Shanghai’s National 4A Sights

Here goes the next installment. This is one is substantially heftier with 24 AAAA locations. Yikes.

Shanghai Jinshan City Beach. Jinshan District. 5 JinShan New City Road (5 Jin Shan XinCheng Lu). http://en.jsq.sh.gov.cn/venues_detail.asp?id=348
-The JinShan official website is slow on the update but now the JinShan Beach Metro Express is open! The JinShan light rail is available from Shanghai South Railway station and it cuts the travel time from the city center in half! I went here last summer for a musical festival and had quite a nice time. https://roomaomao.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/zebra-music-festival-at-jinshan-beach/ . While it can’t touch the tropical Southeast Asian beaches , it’s quite nice to relax at with a cold brew in hand. Plus , bikini girls are never a bad thing.

Jiading ZhouQiao Old City. Jiading District. Tacheng Rd. http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_5da9023c0100ociw.html
-Never been up here before. It’s quite a hike all the way to the end of Line 11 at North Jiading. Looks like a traditional Chinese old town complete with Confucius Temple, canals , park , museum, and traditional style buildings. This is high up there on my new to-do list.

Shanghai Fangta Park (Square Pagoda Park). Songjiang District. 235 Songjiang East Zhongshan Rd. http://www.chinatouronline.com/china-travel/shanghai/shanghai-attractions/square-pagoda-park-(fangta-gongyuan)_183.html
-Hah! Awesome! I just went there a week before starting to write this. Located way out in the burbs of Songjiang this is an impressive Pagoda rising up from a park. It’s an easy walk from the new Zuibai Pond metro line 9 station. The park itself is nice but not worth going all the way out there for. The pagoda would provide a sweet view of the surroundings but I don’t know from first hand experience. The ticket booth said closing time was 4:00pm but the workers in the pagoda ticket booth were busy clocking out at 3:45. Bleh.

Moon Lake Sculpture Park. Songjiang District. Linyin New Road. http://www.shanghaiexpat.com/article/my-afternoon-getting-high-shanghai-sculpture-garden-13957.html
-Located right next to the 4A SheShan Forest Park , I almost went here but the hefty 120 rmb price tag kept me away at the time. Me + Girlfriend + Waiting for pay-day = no go. This place looks pretty danged fun! At the center of the park is an artificial lake with a nice looking beach. Surrounding that is a wonderful green space with plenty of fun sculptures to interact and play with. I’m going here as soon as the spring arrives!

Shanghai Flower Port. Pudong District. Nanhui Town http://www.smartshanghai.com/out-of-town/ (Find the Shanghai Flower Port article)http://english.eastday.com/e/sly/userobject1ai4025435.html
We have reached an important point in the list! The first that I’ve never heard of! Flower Port? What the heck is this place? Doing a little research I’ve found this place is really in the boons. Eastern Pudong southeast of the airport! We’re thinking a good 2 hour bus ride to get here. Looks like the SmartShanghai team went at the wrong time, finding a barren land without any tulips (main point of the flower port). I like their assessment of the situation , “Rated an “AAAA” tourist attraction (usually that serves as more of a warning than a recommendation) and famous for the incredible tulip displays March to early May, this could be an amazing destination. But 50rmb for no tulips and a lot of bare ground though was a bit steep. ”
Again , this is another place that will be much more accessible after the opening of line 16.

Former Residence of Chen Yun and Qingpu Revolutionary History Memorial Hall. Qingpu District. LianTang Town 3516 Zhufeng Highway. http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/shanghai/former-residence-of-chenyun.htm
Ugh. Here is the first sight that sounds awful. Maybe it’s great but I highly doubt it. Featuring dry , boring, propaganda that glorifies The Red Revolutionary War! WOO HOO! “In 2001, the Former Residence of Chen Yun and Qingpu Revolutionary History Memorial Hall became part of the national patriotism education base. After paying a visit, you will know more about Chen Yun’s great deeds and the Qingpu people’s glorious revolutionary history.”

Fengjing Ancient Town. Jinshan District. 8588 TingFeng Highway. http://www.smartshanghai.com/out-of-town/fengjing-town
-Ah something more my style. Watertowns are great for relaxing out of Shanghai, for ditching the skyscrapers for old stone buildings , cobblestone walkways, and canals. I’ve heard of this place but haven’t made it yet. I’ve opted for the closer, cheaper (free!), and consequently more crowded Zhujiazhao water town. This place seems like the secret watertown. The place to avoid the million other people who want to get out of the city on a nice summer weekend. Admission 50 rmb. 1.5 hour bus ride from the city center.

