Travel

Beijing and Shanghai travel advice

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 16th, 2017 12:16 pm
[OP]
Member
Mar 16, 2004
429 posts
2 upvotes

Beijing and Shanghai travel advice

I'm going to both cities in 2 weeks and would appreciate any tips and advice from those who have gone before or are locals who currently live here.

I've read ton of stuff and have a extensive list of places and restaurant to eat at. Just looking to validate my research.

Thanks in advance.
15 replies
Newbie
Jul 21, 2017
16 posts
5 upvotes
Was in Beijing unexpectedly Summer of 2016. Just be aware of some of the scams like the Practice English tea house scam but generally Beijing is a great city. Take the subway as it is very efficient. Watch what you eat at some of the hotels as their standards of food safety don't necessarily meet western standards. Have a good time! I've been to Beijing 3x and Shanghai 1. Must confess I don't remember a lot about Shanghai. Must have been a good time!
Newbie
User avatar
Oct 17, 2005
68 posts
12 upvotes
Toronto
travel: take subway in the city and CRH (China Railway High-speed) between cities as preferred choice. You would like the experience; do not feel offended if somebody stand/sit too closely to you, even touching you - they do not like it too but have to based on the very high population density of the 2 cities

food: local food is always good to try, however, there are bunch of restaurants provide excellent western food as good as you can taste here and even better

hotel: both are pretty safe cities so strolling after dinner would be relax even you are not with expensive hotels in downtown area

enjoy your time in China!
[OP]
Member
Mar 16, 2004
429 posts
2 upvotes
any restaurants in particular in both cities that are recommended?

i'm chinese (hong kong born) so open to all ethnic cuisine.

are there any attractions that are considered overrated? from what i've read the ming tombs are not worth visiting even if going to check out the great wall.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 26, 2004
10144 posts
701 upvotes
Mississauga
Avoid the Badaling section of the Great Wall. It is the closest to Beijing and therefore the most touristed. We did the Jinshangling to Simatai section, which was far more atmospheric.

We went to all the major attractions in Beijing, but we found the Yonghe Lama Temple to be our favourite. The city is very epic in scale, to the point where it can be a bit mentally draining. It was nice to go to a smaller, quieter attraction. If I had to skip an attraction, I would say Olympic Park. It's kinda far, and it's just a gigantic plaza with the stadium and water cube.

We had the Beijing Duck. It was very good, but you sure don't get a lot of meat considering the price!

The French Concession was my favourite part of Shanghai. It's quite nice with lots of nice open areas and you don't feel like you're in a city of 25+ million. Yang's Fried Dumplings (we found a location near People's Square) were phenomenal. Probably my favourite meal that I had in mainland China.
[OP]
Member
Mar 16, 2004
429 posts
2 upvotes
thank you for the great advice. would you say the mutianyu section is ok? the private tours tours i've inquired about it recommended that as an alternative to badaling.

which beijing duck restaurant did you go to? lots of choices and hard to choose! in shanghai dadong was recommended.

funny you say french concession is your favourite as that is where we are staying while in shanghai. very good to hear i made the right choice in going to that area as it was a toss up between that and the bund area (which others say is too touristy).

please keep the tips coming!
Newbie
Sep 16, 2016
85 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
Get a free or paid VPN service before your travel. You will not be able to access FB, Twitter, YouTube and many many websites.
If we can dream it, we can make it!
[OP]
Member
Mar 16, 2004
429 posts
2 upvotes
i have ibvpn, hoping it works properly. tons of recent threads on reddit about how they are doing major crackdown in anticipation for the big meeting on oct 14th
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 26, 2004
10144 posts
701 upvotes
Mississauga
bacid1 wrote:
Sep 11th, 2017 9:13 pm
thank you for the great advice. would you say the mutianyu section is ok? the private tours tours i've inquired about it recommended that as an alternative to badaling.

which beijing duck restaurant did you go to? lots of choices and hard to choose! in shanghai dadong was recommended.

funny you say french concession is your favourite as that is where we are staying while in shanghai. very good to hear i made the right choice in going to that area as it was a toss up between that and the bund area (which others say is too touristy).

please keep the tips coming!
I didn't go to the Mutianyu section, but it looks good, better than Badaling at any rate.

