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Movie lover. Growing Capoeirista. Space enthusiast. Dedicated craftsman. And best of all, homegrown Los Angeles native. Wait, how in the hell did I end up in China!?
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It's holiday time in China, you're in Shanghai, and looking for the best attractions and places to visit nearby. I know—you haven't got a clue about where to go, what to see, or what to do. Here's my list of 10+ top things to do and places to see near Shanghai:
Grand Buddha at Ling Shan - Wuxi
The Grand Buddha at Ling Shan in Wuxi. Whoa. This one's definitely a must see if you're in a I-want-to-see-some-cool-Chinese-cultural-things kind of mood. But then again, isn't that why you're here!?
Directions to the Grand Buddha at Ling Shan from Shanghai: Take a high-speed train to Wuxi Station. Take Bus #89 all the way to the last stop. The total bus ride duration is about 1hr 15 min. Or, take a Didi!
Suzhou Ferris Wheel Park
Looking for entertainment and thrills? Then make a quick trip over to Suzhou's Ferris Wheel Park, located within Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP). You can ride a gut wrenching roller coaster, hop on a gigantic ferris wheel, or take a speed-boat ride around the lake bordering the park.
Surrounding the park is a movie theatre, art and culture center, and a few restaurants and bars. If you feel the need to get out of Shanghai without going too far, Suzhou Ferris Wheel Park is a great place to visit!
Hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Directions to Suzhou's Ferris Wheel Park from Shanghai: Head to Suzhou Railway Station. Take Bus 2, 28, or 34. You can also take the subway.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum - Nanjing
A trip to Dr. Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum in Nanjing offers a decent look at natural scenery and a ridiculously awesome view of Nanjing from atop a lush hill. Plus, another good reason to visit Nanjing is that there's just so many other things to do in the city. Consider making a 1-2 day trip!
Hours: 8:30-5:00pm (Closed on Mondays)
Directions to Dr. Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum from Shanghai: Take a train top Nanjing. Take subway Line 2 to Xiamafang Station, then travel to the scenic spot by vehicle or foot. There'll be signs around.
Three Kingdoms Film City - Wuxi
Three Kingdoms City is a film/television studio and popular tourist attraction located in Wuxi. You can watch an elaborate stunt show, take a short cruise, observe a few temples, and take some photos with huge statues of historical figures.
Head over to the Three Kingdoms City website for more information: http://ctvwx.com/
Westlake - Hangzhou
So, you're looking to get out of Shanghai and want to stay away from city life as much as possible. Well, try heading over to Hangzhou. More specifically, head over to Hangzhou's Westlake area.
Directions to Hangzhou's Westlake from Shanghai: Take a high-speed train to Hanghzou Station. From Hangzhou Station, take bus No. K95, Y2 , K7 , Y5 or Y7 to visit West Lake. Or better yet, just take a Didi!
Hengdian World Studios - Zhejiang
If you've ever seen the movie Hero starring Jet Li, you might wonder just where exactly they filmed those grand scenes involving the Imperial Palace building of the Qin and Han Dynasties. Well, I'd like to introduce you to Hengdian World Studios, the largest movie studio in the world!
Hendgian World Studios is located in Dongyang of Zhejiang Province. It boasts large scale movie sets resembling ancient Chinese buildings, as well as replicas of popular attractions across China like Beijing's Forbidden City.
I strongly recommend traveling to Hengdian World Studios via bus tour. As a matter of fact, it's the only way I've visited the attraction. The price is around 600-700rmb for a 2/3 day trip. Ask your local friends/colleagues for help!
For more information about touring Hengdian, check the Hengdian World Studios website: http://www.hengdianworld.com/en/about.html
Humble Adminstrator's Garden - Suzhou
Suzhou Humble Administrator's Garden is one of the most popular gardens in all of southern China. In fact, it's even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And it's just a freakin' garden!
It's loaded with various plants, flowers, and trees, small ponds, ancient Chinese pavilions, and bridges, which makes it a perfect setting to explore a peaceful, pictorial landmark of Chinese history. Plus it's not too far from Suzhou's SIP!
Directions to Suzhou Humble Administrator's Garden from Shanghai: Take a train to Suzhou Railway Station. Hop on Bus #178 or #202 from the station and head to Dongbei Jie Road, which is about the 4th stop. You’ll see signs for the Suzhou Museum. The garden is next to it.
Tianning Pagoda - Changzhou
Changzhou's Tianning Pagoda is one of the best looking pagodas you'll ever lay eyes upon. It's tall, wider than most, and sits in a picturesque park. And best of all it's within walking distance from the Changzhou Railway Station!
Directions to Changzhou's Tianning Pagoda from Shanghai: All I can say is, if you head to Changzhou Railway Station (heading away from Shanghai towards Nanjing), just look out of the left side of the train and you'll be able to spot it right when you're near the station. Gage the distance and walk towards it or take a Didi!
Yiwu City- Yiwu
China's Yiwu City is home to the largest small commodities wholesale market in the world. You can find everything from toys, sunglasses, souvenirs, clothes, and fashionable jewelry, to socks, board games, Halloween costumes, and household goods.
If you're in China and, let's say, looking for start a business by selling items to your home country, then Yiwu City is definitely a place you'd want to check out. Oh yeah, it's also great to explore if you're just looking to see some all around cool sh*t that China has to offer.
Directions to Yiwu from Shanghai: Take a high-speed train to Yiwu. It's only about 1.5hrs away!
Lizhong Water Forest Scenic Spot - Xinghua
Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. You want to head somewhere that'll give you enough Instagram pics to last a week? Well make a trip over to Lizhong Water Forest Scenic Spot, or Xinghua Water Forest, in Taizhou, of Jiangsu Province. It's peaceful, it's serene, and it's one of the best examples of China's man-made natural beauties.
Directions to Lizhong Water Forest Scenic Spot from Shanghai: This one's a bit tricky. I went on a company trip there via shuttle bus. On Google Maps, it's called 'Lizhong Over the Water Forest Park' in Xinghua, Jiangsu Province. Shanghai doesn't supply any trains to Xinghua, or to nearby cities like Yangzhou or Yangcheng. Sorry to say, you'll have to find out how to get there on your own!
Huangshan "Yellow" Mountain - Anhui Province
It's probably China's most famous mountain, and it's just a mere 3 hours away from Shanghai by high-speed train, too. It's Huangshan "Yellow" Mountain. Ever heard of it? It's got breathtaking views, unforgettable sunrises and sunsets, cableways, and hair-raising planks perched on the sides of the steepest cliffs imaginable.
Directions to Huangshan "Yellow" Mountain from Shanghai: Buy a ticket from Shanghai Long-Distance Bus Station to Tangkou, or catch a high-speed train to Huangshan North Railway Station, then catch a tourist shuttle bus.
Have anymore cool attractions near Shanghai to add to the list? Well, let the world know down below!
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