18 December 2018

Old Shanghai Highlights Tour: The Perfect Introduction To Shanghai

I had such a fantastic layover in Shanghai on my way to Europe. It's such an attractive and fascinating city with a great mixture of old and new. It far exceeded my expectations and really surprised me in a good way.

With a population of more than 23 million, Shanghai is the country's largest city and the most developed metropolis in Mainland China. I was excited to explore as much as I could in 48 hours!

As my flight arrived at 7 am and I couldn't check in to my hotel until 2 pm, I organised a morning half day Old Shanghai Highlights tour with Jenny's Shanghai Tours.

This was the absolute perfect way to be introduced to Shanghai, to get a view of the cities history, culture, tastes and sounds.

Old Shanghai Highlights

My friendly local guide Kim picked me up directly from my hotel lobby and over three and a half hours, he showed me around some incredible sights by walking and public transport, all while sharing interesting facts and information about Shanghai.

We began at the historic Yu Garden, a classical Chinese garden that dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It has many traditional pavilions, towers, rockeries and beautiful ponds. It's an incredibly tranquil place and a pleasure to walk around. It was great to get that inside knowledge and have my guide point things out and explain their meanings.

We then walked through the historic backstreets of Old Shanghai and stopped for a delicious local lunch. It was Kim's favourite fried dumpling restaurant which I couldn't wait to try! He recommended ordering a mixture of three different kinds and they were all absolutely delicious. So juicy and full of flavour.

Next up, we visited the Confucian Temple, an ancient architectural complex built in 1291. It is one of the four Treasure Houses of Stone Carving Art in China and it has 28 ancient stone-carving structures. Again, it was an amazing place full of peace and much tranquillity.

At the temple, I also got to experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony which was my first time. I highly enjoyed seeing the artful ceremony of the tea preparations, tasting the various flavours and learning all of the benefits. I wished I could have bought them all home with me!

After the relaxing ceremony, we took a local bus back to my hotel and Kim presented me with a lovely Chinese souvenir. He also gave me so many helpful tips and recommendations for the rest of my time in Shanghai, which I was very grateful for!


The tour: Half-day Highlights of Old Shanghai

Price: The price is all-inclusive and depends on the number of people in your group.
One adult is $129 USD. For two adults it is $89 USD per person and continues going down the larger your group is.

Reviews: 5/5 stars out of 531 reviews on Trip Advisor and a Certificate of Excellence.

Final Thoughts

For my first few hours in Shanghai, Jenny's tour was exactly what I was looking for and more. I loved being shown around by Kim, who was a highly experienced guide, super knowledgeable and extremely friendly, which made for a fantastic 3.5 hours.

I'm a big fan of private tours as it gives you that special one on one interaction if you're by yourself, or if you're with friends or family, you have a whole guide to yourself. The tour can be totally flexible and customised for you and you can ask all of the questions you like.

What I love about Jenny's Shanghai tours is that they're not a big tour agency, just a handful of professional tour guides who are passionate about Shanghai and giving you the very best experience possible.

I got given a great insight into Shanghai's culture and history and it started my time off on a fantastic note. I couldn't recommend them more for first-time visitors and those with a short layover.
They also offer full day tours and many others around Shanghai, Beijing and more, so definitely check them out if you're heading to China!

If you would like to see a bit more, check out my Shanghai vlog I made for YouTube:

Happy Travels,

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