Where to stay, what to do in Shanghai?
November 8, 2005 8:48 PM   Subscribe

Will be travelling to Shanghai, China, near the end of November. Any recommendations on hotels in which to stay, sights to see, places to eat, etc?

... this is a last- minute trip for my financee and me, so research has been limited to basic guidebook skims and up- to- the- minute events from Shanghaiist.

The immediate concern is: where do we stay?
Many thanks!
posted by ronv to Travel & Transportation around Shanghai, China (7 answers total)
You need to give some indication on how much you want to spend to get hotel recommendations. I've always enjoyed staying at the Regal International hotel in the French Concession. It's near a lot a good restuarants, the subway, and the French Concession is probably the most intersting suburb other than the downtown area near the Bund. Plus they have a bowling alley in the basement!

I would go visit Pudong (the east side of the river) to view the city from the Oriental Pearl tower. The Bund is wonderful to walk around. And there is the famous Xiang Yang Market where you can get all your knock-offs cheap. Go with a Chinese person if you can, otherwise you will be hounded at every turn. Still fun though.

Shanghai is a very walkable city and you can spend several days just walking along the Huaihai road down to the city center.

If you have a chance, definitely get yourself some hot pot. Basically fondue on steroids. If you like spicy, make sure you get the chili oil hot pot. I could live on that meal.

Love the city! Have fun!
posted by qwip at 9:56 PM on November 8, 2005

The Maglev does a cool 435 kph. It goes from nowhere to noplace, but it is a magnificent demo. From Pudong Airport to somewhere a long taxi ride from anywhere.

7 minutes of speed.
posted by DickStock at 10:53 PM on November 8, 2005

I went recently and stayed at the Pudong Sofitel, which was very nice and all, but it's a bit of way out, requiring a 20 minute walk to the metro, and a 5-10 minute ride into town.
If I was going again, I'd probably want to stay in the Park Hotel, partly because it's got a great location overlooking People's Square, partly because it's the oldest "sky scraper" in Shanghai, and I think it's nice to stay in a place with a bit of history.
posted by chill at 5:43 AM on November 9, 2005

Seconding what chill said: I stayed on both sides of Shanghai last fall and Pudong is too far out of the way. It's not within walking distance of much and taxi drivers don't like to deal with it. The Four Seasons and JW Marriott are highly regarded in the Pushi area, but you should check around on your own.

A "basic guidebook skim" will actually do a nice job of priming you for Shanghai. Its allure lies in the discovery. Walk around the neighborhoods that intrigue you, stop in the local markets and stores, interact with locals, and soak up the cultural differences you encounter.

The maglev train is pretty sweet if you're a transit geek, too.
posted by werty at 6:33 AM on November 9, 2005

Also, stating the obvious: if you're traveling from the US to Shanghai you've got one long flight (if not two) to kill. Spend your waking time learning about China. I brought a guidebook, a cultural overview and a piece of historical fiction on my flight, and when I landed I felt very nicely oriented.
posted by werty at 6:35 AM on November 9, 2005

I stayed at the Mason Hotel on Huai Hai Road in August, and it was very nice. It's just up the road from the knockoff market (the Xiang Yang as mentioned above, and do take a native speaker if you can), surrounded by shopping/eating streets, and a quick walk to the subway. Huai Hai is truly a mass of humanity after work hours, but the blocks back behind and on each side of the hotel are quieter with little restaurants, grocery stores, boutiques, and residences. There's a movie theatre down the street, just on the next corner past the giant WELCOME TO SHANGHAI sign.

The Epoch Music Restaurant in the hotel is honestly worth a long dinner on a Friday or Saturday night if you want to do something a little cheesy and a little cool (and if you're jonesing for western food, get the mixed grill, it was fantastic). I hit it on a Saturday because I was dreadfully sick and exhausted and didn't want to leave the hotel, expecting it to have all the charm of Denny's, and it was clearly a big date and fancy family outing kind of place. The entertainment changes every 15 minutes or so - check the balcony over the dance floor for the orchestra.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:13 AM on November 9, 2005

One other thing, if you don't speak chinese, make sure that before you go, you have a print out of the name & location of the hotel written in Chinese (actual Chinese, not PinYin). This will make your life considerably easier when it comes to taking a taxi there.
posted by chill at 8:28 AM on November 9, 2005

« Older Contact lenses and temporarily sticky eyes   |   Melancholy bagpipe music? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.