Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Quick Visit to Shanghai's Yuyuan Garden

Aside from the 6 places I recommended to visit in Shanghai, my favorite place would be the Yu Yuan Garden that's why I've dedicated one blog post for it. Yu Yuan Garden is an enchanting garden built during the Ming Dynasty and after 400 years, it is still magnificent!

How to get there?
1. Ride the MRT Line 10
2. Get off at Yuyuan Station Exit 1

If you wish to go there by bus take bus nos.: 11, 26, 64, 304, 736, 805, 920, 926, 930 and get off at Xinbeimen Station. Walk along Anren Street to reach to the garden or for a simpler route, take the City Sightseeing Bus and get off at Yuyuan Garden.
Follow the Yuyuan Garden signs...

The whole Yuyuan Garden area is quite big! Here you can do a lot of things like eat street food, buy souvenirs, stroll, visit temples like the Cheng Huang Miao or the City Temple of Shanghai and you may also walk from Yuyuan to get to The Bund area--I suggest you walk instead of riding the subway which is just 1 station away. 
3. Upon Exit 1, turn right and walk straight. At the end of the walk way you will see this building (above photo) to your right. Walk towards that direction.
4. From this intersection you may now explore the Yuyuan area. You may enter in any alley and work your way towards the Yuyuan Garden entrance. There are signs everywhere so no need to worry but you may find yourself a bit lost because the structures all look the same haha.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

6 Places to visit in Shanghai

When I was little, I remember seeing a photograph of my grandfather posing in front of the Oriental Pearl Tower. He said that the tower is one of the most iconic landmark in Shanghai and that one day I must visit the place to appreciate my roots and "follow his footsteps" :) The Oriental Pearl tower is China's version of Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty which is why Shanghai has been part of my bucket list aside from the Great Wall of China and the Terra Cotta Warriors (which we failed to visit because of time constraints). 

Shanghai, China is the largest Chinese city by population and the largest in the world. This is the metropolitan part of China and it is considered as the global financial center. It has also one of the busiest transport hub container port in the world. 

We were able to visit Shanghai as part of our China trip after Beijing. Our initial plan was to maximize 3 full days in Shanghai but we then realized there is not much to do in Shanghai compared to other cities. But there are definitely must do or must visit places in Shanghai which I recommend to all travelers going to Shanghai.

These are my 6 recommend places in Shanghai (in no particular order):

1. The Bund (Wai Tan)- a fascinating stroll along The Bund is a must! It's where you get to see the old and new Shanghai all at the same time--truly a piece of Shanghai's history whenever you walk along the 4km long waterfront boulevard. The cool breeze of the water and air is just so relaxing that gives contrast to the busy streets and subway of the city haha. There is no entrance fee here so it is perfect for budget travelers like me haha. We went to The Bund in the afternoon and spent time exploring the vicinity until early evening. It is best to have dinner somewhere near the area and have coffee and desserts right after :)

How to get there?
1. Ride the MRT Line 2 
2. Alight at East Nanjing Road and walk towards the Bund. It's about 10 min. walk.
3. If you wish to go cruising along the Huang Pu River for about an hour, look for the Shiliupu Ferry Terminal near the Bund. The cruise opens from 10am to 9pm and it will cost you about CNY 100 or Php 733 per person. Pls. research more about this in case rates and operation schedules have changed. We skipped the cruise part since we were on "tipid mode" haha :)
It doesn't feel like you're in China when you go to The Bund! It feels like you're in Europe haha. Look at those very beautiful buildings and lights! 

I read somewhere that there are 52 buildings in this area with different architectural styles such as Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Renaissance, and Chinese. Hence, The Bund is regarded as "The Museum of International Architecture".

Friday, June 5, 2015

Shanghai Airbnb Room for only Php 225 a night

When we discovered Airbnb sometime in October 2014 during our trip to Japan, we were hesitant to try shared accommodation with a host or another guest because we were slightly paranoid with the safety of our belongings..and not our safety haha, kidding! But because we're after adventure and cheap travel cost, we gave Airbnb a try and we were glad we tried it and we've not stopped using Airbnb ever since that experience.

It all started in Osaka, Japan where we rented about Php 400 per person/night. Then in Beijing, China for Php 785 per person/night which was a bit more expensive but we were particular with the location and the type of room as we selected private room but shared apartment. For our third time using Airbnb, we book a shared house but private room in Shanghai, China and guess what... we only paid a  Php 225 per person/night!!! 

*Note: 
a) Most listings in Airbnb are priced per day and some are priced per person. But in most cases the rooms are priced per room per day and since I always travel with my boyfriend, costs under accommodation is divided into 2 :)
b) Prices of Airbnb listings may change without prior notice.

Our host named Jacob, was very accommodating even prior to our trip to Shanghai. We booked his listing not only because of the price and location but also because of the positive reviews from his previous guests. 

Whenever we book through Airbnb we always consider these 3 things: PLT or Price, Location, and Type of room.

PRICE:
One night in this room costs Php 450 since it's a shared house with other guests and the host. So we paid total of Php 900 for two nights and we split the cost into two. 

LOCATION:
Location is about 1 hour away from the main city (where the Bund is) but it wasn't an issue for us since we start our itinerary very early and go back home very late. Shanghai also has good transportation system so it wasn't difficult to travel from the accommodation to the tourist destinations in Shanghai.

How to get there?
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