Jun 19th, 2005, 12:06 PM
Original Poster
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Is Shanghai worth a week's visit and when is the best time to go ?.
Lesg is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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I guess it depends what you're in to. Some people say it's just a big city and there's really not that much to see as far as tourist attractions. Some people can spend a week or more there just shopping!
BigJim is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 01:05 PM
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Hard to say if it would be worth a week's visit to you. What are your interests? Have you visited China before? Are you planning to go anywhere other than Shanghai?

Summer can be very humid and hot, so if there's one time of year I'd avoid, that would be it. Fall is my personal favorite.
Patty is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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If this is a first China trip I would try to combine it with something else - Beijing is obvious - or Xian...
hobbes is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 07:01 PM
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This Sunday I'm starting a 12 day trip in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Nanjing. 3 nights in each of Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou and then 2 nights in Nanjing.

Train times from Shanghai to Suzhou: about 1 hour; Hangzhou: 2-4 hours; Nanjing 3-6 hours. The trains are cheap and fairly easy to use. I'm reading my Let's Go: China published late 2004, states that at Shanghai station you can avoid long lines by buying same day tickets to Suzhou, Hangzhou, or Wuxi from the little booth to the right of the security checkpoint(look for green and white sign). English speaking window at #10. Now I have to say I haven't been there, so I'm just telling you what I have read.

Many people (my Chinese students) have recommended Suzhou and Hangzhou. That's why I'm going. So why not do some day trips? It's gonna be blazin' hot!
jimdrew is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 12:13 AM
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Suzhou is definitely worth an overnight, and two wouldn't be overdoing it. Hangzhou I'm less convinced about. As for Shanghai, we spent 6 days there (3 of them unscheduled) and didn't run out of experiences. However, we like to get the feel of a city gradually, mainly by just walking around and now and again getting lost. If you're interested in modern Chinese history, Shanghai has much to offer - but if the idea of visiting the site of the first national congress of the CCP, Sun Yatsen's and Zhou Enlai's former houses, the gallery and museum in Peoples Park, etc. doesn't interest you (or absorbing the history of the colonial buildings on the Bund) you can happily spend time just shopping, eating and drinking. The city has a plethora of opportunities, and if you buy a decent map it's very easy to navigate. Think old Town, French Concession. I'd be happy to spend a few more days there.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 12:52 AM
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Thanks for the info. It would be our first visit to China and we would like a city with some sight seeing and shopping.
Lesg is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 04:28 AM
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I just came back from Shanghai. The city is full of life everywhere, but if you are looking for just shopping and sight seeing, you won't need more than 4 days in Shanghai. I would recommend Hangzhou since you are going with your family. Hangzhou has great food and nice shopping centers too. More importantly this city is covered with a lot of ancient buildings that worth paying the visit.

Just remember if you want to visit the Pagodas in Hangzhou you have to walk a lot (staircase), the ladies may complaint about the journey.

West lake views are unforgetable
jacknbey is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 04:36 AM
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Neil, did you go to Hangzhou? We're planning on spending two days in Shanghai and two days in Hangzhou. Do you think that's too much for Hangzhou?
Marija is online now  
Jun 21st, 2005, 05:02 AM
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Two days in Hangzhou is not too much. There are plenty to see around the West Lake to spend 2 days. Not too much in the city center, however.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 02:55 AM
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Marija, I'll have to bow to rkkwan's opinion on Hangzhou. We may not have done it justice - maybe because we were there during the National Day holiday week and the crowds were overwhelming. We found the city centre rather featureless and lacking in character, but we might have come away with a different view if we'd explored more of the attractions around West Lake.

We did have some great local specialities at a big restaurant at the lake (from memory not far from the Shangri-la Hotel). I tried to replicate the Beggar's Chicken when I got back home but screwed up (another story). The Dongpo Pork, served in small ramekins, was also delicious, as was the West Lake Carp in Sweet Vinegar Sauce.

As things stand I have fonder memories of Suzhou's canals and gardens, not to mention a lively "main drag" with good eating, bars and shopping.

Two days in Shanghai is pretty cramped IMO - if you have only 4 days in total my feeling is that you'd be better spending 3 in Shanghai and one overnight in either Hangzhou or Suzhou. Depends on your preferences, though - I like big cities, even ones like Shanghai that are young by Chinese and even European standards.

There are also the touristy but pleasant and picturesque "water villages", but on the basis of our experience at Zhouzhuang I can't recommend an overnight stay. However, they're close enough to Shanghai to do as a day trip.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:29 AM
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Thanks to both of you. I guess we'll decide after two days in Shanghai whether we want to stay for a third or move on to West Lake.
Marija is online now  
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