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Archives for adventures

Yangpu Bridge

October 13th, 2020

I’ve wanted to walk to the Yangtze river for a while now, seeing as it’s only just a bit north of Shanghai. I tried last week but the attempt ended in failure. As I got to the edge of the city I found myself walking through an endless expanse of warehouses and docks, which was not a lot of fun. It also wasn’t obvious if I’d be able to see much once I finally got there so I gave up and went home.

Typical scenery

Before the industrial wasteland there was a nice footpath along the Huangpu river. I passed another impressive bridge, the Yangpu bridge. This one is the 38th longest cable-stayed bridge in the world. Shanghai really is a great place for bridge spotters.

Yangpu bridge

Thames Town

October 4th, 2020

With China clamping down on imitating foreign architecture of late it seems like a good time to visit Shanghai’s “Thames Town”.

Obligatory red phone box

This isn’t the first time I’ve visited one of these curiosities: back in 2018 I visited Paris-lite in Hangzhou.

Thames Town is way out in the suburb of Songjiang. I decided to make the trip more interesting by walking there from Qixin Road subway station which is at the end of line 12.

The route was surprisingly rural in places. But there was always some apartment complex or tower block visible on the horizon.

Rice fields next to the road

Eventually I got to Songjiang which was once a self-contained town but now merged into the Shanghai suburbs.

Lake in Songjiang

It was getting a bit late by the time I finally reached Thames Town, which limited photo taking opportunities. It’s just on the other side of the lake in the picture above.

Tourist information board!

They’ve done a pretty good job of replicating a generic “English market town”. The houses looked pretty authentic too, although it was hard to get a good look as they all have tall fences around them. I guess the occupants must be pretty annoyed with the number of tourists.

Xupu Bridge

September 30th, 2020

I’m taking advantage of the fine weather to go out for another walk. This time down the west bank of the Huangpu river.

After a while I came to the Xupu bridge, which carries Shanghai’s outer ring road. I’ve seen this bridge a few times before (last weekend, in fact) but never got close to it. I found to my excitement you can take a ferry right underneath it!

The bridge is the 48th tallest in the world. Although a quick scan down that lists reveals the majority are also in China.

On the east bank there’s a small park with some rather excellent views of the ramp up onto the bridge. Reminds me a bit of the a Humber bridge country park I visited many years ago.

After that I walked to the Xinzhuang interchange, an enormous elevated highway intersection that looks amazing on the map but sadly the only pedestrian access is via a tunnel underneath.

Dianpu River

September 26th, 2020

The weather here is starting to cool off and with little sign of the coronavirus it’s time to venture out walking again. This time I tried to walk along the Dianpu river, a small river south of where I live, to the Huangpu river, the main river that runs through the centre of Shanghai.

Frustratingly there isn’t a continuous path running the whole length so eventually I settled for walking along nearby streets and crossing back over when there was a bridge.

Where the Dianpu river joins the larger Huangpu river

I thought there might be a ferry to the other side where I could continue walking. But although the terminal was marked on the map it was either permanently closed or still under construction.

Eastbourne to Seaford

December 31st, 2019

Back in the UK for Christmas last week and the weather was lovely. Went for a walk on Monday from Eastbourne to Seaford along the coast.

This area is called the “Seven Sisters” which refers to the seven (?) huge chalk cliffs. You can see the famous lighthouse at Beachy Head below. The area is very scenic but I found cliff edge a bit terrifying. Especially as large chunks of it fall away every year.

I had to take a massive detour at a place called Cuckmere Haven as the way was blocked by a river with no bridge.

Fuxing Island

December 15th, 2019

Maybe you remember my shame of missing a station when I walked the length of metro line 12 a while back. Well I finally corrected that by going to the lonely stop of Fuxing Island.

There’s only two roads onto the island, and there’s not a lot there except a park and a huge shipyard.

The air quality has been quite bad recently. But every pollution cloud has a silver lining, and the extra particles in the air make nice sunsets.

Huangpu River

December 8th, 2019

Some pictures from a walk last month along the Huangpu river.

Walking along the west bank towards the financial district

I’m really fond of the path along the riverbank. I’ve been here quite a few times before but never so far into the city centre. I’m not sure how far it goes in either direction.

The light in the late afternoon was so good for taking photos. I’m really pleased with how some of these came out.

Nanpu Bridge, which I posted some night time photos of before

Sanya

November 19th, 2019

I spent a few days recently at a company “offsite” meeting in Sanya, Hainan, a island in the very south of China. It’s a bit like a Chinese Hawaii. Not somewhere I’d usually visit but worth going once for the experience.

On the beach

The hotel we stayed in was a self-contained resort and there didn’t seem to be a lot else within walking distance, or even within a short taxi ride. But the hotel did have an aquarium and a water park.

Jellyfish in the aquarium

Carelessly got sunburnt on the first day. In November! But the latitude is similar to Thailand or Vietnam so guess I should have known better…

37th floor…

Shanghai Metro Line 12

November 10th, 2019

I sometimes feel a bit nostalgic for the time a few years ago when I would plan epic county-crossing adventures for the weekend. But there isn’t any reason why I can’t do that here in Shanghai, I just need … a goal. And what better goal than walking the entire length of metro line 12. I pass my local station every day, but where does it come from? Where does it go? Today we’ll find out.

I started at the western terminus Qixin Road. The first few hours were pretty boring as this area is mostly residential and I’ve explored most of it already. My own backyard, so to speak. Anyway things picked up when I got to the city centre after eight miles or so.

Qixin Road station

The air quality in the morning was pretty bad so I did the first half wearing a mask. Bit novel for a hiking adventure.

Start of the northern section

The best part of the route is the section north of the city centre to the Huangpu river. West Nanjing Road to Donglu Road if you fancy following it.

Looking at the financial district from Hongkou

I’ve never been to Hongkou before, it’s a really interesting area: a mix of (relatively) old and very new. There was a large population of Jewish refugees living here during WWII and there’s a Jewish museum I’ve made a note to visit in the future. You also get some good views across the river to the financial district.

My constant companion

The eagle eyed might have spotted I missed a station on the map above, Fuxing Island. In my defence it really is an island and would have required a massive detour to get to, and then double back to catch the ferry across the river. I was tired, had a long way to go, and so I skipped it. Maybe I’ll go back another time to tick it off.

The eastern section over the river was unbelievably dull and ended up in some industrial estate. But eventually I dragged myself to the eastern terminus, Jinhai Road station.

Jinhai Road station

Yes I know it says line 9. It’s an interchange station and I guess they forgot to add line 12 to the sign when they extended it here, *sigh*.

Sheshan Forest Park

October 27th, 2019

Shanghai seems almost totally flat but there’s actually two little hills out in the suburbs to the west at a place called Sheshan (佘山). Just take metro line 9 to the station with the same name and then bus number 92 from outside. The “forest park” is nice enough but the main attraction is a Catholic church and observatory on the top of the western hill.

Sheshan Basilica

This basilica has been here since 1924 but there’s been a church of some kind on this site since 1863. I actually came here last October but the building was closed for renovation. This time there was a wedding. Maybe better luck next time…

Sheshan observatory

The observatory was originally built by Jesuit missionaries. There’s an exhibition inside which is worth looking at around, but it’s all in Chinese.

The photos below are a mix of this week’s trip and my original visit last year which I forgot to blog about.