In a country that is known for its huge, bustling cities, Shanghai manages to stand out in an extraordinary way and is a great port of call to experience. An economic boom during the 20th century segued into a huge surge in popularity for Shanghai among tourists, and the city has invested billions in keeping visitors happy. Visitors of all stripes and with all sorts of different interests are sure to find something worthwhile to enjoy in Shanghai. With a stop in Shanghai, you can enjoy a splendid combination of Buddhist temples, fascinating old buildings, incredible shopping and amazing dining opportunities. From its compelling waterfront district to its keen mix of museums, there is something for everyone in this fast paced, never-a-dull-moment city.
Sightseeing & Things To Do
With a brand new – and much more conveniently located – cruise ship terminal slated to open in 2010, Shanghai will be easier to see and explore than ever before. Even with a commute, though, checking out this incredible Chinese city is something that you absolutely should not miss out on. The sheer size and scope of this vibrant metropolis will awe you, and your time here will fly by – and leave many wonderful memories in its wake.
If your ship is stopping in Shanghai – regardless of the amount of time you have to spend there – you’ll be able to find something worthwhile to check out. Consider these excellent attractions:
Along the western side of Shanghai’s waterfront is a district of the city that is known as the Bund, or Wai Tun. Many older, well preserved colonial era buildings can be found here. Early in the morning, local residents congregate in this area to do things like tai chi, kung fu and even ballroom dancing. If your ship is docking early, then, see if you can observe for yourself. At night, the Bund lights up and is quite romantic.
The Peace Hotel
The Peace Hotel is located at the intersection where the Bund and Nanjing Lu meet. It is a high rated luxury hotel and is probably the most famous hotel in Shanghai. You can observe its luxurious surroundings for yourself by stopping in.
Enjoy a bit of tranquility and serenity while in the middle of this loud, boisterous city by stopping in at the Yu Garden. Known as Yuyuan to locals, the Yu Garden is a popular place for people to meet up. There are ponds, temples and other scenic things to enjoy at the Yu Garden, and it is much like a microcosm of greater Shanghai.
The Shanghai Museum
While stopped in Shanghai during a cruise, why not learn a little bit about its history and culture? You have the unique opportunity to experience the Shanghai Museum, which has one of the most extensive collection of Chinese artifacts in the world. The exhibits here span a vast swath of Chinese history and include things like ceramics, paintings, sculptures, bronzes and other key pieces of artwork.
To the uninitiated visitor, it would appear that every square inch of Shanghai is devoted to shopping. However, the Yuyuan Bazaar is a wonderful option for those looking for authentic Chinese crafts and goods. Dozens of different vendors are on hand at any given time. Nanjing Road is the place to be if you need to do a lot of shopping in a very short period of time.
Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship
You won’t have a hard time finding something to spend your money on in Shanghai. There are plenty of neat little souvenirs to choose from; hand painted teapots and silk purses are both definite winners, or you can take your pick from several other local specialties.
Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine
Eating is a definite experience in Shanghai, and you can take your pick from hundreds of different places, from high end restaurants to simple food stands. Red-cooked pork is one of the most ubiquitous local delicacies, and you can find it virtually anywhere. In fact, if a dish isn’t explicit about what kind of meat it uses, it is most likely pork in Shanghai. Be sure to try some xiao long bao, which are small steamed buns and are one of the most famous kinds of food in Shanghai. They are filled with hot, delicious broth and a tiny bit of meat – and they are delicious.
When, Where, and How
When To Go
Spring and fall are the best times to come to Shanghai. During April and May, the weather is pleasant and mild. In September and October, the excessive heat of the summer is gone and the climate is relatively temperate and dry.
Where You’re Docked
The biggest complaint that most cruise ship visitors to Shanghai have is the long commute from the downriver cruise ship terminal to the city proper. Fortunately, plans are under way and a brand new, much more convenient terminal is set to open in the year 2010.
Which Cruise Ships Go Here?
Most of the most popular cruise lines have itineraries that include stops at Shanghai. A few of the major cruise lines that stop here are Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Regent Seven Seas and Seabourn. However, there are hundreds of choices in terms of dates, ships, in port and days at sea when it comes to Shanghai.