjing East Station about every 2 minutes. Tracy and I laughed everytime the recorded message came on about which station we were approaching and it always said "Get ready to alight from the left-a side" We couldnt help but laugh every time we heard it, they didnt say the left side, they always said "the left-a side!!" I guess you had to be there ...
On a single journey, the ticket machine will spit out a little card, the size of a credit card. You will need to swipe this card to gain entry to the station and then when you are leaving your distination station, you just need to insert this card into a slot at the gate to get through, and you dont get it back. It then gets re-used I assume for the next persons journey.
I will write a seprate piece about getting around Shanghai via the Metro, but for a little more money, jump in a Shanghai Taxi (which are 99% VW Santana's) and close your eyes if you don't like aggressive driving (see my Warning or Danger for Shanghai Drivers).
The initial fare (which will get you 5-6km) is 10RMB (about $1.25). I have driven for one hour straight across (part of) the City and my fare was less than 100RMB ($12.00).
While the Metro is definitely easier on the wallet, jumping in a cab is definitely more convenient (and preferred by Mao).
It is the best way to get around town and darn near impossible to get one when it is raining.
Shanghai currently has two subway lines - Line 1 & Line 2. Line 1 (known as The Red Line) runs north and south in the old city (PuXi), while Line 2 (the Green Line) cuts West to East across PuXi, goes under the river and cuts across Pu Dong.
Shanghai has agressive plans for its underground and has 11 new lines planned for completion by 2025.
There is also a light rail line (above ground), which is known as Line 3, the "Pearl Line", or the "Blue Line".
The Metro is a very easy and cost-effective way to get around Shanghai. However, if you need to get to someplace far from a Metro stop, I suggest usting the Metro to get you close and then take a taxi the rest of the way.
One-way fares range from 2RMB to 4RMB, depending on how far you are travelling.
I personally avoid the Metro during rush hour as it is simply way too crowded for my liking.
It's the only train of this kind operating in the world. In was launched in Shanghai back in 2002 and it goes as fast as 431km/h. The train ride is only about 7 minutes long, but it's a magnificent experience. The only downfall is that the train doesn't take you to the downtown of Shanghai, so after taking the trainride, you still need to take a taxi or public transportation to reach the downtown area. Single trip costs RMB 50.
Maglev stands for MAGnetically LEVitated vehicle. According to someone who definitely knows something about technology, "Maglev is a combination of superconducting magnets and linear motor technology that realizes super high-speed running, safety, reliability, low environmental impact and minimum maintenance."
Shanghai is two hours away from Hangzhou, a popular tourist destination in its own right in nearby Zhejiang province. Travel between Shanghai and Hangzhou is very easy by train or bus. There are frequent trains between the two cities. Most trains to Hangzhou depart from the ultra sleek Shanghai South train station, which is, incidentally, the largest circular glass building in the world (and arrive at Hangzhou Main train station). Journey time for the non-stop service is just over 2 hours, and a single ticket on soft seat should cost no more than RMB50. If you plan to travel during peak times, it is best to book ahead as trains are often full.
There are several trains a day connecting Shanghai to Suzhou. They have air-conned and non-airconned trains. The 2 trips I took costed me 15RMB (circa 2002) for an air-conned express train with seat allocation and 13RMB (circa 2002) for an air-conned express train with no seat allocation.
There are a number of night trains departing from Shanghai to Beijing every night (and vice versa). The soft class trains are excellent . In fact, I hadn't been on such a nice train before (and I've traveled extensively by train in Europe and elsewhere). The ticket on a soft class train costs you RMB 499 and the trip will take you between 12 and 13 hours. On some soft class trains they even give you a dinner for free!
However, you can also make the trip by taking a hard class sleeper. They are less comfortable, but save you about RMB 150.
The Shanghai Metro is a cheap way to get around the city. Trains and stations are clean and air-conditioned, though can be very crowded at peak times. Beware that some of the stations are humungous, and changing between lines may involve a lot of walking. Fares cost between RMB3 and RMB6 depending on distance. The stored value card is a convenient way to pay your fares - it can also be used on buses and taxis as well, and requires a deposit of RMB30, refundable when the card is returned.
This is the main railway station. If you depart for Hongkong, then you go through customs and immigration here. The entrance is to the left as you stand in front of the building. If you want to buy something for the train, be sure to do so before you enter as there is nothing inside. There are plenty of little shops left and right of the railway station, yes, they sell toilet paper too.
Maglev Demonstration Line from Pudong International Airport to Longyang Road Metro Station
The 30-kilometer trip will take only eight minutes. However this is not a good destination unless you are staying in that area. Most people do not stay in that area. You have to change to the metro or change to a taxi.
The round trip ticket cost 80 rmb and the one way ticket cost 50 rmb. Passengers with current day flight ticket can buy a one way ticket of Maglev Train at 20% discount. You will need your ticket or boarding pass for the discount. Meglev personal are just outside of the luggage area and will help you to the train.
It may be interesting to take but not a real time saver.
I recommend taking a taxi from the airport. This is especially true if you have two or more people and luggage.
I'll have pictures after my next trip this May.
Please rate this and my other tips when you find then useful, interesting or you like the pictures