Travelling in Shanghai

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by FF Wannabe, Dec 23, 2005.

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  1. FF Wannabe

    FF Wannabe Junior Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Wow this is very scary doing my first post on a site that I have visited about once a week for the last 4 or 5 years. Anyway.....Here goes....

    Myself, my husband and our children (aged 2 and 5) are considering a trip to Shanghai in July 2007 and we are just starting to do the initial research regarding whether it is kid friendly (ie they won't catch some exotic disease) and approximate flight costs (from Perth). All four of us are Qantas FF members so would like to earn points along the way if possible. We have flown extensively in Australia with our children but this will be their first overseas trip so if anyone has any words of wisdom regarding travelling with kids in China it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks to all you great Gods of FF travel Who have so much wisdom - you have taught me a lot over the years (you have also given me a few good laughs too).

  2. serfty


    Nov 16, 2004
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    FF Wannabe,

    I Welcome you to the world of AFF posting. :D

    I am not sure there actually are any Gods of FF travel here; but there are many who have plenty of experience and give terrific advice.

    Alas, I have no Shanghai experience, so this post is merely a welcome from me; I am sure others will be able to assist.

  3. aus_flyer

    aus_flyer Established Member

    Feb 15, 2005
    Shanghai is a great place to visit, and I think taking kids would not be a problem. The biggest barrier is language, so as long as the 5 year old understands that he/she will not be able to speak to the locals, you shouldn't have a problem.

    Getting there is not to easy for you if you want to earn FF points. Unfortunately, you would have to fly via Sydney. The alternative is to consider an "Asia Discovery" ticket with Qantas. This gives you flights to and from Asia, plus up to 4 flights within Asia with Cathay/Dragonair/China Air. You could fly direct from Perth to HKG, then onto Shanghai with Dragonair.

    There are some shots that you absolutely need. I suggest you contact a travel doctor.

    Also, don't forget that you each need a Visa. From memory its around $40 per person.

    Hope this helps, and welcome to AFF!
  4. DPG

    DPG Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    I believe that there is a very decent chance that by July 2007 CX will have started flights from HKG-SHA. It is something that is constantly on the rumor mill.

    Shanghai is a great place! I think your kids will have a great time. It is such a modern, constantly changing city.

    Hope this helps...

    D P G

    edited to correct formatting :D
  5. cowombat

    cowombat Intern

    Aug 17, 2005
    Train = fun for all ages

    Make sure you catch the airport to city train... kids of all ages enjoy the trip at over 430 kph. My driver in Shanghai likes it so much he prefers to leave the car at the city end station and come with me to the airport on the train. His excuse is that he is needed at the airport to help me with my bags (which I happily manage everywhere else!) Real reason is that he enjoys the train so much!!!
  6. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Welcome to AFF FF Wannabe :D .

    Shanghai is a wonderful city with one limitation - the toilets are abysmal. So with kids it would be a good idea to make sure everyone does their thing before leaving your hotel, or at designated stops (department stores etc). Kids are known to relieve themselves in public in China and if you ever have the misfortune of having to visit a squalid public restroom you'll understand why - even local kids try to avoid them.

    With toilets in mind and the possibility of your kids getting sick with diarrea etc, I'd also limit menu choices to fairly basic stuff at the beginning. Or you could start eating chinese food before you leave Oz so the kids can start getting use to it (notwithstanding real chinese tastes completely different to the Aussie kind). Enjoy your trip :) .
  7. FF Wannabe

    FF Wannabe Junior Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Travel in shanghai

    Thanks for the replies and information everyone. It has given us a few more things to think about.
  8. kevinwong

    kevinwong Newbie

    Jan 3, 2006
    Some tips

    Hi! Happy New Year!

    I visited Shanghai a few months ago but stayed in the factory areas. Went Sydney-HK-Shanghai-Sydney which would be my suggestion to you, hey it's a good excuse to visit Sydney again :).

    HK is a fantastic place, especially for shopping and eating, even at 2am! Seasons are opposite of Australia, so maybe wait till it's a little cooler in AU first. Humidity is very high in HK (fine in air conditioned areas like shopping centres) so keep that in mind when deciding when to travel. You'll also get at least 5000 FF points to HK (i think that was mentioned somewhere on the FF website).

    Just some observations on this post:

    * I don't think there are any must have vaccines (i didn't), but always best to consult your doctor

    * flight will be very long for the child (esp if going via Sydney). So get them plenty to do (can they play game boy, etc? books)

    * i only briefly visited the city so i'm not sure about language barriers there, but outside of the main city people only know Mandarin. It's surprising because they have English signs etc, but everything like menus are written only in Chinese and they only speak Mandarin. Lucky I had an interpreter for most of my time there.

    * you might even consider getting some (Mandarin) language cds for the child now as children can rapidly pickup a second language but less so after 5 years old

    * don't trust people who lead you to places to shop as they can be given kickbacks on your purchases 8) . Always haggle as prices are just for show, less applicable in brand-name shops or tourist attractions.

    * yeah sanitation can be a shocker, suggest taking that gel antibacterial stuff and using the hotel toilets before venturing around.

