Step into the pages of history as this vibrant yet traditional city encapsulates you from the moment you arrive. From the bustling bazaars to chic boutiques and swanky haunts. The cities imperial opulence showcases the classic infusion of old meets new and mega metropolis meets intricate alley ways.
1900: Arriving in the evening into the ‘Paris of the East’ is the perfect way to obtain your bearings. Take a long slow stroll along the Bund, home to Shanghai’s world famous skyline. Come face to face with the awe inspiring view of China’s commercial prosperity whilst humbly backed by historical colonial buildings. Electronically infused sky scrapers dance in the night sky as their vivid illuminations flash images boldly stating ‘I heart Shanghai’ and the infamous ‘disco ball’ pulsates methodically, the lights reflecting like a mirror perfectly on the Huangpu River.
Why not head to one of Shanghai’s famed roof top bars whilst in the Bund precinct for a night cap while soaking up the atmosphere and of course the view. This is a great opportunity to experience some of the city’s dynamic and lucrative nightlife.
0700: Interested in Tai Chi and meditation? Head to Fuxing Park to participate with the locals as they dutifully execute their synchronised movements. A great way to start the day and immerse yourself in the local culture.
0930: Head to the Old Town of Shanghai, known as Nan Shi with the Yu Yuan Gardens at its heart. Wander the Old Towns’ Lilong neighbourhood lined by creaky and rickety Chinese homes which overcrowd the narrow alley ways. Washing hangs from bamboo poles, antiques and unusual coin stores fill the tight winding streets as tea houses dot each block. Very basic food stalls offer a vast variety of produce from fresh vegetables to local specialties such as Chou Doufu (stinky tofu). This lesser known and lesser explored side of Old Shanghai truly provides a wonderful and insightful glimpse into the daily traditional life of ordinary Chinese people. The Old Town bazaar provides fantastic opportunities to chat and bargain with the local merchants.
Follow the signs as you branch into lane-ways of dilapidated cramped housing and continue to the Bride of Nine Turnings (Jiu Qu Qiao). You will reach Huxingting Teahouse, a 200 year old Teahouse and the most famous in Shanghai. If time permits, why not enjoy a cup of hot tea in this historically traditional building.
1200: By now an appetite will be well built up as you make your way to the nearby Nanxiang Mantou Dian, a famous traditional dumpling house adorned by locals and tourists alike. Famed for its mouth watering soup dumplings – delicious pork floating in a hot salty broth encapsulated in delicately wrapped parcels – a sure way to make your taste buds scream.
1300: Feel like you can’t move after your meal? Take a short stroll through the neighbouring Yu Yuan Gardens, China’s finest Imperial Gardens, to walk off all those dumplings. Perfectly manicured with quiet reflective ponds, this revitalising sanctuary is a little piece of paradise in the heart of Shanghai’s hustle and bustle.
1430: Take a short taxi ride to the historical French Concession where you can participate in a walking tour or opt to cycle. The French Concession as the name states, was formally owned by the French. With a rich secret history and a European style vibe, the tree lined streets present a quiet atmosphere with colonial architecture lining the boulevards. Traditional Nongtag residencies coupled with quaint villas from the 1900’s, adjoin cobblestone laneways leading to French styled parks. The classic French character makes you feel as though you are strolling through a Parisian street. The hidden back alleys hold a unique French affection and provide a glimpse to small town Shanghai life.
1630: Continue on to the colourful and vibrantly creative area known as Tianzifang – located in the Soho area of the city. A maze of chic art galleries and design studios, brimming with local artists displaying their works with hidden enclaves around every corner. This former factory area screams atmosphere with nooks and crannies bursting with charming cafés, trendy hole-in-the-wall wine bars and microbreweries.
The perfect location to soak up the energetic atmosphere, kick back with a chilled beverage in hand and reflect on your 24 hours in Shanghai.
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This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.