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Visit Shanghai With Nothing But A Map

Visit Shanghai With Nothing But A Map

If you are a traveller beginning to explore the Far East, Shanghai should be one of the first cities you must visit. This blog gives an overview for an amateur traveller to explore the city with just the internet and a map in handy. Read further on how you can visit Shanghai with nothing but a map.

The Largest Chinese City

shanghaiShanghai is China’s largest city in terms of population. For centuries, the Chinese population had largely settled along the Eastern Coast of China owing to the presence of large rivers that flow mainly along the East. Shanghai is one of the cities that flourished along one of China’s most important rivers, the Yangtze. From a small village during 900 A.D. Shanghai emerged as one of the largest port cities and a leading trading center in present days.


When in Shanghai, it is important to have some knowledge about the city’s geographical location. The whole city is bisected by the Huang Pu River which is a tributary of River Yangtze. The eastern part of the city, along the East China Sea, is the newly developed Pudong Town, while on the western bank of the Huang Pu River lies older Shanghai or Puxi. Most of the historic sites are located in Puxi.



shanghaiYou are viewing from East to West


There are two International Airports in Shanghai city. The Hongqiao International Airport lies in the Puxi area, while the more popular Pudong International Airport lies at the edge of Pudong Town. The center of the city is the Bund Area that lies along the western bank of the Huang Pu River in Puxi. As a tourist, you would like to stay near The Bund or on the East Nanjing Road. These two localities are close by one another and most touristy with the main tourist spots located nearby.

If you are arriving at the Hongqiao Airport (pronounced Honn-chao), and staying anywhere near the Bund Area or Nanjing Road, then you are just 30 minutes away from your destination. It takes between 30 to 40 minutes to reach the Nanjing Road area from this airport depending on whether you are travelling by Taxi or the Subway.

shanghaiHongqiao Airport

The Pudong Airport on the other hand, is approximately an hour away from the city center (East Nanjing Road).

shanghaiFlyover connecting Pudong Airport to the city

Beware of Scams

It is very common to get scammed in China. The internet is flooded with blogs and forums about different scams in all of China. Westerners are easy prey to these scammers. One scam that you might face in Shanghai Airports is the Taxi Scam. As you come out of the baggage lounge and onto the front lounge, a few well-dressed corporate looking men (and women) may approach you saying that they are the “Airport Officials” who help passengers to get a Taxi (or a car or even limousine). Soon they will take you to a counter within the Airport Terminal building and try to convince you to book their Taxis.

You will never see a single local at these counters. They mostly target foreign tourists and these “luxury” Taxis charge as much as three times the normal Taxi Fare! So if you want some extra savings ignore these people and walk out of the terminal building following the majority passengers. You will be able to locate a small Taxi kiosk. Stand in the queue and just hand over the address of your hotel when your turn arrives. These taxis usually don’t scam people as they are metered. Baggage charges are extra.

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