    * as Asia is generally dense in population keep your child close so you don't lose each other

    * many foods in Shanghai can be spicy, so be careful if you don't like spicy foods

    * a good tip from this site was to eat yoghurt 2 weeks before travelling to build up the friendly bacteria in your stomach to make you more resistant to dodgy food :oops:

    * Food in HK is much more varied and much more Western choices are available, did i mention that HK is a fantastic place to visit? :wink:

    * don't forget a digital camera with adapter and charger/batteries

    * yep and make sure you get your visa!

    * and it goes without saying - do your research and plan where you are staying/going. I would suggest even ringing the hotel and get their advice (and test out their English skills) on what places to visit. Don't trust advertising in Asia :) Google is your friend to find out other people's experiences

    Have fun!
  9. FF Wannabe

    FF Wannabe Junior Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Thanks Kevinwong,

    You have given me lots of great info to consider - including the HK info as we plan on having a stopover somewhere on the way back to recover for a few days. At this stage it seems that Perth Hong kong shanghai may be a viable route to take.

    If anyone knows of any good hotels in Shanghai that have interconnecting rooms that are located in decent areas it would be greatly appreciated.

    Also how sick are we likely to get? ie more so than going to Bali?
  10. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    BNE & SYD
    Getting sick OS is common because people dont use common sense, in other words drink bottled water and avoid salads, after all often the salad is "washed" in the local water supply. My experince in Asia has suggested that attempts to eat westernised food is often worse than trying the local stuff, and a lot dearer.

    There are plenty of good hotels in Shanghai, it is very much a modern city, I enjoyed the Westin Tai Pin Yang, got a new little teddy bear on my bed with each turn down service, a nice touch and a good momento.
  11. varyingtravel

    varyingtravel Junior Member

    Oct 6, 2005
    Hi FF Wannabe

    I made a number of trips to Shanghai over the last couple of years and enjoyed every one (although this was all business travel with no kids or wife in tow).

    I always flew Syd - HK - Shanghai (Pudong) using Qantas to HK and then Dragon Air (great airline - even had an aussie pilot on one trip). It's a long day.. Fortunately I was always able to use the QP in HK because of my WP status. But HK airport is a great airport with plenty to look at.. For long stopovers I would use the train from one end of the terminal to the other and look around.

    Once in Shanghai I would take a taxi to the hotel which was mainly the Marriott JW Hotel Tomorrow. I always keep the hotels phone number in an easily accessible place (with passport) as if I've ever had problems directing the taxi driver I just call the hotel and ask them to explain to the driver how to get there. My aussie mobile worked fine.

    Taxis all had meters which they should use.

    I was able to use the local ATM's to get RMB - even at the airport so I never took t/chqs. I got stuck once when I couldn't get RMB at the airport so when I got to the hotel I went in and got a cash advance and came back an paid the driver.

    I've only taken the Maglev train going back to the airport. Mainly because it leaves from Pudong and not from Shanghai city. You need to get a taxi to the station.. The ride is fantastic - about 10 mins of which you only spend about 2 minutes at top speed - the rest is accelerating and decelerating.

    I ate the local food with my local colleagues in both restaurants and customer cafeteria. I would eat a hotel breakfast, lunch with my colleagues and either skip dinner or order something light in the hotel.
    In beijing I did venture to a couple of restaurants close to the hotels and ate there for dinner or lunch on weekends(used sign language to pick my meals) and had no ill effects. I used to take some cereal and long life milk plus lots of snack food with me (especially chocolate!). And if you like coffee, take some. The hotel supply was never enough and getting milk was difficult - all powdered stuff.

    I took water from the hotel but would always fill up my water bottle from the water coolers at the customer.

    I wandered around Shanghai city feeling quite safe even up to 10 pm.

    I never followed anyone to a shop neither was I asked.

    I haven't had any vaccinations

    I've always had a multi entry visa - the first visa I got was a double entry.

    If I was taking my kids, I would do some research on what hospitals to go to in case of an emergency.

    The night view across the river from Shanghai to Pudong is spectacular.

    I've always enjoyed going to China.. Lovely local people, bargaining at markets is fun, and I love the food! Especially chilli crab and hotpot.

    I hope you have an enjoyable and safe trip! :D
  12. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    BNE & SYD
    Dont forget QF have a direct service on certain days of the week ex Syd, my preference if I did not want to do a stopover in HKG.
  13. FF Wannabe

    FF Wannabe Junior Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Thanks again everyone!!
  14. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Canberra / London
    Re: Train = fun for all ages

    Hi cowombat,

    Are you sure that the train travels at 430 kph? If so, it would have to be the fastest in the world by quite a large margin.

    Separately, my suggestion to "FF Wannabe" is that she might consider PEK instead of Shanghai. The great wall, the forbidden city, etc, etc. And bad toilets too! What's in Shanghai to see in comparison???

  15. FF Wannabe

    FF Wannabe Junior Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Hi Clifford,

    Shanghai has to be the destination as we are travelling with friends who have a family wedding there at that time. A good excuse for a holiday somewhere different.

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