Shanghai: On the Bus

On May 3, 2012, in Shanghai, Tours, Transportation, by Jack Li

Travel to Shanghai and you will realize it is not too dissimilar from London or New York in terms of its cosmopolitan charm (and the occasional need to carry an umbrella). The city presents a blend of East and West with its Asian food, modern brands and strong European influence in much of its architectural style. Just by looking at the trees lining the streets, anyone who has been to France will surely be able to make associations with Shanghai. A bus tour may sound like a cliché activity for any newcomer to a major city, but it can still be an effective way to learn about a destination relatively quickly, especially if your stay is short before departing on your Shanghai flights.

The good things is, most tour buses operate a hop-on-hop-off service which means you can see the whole city at your leisure without the arduous task of feeling obliged to sit there for potentially three hours. The open-topped roofs of the buses are half covered, so the back of the bus is left open. Despite the event of finding a wet seat from the rain; the back of the bus is, arguably, where the best views can be seen as you there is no window to hamper photo-taking. The company you meet on the bus often makes the tours a more memorable experience, for better or for worse. Unfortunately my audio did not work on one seat so, naturally, I moved to another with the result being the person next to me falling asleep on my shoulder – fun!

People’s Square acts as the bus route change-over which is ideal if you want to browse some shops before jumping on your next tour with the buses departing every thirty minutes. However, (from personal experience), it’s useful to remember where you put your (paper-thin) ticket and headphones for the next tour. Without the discomfort of listening to a tour guide throughout the tours, bus rides can be a very relaxing affair. All you need to do is switch on your audio set into the seat in front, select the language of your choice and enjoy the ride.

Overall, Shanghai tours are an convenient way to reach areas which are difficult to see via the subway. The spiralling Nanpu Bridge interchange, for example, is a thrilling section of the city which can best experienced on a tour. I sometimes found that the audio was out of sync with the actual landmarks, but on the whole it is easy to follow the descriptions. Besides the seeing the marvellous sights of The Bund with the Oriental Pearl Tower as the centrepiece; the tours passes lessen known features of the city like the former residence of Sun Yat-sen.



Jack Li

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