Over my last trip, I learned how to make the most of long layovers. I totally understand how long layover could feel like a schlep to most, especially after a long vacation and all you want to do is to get back home. We made sure that this would be a cheap stopover so we opted for a tour bus. Given the time and cost, this is the best way to zip through Shanghai!
- Nanjing Road is the best place to start. We took the subway to Nanjing Road East after leaving our luggage at the Baggage Storage. We acted like rookies by not checking our boarding passes beforehand and we just assumed that we would need to go to T1 as our departure flight was a domestic one…let’s just say that running through Pudong Airport is a damn workout! Anyway, Nanjing Road! Metropolitan! Okay, so Shanghai is my new favourite city! We sat to have lunch and people watch; ogling, more like! Besides the beautiful people, there are loads of shops, restaurants and malls in this area. You can also find the city tour bus around the corner!
- Due to time constraints, we decided to take a hop-on-hop-off city tour bus. These are red double-decker buses around the city. It is the cheapest and quickest way to get to see all the major tourist sites. For RMB 80, we bought a day pass with earphones for the English commentary. I remember side-eyeing my friend for a second when she suggested this but it was the best decision! I got to see the city without even breaking a sweat! We got off at the Bund as we wanted to see the Pearl Tower, take some photos and cross on over to the other side, hello Adele!
And, that’s all you can do in 9 hours. It takes almost an hour to get to the city centre so you would need to take that into account for the return trip. Remember, you need to check in an hour or two before the departure time so that leaves you with very little time to frolic!
No-one really talks about the air pollution severity in Shanghai – it’s really bad so do take a mask with you (look at the Pearl Tower photograph).
Other than that, try to make the most of a long layover. x