Shanghai was another one of those free stopovers that's helped lower the price of my plane ticket. I only spent a short amount of time there, I would really love to go back! But here's a short list of fun things I did while I was there to entice you to head east!
1. Visit the Bund
The bund is a waterfront area with plenty of things to do and see. I was there early in the morning, there were people flying kites, dancers practicing in the park, great views and architecture. This area is beautiful during the day and at night, so if you have time make sure you head back in the evening.
I walked around and then took the Bund sightseeing tunnel, which is a short ride in a tunnel under the river. During the ride there's a cool light show and you end up on the other side of the river.
The Bund is the #1 must do, you'll find it on everyone's list, so I won't go on and on, just go!
2. Go to the Aquarium
I had an awesome time at the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. There are so many different creatures inside, from penguins to ducks and sharks. This aquarium also houses one of the largest underwater tunnels in the world.
You can spend a good amount of time just walking around looking at the animals and learning about them. They also post the feeding times for several animals, so if you are a "planner" schedule you visit around these times so you can catch the feedings.
3. Catch the #Views from the Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl Tower was a fun experience, if you are afraid of heights stay on the ground! This is one of the tallest towers in Asia ( and the 6th tallest in the world). For a fee you get to go to the top and take in the views. From there they take you to a slightly lower floor with an observation deck that has a glass floor! Everyone was scared to walk on it, including me!
Once you get back to the ground, there is a museum, restaurant, and several shops inside. The Coca cola restaurant is inside and there is also an arcade, so its a great stop.
4. Go to the Mall!
If you're a shopping fanatic (like me!) the mall is the place to be. The Super Brand Mall was huge with a million stores. Once again, self explanatory! You can find floor and store directory here: http://www.superbrandmall.com/sbm/floor-plan
From what I saw, there was an area for kids with a play place and a set of steps that plays music like a giant piano. Of course there are plenty of restaurants and snacks, and this mall is always having some type of event.
5. Walk around!
Simply walking around downtown and up or down Nanjing rd during the day or night was awesome. I printed a walking tour (you can find several on Pinterest for free! Love free!) and I hit the sidewalk. The architecture and city are beautiful and the people were very nice. There was a language barrier, and one thing I forgot to do was print my maps in Chinese, because when I was looking for directions nobody could read my English maps. Also, if you do not have a VPN or you are not tech savvy, remember there is a firewall that will block you from using certain websites like Google and Facebook, so you're on your own!
Traveling While Black
As I've mentioned before, being in China was like being a celebrity, you get so much attention from people wanting to take photos with you or know about your hair if you're natural. Get ready for the open-mouthed stares if you look different. Beyond that everyone was nice, I felt safe.
Is China on your bucket list? Would you go? Let me know below!