December 23rd, 2020
Last weekend I went out for a walk to Minhang sports park, a large green space in the west of Shanghai. Although I’m not sure what qualifies it to be a “sports park” rather than just a regular park. Minhang is the name of this particular suburb.
Minhang sports park
Afterwards I kept walking south to Xinzhuang and then even further south to a part of the city I’ve never visited before.
This area is a bit industrial and there wasn’t much interesting to look at except metro line 5, which I’d never visited before. It’s elevated above the track and has this walking path underneath it at least part of the way.
Underneath line 5
December 12th, 2020
The air quality has been getting worse and worse the last few days. But today it reached new lows of “very unhealthy”. I think the icon is recommending me to wear a gas mask. Perhaps it should be comforting that there’s still as “hazardous” level beyond this.
I think I’m going to stay inside
November 16th, 2020
Not really a single lake but a connected set of small lakes in the far north west of Shanghai, where it meets the next city, Kunshan.
Although it’s not far from the end of line 17, we’re about two hours away from the city centre so it feels very peaceful and rural.
October 31st, 2020
Paotaiwan wetland park (炮台湾国家湿地公园) is a small nature reserve in Shanghai’s BaoShan district on the southern bank of the Yangtze river. It’s quite peaceful compared to most of the city’s tourist attractions and even on a Sunday afternoon it wasn’t particularly busy. I liked the viewing pier where you can watch the big cargo ships sailing by. You can travel there either on foot or by bus from Shui Chan Road (水产路) station on line 3.
First sight of the Yangtze river
I initially thought the name 炮台湾 (炮 cannon, big gun; 台湾 Taiwan) was an alarming nationalist call to blow up Taiwan with a cannon, but apparently it’s 炮台 “gun emplacement” 湾 “bay”, after the fort that guards the mouth of the Yangtze river, so there you go.
The titular gun emplacement
October 30th, 2020
Line 3 has got to be Shanghai’s most iconic metro line. I’ve even seen it featured in some promotional tourist ads. To my knowledge it is the only line to be entirely elevated above the ground and riding on it gives some great views of the city.
But what is it like to walk nearly 26 miles underneath it? Today I can reveal the answer is: a bit dull.
I walked the route over three afternoons which I’ve merged together in the map above.
To my great shame I didn’t make it quite to the end, stopping one station short at Tie Li Road. The last section really wasn’t great for walking being just a sparsely populated industrial area.
The problem is, unlike line 12 which I walked last year, the route doesn’t pass through the city centre or cross the river, and most of the latter half runs parallel to a large noisy highway. So there isn’t much in the way of scenery apart from the elevated concrete structure itself. And you can’t even really see the trains.
But it wasn’t a total loss as I got to visit Baoshan district for the first time. Another tourist attraction there will be the subject of a later post…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 20th, 2020
A few minutes too late. 🙁