Site of temporary government for Republic of Korea [edit this]
This is the site where the temporary government for the Republic of Korea prepared for war against Japan during World War II. Although small and difficult to find, this site is of great historical importance——at least to Koreans who come by the bus loads. You will find yourself surrounded by Korean tourists, and even the Chinese attendants may speak to you in Korean. Furthermore the historical video documentaries and audio guides are in Korean only, and all the signs are in either Chinese or Korean.
Nevertheless the house itself is a nice example of a shikumen house of 1930's Shanghai, and a visit here is 5 yuan cheaper than the shikumen open house of nearby Xintiandi. If you're interested in Korean history there is also a museum at the top with (finally) an English introduction to the era, and photos of various Korean politicians plus other artifacts.
There's a flashy souvenir shop on your way out where you can buy a range of Korean and Chinese items, some of them tenuously related to the subject of the museum such as Korean dolls and chopstick gift-sets.
Unless you can understand the Korean video documentaries, the site will take at most an hour to walk around.
Address: No.304, Madang Road. near Zi road
Tickets: 15yuan/person (no student concessions)
Open Hours: 9am－7pm
Traffic: Metro line 1 (Huangpi Road S. Station)
Edit by: Dorothy
Xintiandi [edit this]
Located in central Shanghai just south of Huaihai Zhong Road, Xintiandi is a redevelopment of a once rundown part of town based on the layout of an old Shanghainese neighbourhood.
Now it is a state-of-the-art warren of upscale shops, bars and restaurants based on the theme of “where old meets new”. Here you find the oddly complimentary combination of the traditional houses of old Shanghai (the “Shikumen”) hosting ultra modern restaurants, bars and shops. The exterior of these shikumen style houses of 1920's Shanghai have been tastefully restored, whilst inside they have been fully renovated to accommodate the tastes of the modern Westerner.
From Starbucks to T8, to international chains of Chinese restaurants you will find plenty to soothe a homesick expat, and with a price tag to match.
Moreover Xintiandi is most famous for its nightlife when the Western style bars open their doors for business. No doubt every Westerner that comes to Shanghai will pay at least one visit here, if not more.
The complex also includes a museum of Shanghainese architecture and a restored school where the Chinese Communist Party held its first congress in 1921, now also a museum.
Xintiandi North Block: Lane 181, Taicang Road.
Xintiandi South Block: Lane 123, Xingye Road.
The Location of Shanghai Xintiandi: Shanghai Xintiandi is conveniently located right in the centre of cosmopolitan Shanghai. It is close to Middle Huaihai Road and Taicang Road, bordering upon South Huangpi Road, Madang Road and Zizhong Road.
Traffic: Metro line 1-alight at South Huangpi Road Station and exit from gate 2, then turn left and walk along Madang Road for about 200 metres to Taicang Road.
Edit by: Dorothy
Shanghai Postal Museum [edit this]
If you're not particularly into stamps, why should you visit a museum about the post of all things? Well where the Shanghai Postal Museum is concerned the reasons are plentiful.
First of all the museum is housed inside the original 1931 Shanghai District Post Office building. This is a grand example of colonial architecture is listed as a key national historic site, so take a few minutes to admire it before even entering the museum. Inside the architecture will continue to impress with an impressive, newly renovated atrium roof that looks like the skeleton of a huge ship upside down.
The exhibitions are split into four parts taking you through the development of the post from ancient times, when fires were lit to communicate emergencies, to China's first systematic imperial post system in the Qing dynasty, to modern sort machines and futuristic “smart” mailboxes. Don't miss the uniquely dark green Chinese boxes used in imperial times with a dragon winding around it. Of course there's also an exhibition on stamps for the keen collectors out there.
Apart from the exhibitions themselves the real highlight of the museum may be its rooftop garden that looks more like a miniature golf course. Although you're not allowed on the grass you can still enjoy a wonderful view from here of the bund and Pudong from a prime location.
Best of all, the museum is currently free and relatively undiscovered——so catch it before the price, and the number of visitors go up.
Address: No.250, North Suzhou Road
Admission: currently free, but will go up to 10 yuan.
Open Hours: 9am-5pm (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday)
Traffic: Bus No.14, 17, 19, 21, 25, 65, 66, 220, 928, 939, and tour bus line 10
Edit by: Dorothy
Shanghai Science and Technology Museum [edit this]
Shanghai's Science and Technology museum is dedicated to “science education and spiritual civilization construction” and is a showcase piece for this fast developing city. Not only is the building itself an impressive piece of futuristic architecture, but inside there is plenty to see and do.
Covering an area of 65,000 square meters, this museum house 12 exhibition halls based around different themes. These range from life sciences to the World of Robots, from physical sciences to Children's Technoland. Apart from the main exhibition halls there are also special exhibits covering everything from spiders to ancient Chinese inventors. Another highlight of the museum is its four special purpose film theatres. These are: the large format, Dome, IWERKS and Astronautic theaters, which together constitute the largest science film city of its kind in Asia showing 8,000 filmings each year.
Everywhere the designers of the museum have tried to make the exhibits fresh and interactive, especially in the Children's technoland, the Light of Wisdom (physical sciences), and the Designers Cradle (computer technology). The idea is to encourage innovation by encouraging active participation. This makes the museum not only a very informative place to be but also a lot of fun.
Even if you've been to science museums in the West it is still worth visiting this one in Shanghai. You may be pleasantly surprised by the scale and innovativeness of this museum that represents China's increasing progress in the field of science and technology.
Address: No.2000, Century Avenue, Pudong New Area
Ticket hotline: 8621-68542000
Opening Hours: 9:00am-5:15pm
Tickets: Adult 60 yuan, Student 45 yuan, special ticket (for retired/disabled/children under 1.2m) 20 yuan. Group tickets are: 55 yuan each for group of adults, 35 yuan each for group of 40 or more students, 20 yuan each for group of 20 or more kindergarten children. Tickets for the science theatres are separate and range from 27 to 40 yuan.
Traffic: Metro line 2 (Science and Tech Museum)
Edit by: Dorothy
Shanghai Urban Planning Hall [edit this]
Shanghai Urban Planning Hall is a vivid model of Shanghai's history. Each floor has its own theme based on Shanghai's development, such as a traditional Shanghai street in the 1930's (basement), historical and cultural city (1st and 2nd floors, or mezzanine), current master plan (3rd floor), and short and middle-term construction plan (4th floor).
The traditional 1930s street is a reproduction of typical Shanghai houses of the colonial period. Some “antiques” from the 1930s such as a trolley car, a mailbox and a rickshaw, are also displayed along the street.
A hall in the mezzanine, which exhibits famous and historical sites, reflects 100 years of changes in Shanghai. Comparison photos are presented along the wall.
One of the world's biggest urban planning models is displayed on the second floor——for most visitors the highlight of the whole Planning Hall. This 600-square-meter model shows what the urban landscape within the inner ring route will look like in 2020. Famous landmarks like the Shanghai Oriental Pearl tower or Bund can be found along the “Huangpu River”. Shanghai changes every week and so does the plan for the city, therefore the model is updated continuously.
Another magnificent picture of Shanghai's future is showcased on the fourth floor. Some facilities are already under construction, such as Yangshan Deep-Water Port.
A circular corridor for leisure on the top floor is a good place to take a break. Some drinks and food are offered there.
Address: No.100, People's Ave near Xizang Road M.
Hours: 9am-5pm (Monday-Thursday); 9am-6pm (Saturday-Sunday)
Tickets: 20 yuan/ students, 40 yuan/adults.
Traffic: Metro line 1or Metro line 2 ( People's Square Station)
Edit by: Dorothy