I'm pretty sure we had our Beijing duck at Hua's Restaurant at their location on Dongzhimen St.

Yeah, the French Concession is a really nice area. Shanghai is by far the most cosmopolitan city on the mainland, with a lot more expats. The Bund and Nanjing St are must-see places too, of course. We also had drinks at the rooftop bar at Flair at the Ritz Carlton. Beautiful, but pricey (buy one drink and sip it slowly!). The city has tons of great rooftop bars though, so pick whichever one looks good to you.
Moderator
User avatar
May 27, 2007
15659 posts
3073 upvotes
Toronto
bacid1 wrote:
Sep 11th, 2017 9:13 pm
thank you for the great advice. would you say the mutianyu section is ok? the private tours tours i've inquired about it recommended that as an alternative to badaling.

which beijing duck restaurant did you go to? lots of choices and hard to choose! in shanghai dadong was recommended.

funny you say french concession is your favourite as that is where we are staying while in shanghai. very good to hear i made the right choice in going to that area as it was a toss up between that and the bund area (which others say is too touristy).

please keep the tips coming!
Mutianyu is great, well developed without the crowd. They built a new tourist "base camp" at the bottom of the mountain where the box office is. If you're adventurous and on a budget, take the local express bus to the bus terminal, then hire a taxi (https://www.travelchinaguide.com/china_ ... tianyu.htm)

As for Peking duck, I went to Quanjude in Beijing because they are the classic. Although I have heard good things about Da Dong.

Have some good soup dumplings in Shanghai, take a night cruise on the river. Walk around Nanjing Rd/The Bund district, explore Lujiazui (modern/financial) area. Also consider taking a side trip to Hangzhou or Suzhou if you have time.
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Jr. Member
May 9, 2015
144 posts
1 upvote
Scarborough, ON
Beaware of your pockets, bags, zippers, pants. Thieves are known to steal items without you knowing in crowded places. Never ever put your wallet on your bum pocket. Make sure your body feel your items such as passport, phone and money at all times. These son of a bitches are experts and makes a living everyday by doing this. Cheers.
Newbie
Jul 21, 2017
16 posts
5 upvotes
msiboy wrote:
Sep 12th, 2017 10:07 pm
Beaware of your pockets, bags, zippers, pants. Thieves are known to steal items without you knowing in crowded places. Never ever put your wallet on your bum pocket. Make sure your body feel your items such as passport, phone and money at all times. These son of a bitches are experts and makes a living everyday by doing this. Cheers.
Good advice for any city at home and abroad.
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2004
1000 posts
551 upvotes
Definitely go to the mutianyu section. We hired a private guide to drive us from Beijing. It was a fun excursion. Head up on the cable car and come down on the sleds. Definitely not as crowded as the other sections of the wall. Let me know if you want the name of our private driver. Good guy and very knowledgeable.

For Peking Duck we went to Da Dong and Siji Minfu. Da dong was fancier but I liked the duck better at Siji Minfu. Prices were more reasonable there as well.
[OP]
Member
Mar 16, 2004
429 posts
2 upvotes
Yes please post name. I haven't committed with hotel recommendation yet so open to suggestions. Thanks
Deal Addict
Jun 3, 2009
3733 posts
451 upvotes
Montreal
bacid1 wrote:
Sep 12th, 2017 12:12 pm
i have ibvpn, hoping it works properly. tons of recent threads on reddit about how they are doing major crackdown in anticipation for the big meeting on oct 14th
See if you can exchange your CAD for some RMB with some of your Asian friends who may be stuck with the Chinese bills here.

Get Baidu Maps and Wechat before you leave which you could use to pretty much pay for everything.

Whenever possible go with high speed train instead of air travel which is always delayed by hours.

You will look foreign for sure so learn to say no whenever someone tries to sell you something at touristic spots.

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