Sun Island Hot Spring Holiday Resort. Qingpu District. Zhujiazhao Town 2588 Shentai Rd. http://www.sunislandclub.com/en/
Whoa. These resort seems ballin’! Not sure why it ranks a national tourist place ranking. Looks awesome(expensive) perhaps someone in the government has some cash invested in it? I might have to do a little look around but won’t enter if I want to check it off the list.
Here is their winter package deal.
“Get cozy and warm with us this winter and improve your health.
It’s time to get cozy and warm with us! Sun Island invites you to experience the difference in winter. Book our package now to get your blood and Qi move freely and restore your overall health!
One Night Accommodation in a Deluxe Room at Sun Island Resort
Complimentary Breakfast for 2
Choose from a selection of leisure activities (4 vouchers with 1 voucher per activity):
One round of Go-kart racing (1.3KM track)
Planting at Herb Garden (1 pot)
Golf Driving Range (30balls)
An hour of island-wide cycling on tandem bike
Craftwork DIY (1 piece)
Five Elements Assessment (Reservation Required)
Mahota Hot Pot for 2 at Members’ Restaurant
90-minute Hot Spring Bath or 50-minute Massage (worth RMB 330/pax)
Free Access to Indoor Geothermal Pool and Gym
Sun Island’s Daily Activities
Weekends: RMB 1330 /2 pax
Weekdays: RMB 1080 /2 pax”

BiHai Golden Sands Water Paradise. Fengxian District. Haiwan Tourism Zone 2 Haihan Rd. http://baike.baidu.com/view/1103987.htm
I could not find any English language information about this place at all. That link is helpful if you read Chinese and to look at a few photos. It looks pretty much like a decent beach. Come summertime I’ll head over there to make some comparisons between JinShan City Beach and this one.

Shanghai SheShan National Forest Park. Songjiang District. Waiqingsong Highway.http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/shanghai/sheshan-holiday-resort.htm
This area in Songjiang is super-concentrated with sights. Sheshan Forest Park , Moon Lake, and Happy Valley are crammed up next to each other. SheShan Forest Park is divided into two separate parks, east and west. SheShan West has The Church of Our Lady of Sheshan – an active pilgrimage church in China, and the SheShan observatory. The East Park is more about nature with some nice walkways through bamboo thickets. Shan , meaning mountain in Chinese is more of misnomer at only 100 meters but it’s still pretty cool. Here is my previous trip there , https://roomaomao.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/shanghais-mountain-sheshan/

Shanghai Gongqing Forest Park. Yangpu District. 2000 Jungong Rd. http://www.shgqsl.com/e_introduce.htm
I love this forest park! It’s got the nature I like plus the Chinese version of park complete with roller coasters, paintball, go-karting, electric boat rental, and horse riding. Pretty awesome all-in-one entertainment area. https://roomaomao.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/gongqing-forest-park/

Shanghai Zoo. Changning District. 2381 Hongqiao Rd. http://gochina.about.com/od/shanghaiforkids/p/Visitors-Guide-To-The-Shanghai-Zoo.htm
Eh , well if you’ve been to any zoos in a Western country you don’t really need to go to this one. The conditions of some of the indoor enclosures and the treatment of the animals by guests (so much trash/food flung into the monkey enclosure) are surprising. I’ve been to the Cleveland, San Diego, and Shanghai zoos. Shanghai’s is laughable (with some weeps) in comparison.

Guyi Gardens. Jiading District. 218 Huyi Highway. http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/venue/Around_Town-Parks__Gardens/1247/Guyi-Gardens.html
It’s a hike up to Jiading District but worth it when this garden is pared with Nanxiang Ancient Town and its famous Xiaolong dumplings. Stuff yourself and then take a post-dinner stroll through the greenery. https://roomaomao.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/nanxiang-old-town/

Oriental Green Land. Qingpu District. 6888 Huqingping Highway. http://shanghai.cultural-china.com/html/Arts—Culture/Park—Garden/200812/25-2612.html
Oriental Green Land is billed as one of the top sites in the country for juvenile extracurricular education and entertainment. A sprawling green area next to Dianshan lake serves as a center for city youth to get out and enjoy the green space. This quote displays the Chinese mindset quite well “Nowadays, students are always overloaded with homework and feel they are under great pressure from peers, which is not healthy for their overall development. In addition, health and fitness are under threat through ‘over-safe’ lifestyles,” said Huang.
“Thus, high school students around the city are required to attend the three-day outdoor activities here in order to help them develop physical and social skills,” Huang added. Yes , it’s China. Give the kids too much homework and then force them to participate in outdoor activities to combat the work. Nothing says fun and gets me ready like compulsory. Seems like visitors can also partake in dragon boat rowing and sculpture viewing.

Century Park. Pudong District. 1001 Jinxiu Rd. http://www.chinatravel.net/forum/Shanghai-Century-Park-The-Best-Place-in-the-City-for-Running-Boating-Picnicking/2183.html
Ah, one of the first places I visited when I was new to Shanghai and desperate for an escape from the city. The largest park you don’t have to venture super far to get to. Cool events also take place here like the Spring Midi Music festival and fireworks show.

Yu Gardens. Huangpu District. Fuyou Rd. http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/shanghai/yuyuan_garden.htm
The small garden is just a small part of the massive super touristy Yu Garden Bazaar complex. Tons of people, touts, and cheesy souvenirs. It’s an overwhelming place to see in the summer when the tourist crowd is at its max. I take visitors to see this place and go on an annual trip to see the lantern festival during spring festival. At all other times I avoid it.

