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Exploring Shanghai by Foot and Subway

Published: October 13, 2015

Exploring Shanghai by Foot and Subway

120 Hours in Shanghai

Daily posts and photos from ACM faculty and consortial staff during their site visit to the ACM Shanghai Program.
Day 2 >

Above: Early morning on Nanjing Road in Shanghai.

Day 1: Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Posted by Emily Gaul, ACM Assistant Program Manager

Here we are in Shanghai, beginning our faculty site visit to the new ACM Shanghai: Perspectives on Contemporary China program. The next five days promise to be a whirlwind for six faculty from ACM colleges — plus two of us from the ACM office — and we'll take turns sharing our photos and blog posts with you as we explore this exciting city!

James Godde

Monmouth College professor James Godde on the Maglev train.

After a quick(!) 14-hour flight from Chicago to Shanghai, we decided to start off our trip with an adventure, along with quite a bit of walking, to get to our hotel. We took the Maglev train from Pudong International Airport to a connecting station to the Shanghai subway system. The Maglev gets passengers from the airport to the station in eight minutes flat with speeds up to 300 km/hour. We were all in awe on how fast we were going!

One of Shanghai's wonderful qualities is the ease with which you can navigate the city, especially taking the subway and walking through the streets. Like any city, there are so many sights and smells as I walk. For those of us with limited or no Chinese language skills, the street signs and subway accommodate us by being in both Chinese and English. All street signs also indicate north, south, east and west, so it is easy to know exactly where you are and which way you are going.

French Concession

In the French Concession.

After navigating the busiest subway stop in the city, People's Square, we walked our way across busy streets to get to our hotel. In order to fend off jet-lag, we quickly dropped off our luggage before heading out for dumplings and a walk to end the night.

This morning's walk took me down Nanjing Road, where I saw groups of men and women participating in their morning Tai Chi practice (see the photo above). I ended up at The Bund, watching the boats come in and taking photos of a very hazy morning. It seemed the city was just waking up!

I'd been told to make sure to include a trip to the Bund Experience. With it being early and my having plenty of time, I decided to try it out. The whole experience is difficult to put into words — one must experience this in order to understand the somewhat unusual three-minute ride under the Huangpu River. It involved a tunnel, a tram car, and lots of flashing lights.

Nanjing Street at night

Nanjing Road at night.

Following an exhilarating trip, I came up from underground in Pudong, an undiscovered (to me) part of the city. Pudong is considered the business and financial center of the city. I found one of the best pedestrian crossways I've ever seen — a circle built above the street, making it extremely easy to cross over several very busy streets.

A quick five minutes on the subway and I arrived in the French Concession area of the city. The streets are tree-lined and pleasant for walking, with small businesses where you can find everything from designer coats to coffee shops to motorbike repair shops. The places to explore are endless!

Photos courtesy of Emily Gaul.

120 Hours in Shanghai

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