Dongping Forest Park. Chongming Island. Beiyan Highway. vhttp://www.timeoutshanghai.com/venue/Around_Town-Parks__Gardens/1628/Dongping-Forest-Park.html
The holy grail of Shanghai forest parks! This is largest man-planted forest in Eastern China and the place with the freshest , cleanest , air . Walking among the giant pines in the evening I didn’t run into a single other soul. This does not happen in the densely populated Eastern coast of China. Besides just enjoying nature there are BBQ grills, camping, ziplines, boat rentals, and games. There is even a giant bonfire space to rent out at the hefty price of 1100 rmb. https://roomaomao.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/dongping-forest-park/

Zhujiazhao Ancient Town. Qingpu District. 763 XiangNingBang Rd. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhujiajiao
One of Shanghai’s closest and most popular watertowns. It really is like stepping back in time. Take the time to stroll down the cobblestone leafy streets that border the ancient canals. Eat a steaming plate of crayfish and then wash it down with a BeerLao from the punk bar. The town also attracts young Chinese who want to drop out of the hectic city life and open up a small shop or guesthouse.

Grand View Garden. Qingpu District. 701 Jinshang Rd. http://www.smartshanghai.com/out-of-town/out-of-town-daguanyuan
Grand View Garden is a replica of the magnificent garden created within the Jia residence for imperial concubine Yuanchun, as described in the Qing Dynasty novel A Dream of Red Mansions. The pictures look pretty spectacular. Chill out in the Qing dynasty tea house and enjoy the green spaces. At nearly 2 hours out of the city you will certainly need a bit of relaxing!

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. Pudong District. 1388 Lujiazui Ring Rd. http://www.sh-aquarium.com/en/html/index.aspx
Shanghai’s aquarium is pretty cool. It boasts the world’s longest under water tunnel at 120 meters. The jellyfish exhibit is also quite stunning. Much more worth it (with a corresponding price tag 120 rmb) than the zoo.

Jinjiang Amusement Park. Minhang District. 201 Hongmei Rd. http://www.allaboutsh.com/Attractions/S51.php
Urban Shanghai’s (city center) only rollercoaster , and if you ride line 1 down south you probably recognize the giant ferris wheel looming overhead. Not much desire for me to go seeing as how in Ohio I lived an hour and a half ride away from one of the world’s greatest amusement parks , Cedar Point. Man , I miss the Millenium Force and Top Thrill Dragster!

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. Huangpu District. 100 People’s Avenue. http://www.supec.org/english/english_page.htm
While it sounds rather boring, its main feature, a scale model showing the entirety of urban Shanghai with future buildings also appearing. It’s a great way to see how Shanghai will continue to develop and a lot of fun to try to pick out your living complex (obviously for those of us who live or have lived here). They also have smaller models of areas of interest such as the Bund. I haven’t been here yet, but it does seem pretty cool.

JinMao Building 88th Floor Observatory. Pudong New District. 88 Century Avenue. http://www.jinmao88.com/en/jinmao_edifice_tour.htm
The JinMao building? That’s like so early 2007. When was this list made? Haven’t the authorities been notified of the taller adjacent Shanghai World Financial Center? What’s going to happen in 2014 when the even taller Shanghai Tower which is right next to those is completed? The 88th story observation deck is really cool, but unless you like to blow cash, why not just visit the 100th story observation deck of the SWFC? It’s even better.

Shanghai Museum. Huangpu District. 201 People’s Avenue. http://www.chinamuseums.com/shanghai.htm
Museums in China tend to rather dull. Provincial museums are the worst, without even any English signage. Good thing it’s Shanghai. The city went all out to get a museum worth of national praise. It seems they did the job right. There are many different halls loaded with various antiquities from Qing dynasty furniture to jade, calligraphy, and paintings. I’ve been saving it for a rainy day.

Dang, I’ve been busy lately with the new job. That took quite a while to finish. There are still 16 more 3A places in Shanghai. Not sure when I’m going to get to them, the next 2 weeks promise to be hectic then it’s off to Thailand for a much needed 11 day break!
Woo hoo!

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5 thoughts on “Shanghai’s National 4A Sights

  1. Great list! It’s decided. From this list the girls and I (my daughters) will be visiting Shanghai Sculpture Garden. Looks to be the most fun. I also read where there is some sort of city within the city of a British influenced city near the Universities. Look for pictures and a post if we succeed in finding our way there.

    Thanks for posting this list. By the way have you heard of Wuzhen?

    • Thank you! Yea the link I found for the sculpture park looked amazing! I’m gonna wait until I can wear a swimsuit and go swimming in the lake to visit though. The British village is called Thames Town in Songjiang. I’ve been out there. While it’s cool, there isn’t really much to do there. It’s been built, but no one really moved in. There are pretty much no stores and all you will see besides the buildings are a few old grandmas playing with little children. Hahaha. Certainly cool but not really worth the time to go all the way out there for.

    • I’m dying to post them! But nope. Haha. I’m working on checking all of them off my little list. Went to the Jiading oldtown zhouqiao last weekend. A side of Shanghai many people don’t get to see.

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