People’s Square, Madame Tussauds and Huangpu River Cruise in Shanghai

After the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and lunch we headed over to Shanghai People’s Square which is located at the very center of Shanghai and was the demarcation point of East Nanjing Road and West Nanjing Road. The key phrase here is “Nanjing Road”; as this area is very popular for shopping!
But more on that later while I bore you with some essential facts about People’s Square. 🙂

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** Facts taken from the WWW – This area was once the racecourse regarded as the ‘No.1 racecourse Far East’ but was destroyed later.
In 1949, the People’s Avenue was built across the center of the area with the People’s Park built on the north side and the People’s Square on the south part. By the end of 1993, through a comprehensive reconstruction, it covered an area about 140,000 square meters and has become the largest public square of the city.

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The attraction about People’s Square is about its spectacular space in the heart of the city. It is a garden-type open area surrounded by buildings and facilities for administration, cultural activities, transportation and commerce.
In other words, it is a large public park with fountains, sculptures, gardens and open space to “lepak” (our Malaysian word for chillax/just hanging out). Fabulous for the spring/autumn and totally unfeasible for the winter if you ask me, unless you like the cold ( 2 – 8 celcius) very much.

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But it’s still nice to have a large green lung in the middle of the city, especially one like Shanghai. Like I said, I would have loved this if it was in the spring/autumn season.

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People’s Square: 

Admission Fee: Free
Opening Hours: All Day
Address: Wusheng Rd, Huangpu, Shanghai, China

Shivering, we snapped some shots and hurried to our next destination – the Madame Tussauds.
People’s Square is also the converging point where Metro Line ONE meets Line TWO. The square connects to many shopping centers. Leaving Metro Line ONE, tourists enter a street where famous shops from Hong Kong assemble and get to Dimei shopping mall.

Just as an example, this Hong Kong Shopping Centre is a mere 3 minutes walk from where we were. Entrance is via an escalator to the underground. I was very ready to abandon the group and disappear inside! 😀

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But of course I didn’t. Instead I obediently followed our tour guide as he took us down the metro.

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There were many exits at the People Square Station and it’s easy to get lost. But not to worry, you’re likely to enter another shopping mall at whichever exit you take!

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We walked on and went into a shopping mall. The smell of food and the attractive window displays were distracting but our guide firmly hurried us along.

Care to guess what gourmet sushi is?

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The Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Shanghai is on the 10th floor within a mall.

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Entrance fee applies of course (more information at the end of the post) and I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for my virginal visit to a Madame Tussauds.

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Cos frankly, I’m not a fan of wax figures, but I admit it’s fun to pose with them. Well, some of them.

Partying VIP style with Madonna! Could you say YOU did? 🙂

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The Michael Jackson pose. He’s one of the very few musicians I truly respect.

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The Marilyn Monroe pose.. sorry no skirts for me.

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The #fail pose of a secret agent. I’ll work on it I promise. :DD

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She’s porcelain perfect and an epitome of elegance. A picture with Nicole Kidman is a must.

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Too bad he’s married.

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Thanks Adrian for the picture of me and Lady Gaga! 😀

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Ok, enough of me. Let me explain a bit of the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Shanghai.

Upon entering the museum, there are separate areas where you’ll have to move from one pavilion to another. Each section are walled off with one entry and one exit so the separation are very clear.
It’s divided in themes of “Actresses/Celebrities” – Nicole Kidman, Madonna, “Sports icon” – think Jordan and Yao Ming, “Asian celebrities” – Donnie Yen, Anita Mui, “Politicians” – Obama (who else?), Bill Clinton and the likes. You do get the picture right?

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Each wax figure costs more than a million yuan, and they are all elaborately made in the London studio that has more than 200 years of wax making experience.

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As you can see below, the wax sculptures are displayed far from each other and there are very little or no props in between, making it convenient for visitors to pose and take their pictures.

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Recognise anyone? 🙂

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There are all together 16 Madame Tussauds in the world and 4 in Asia – BKK, Shanghai, Tokyo & HK. Should you be interested to visit Madame Tussauds Shanghai, details are as follows:

Madame Tussauds Shanghai:

Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (21:00 for last ticket)
Ticket: RM75 for an adult ticket & RM55 for a student ticket
RM45 for child between 0.8m and 1.3m or aged people above 65 years old (unsuited to the Scream Hall)

Website: http://www.madametussauds.com/Shanghai/en/Default.aspx

Next we were headed for some shopping at Nanjing Road but I’ll post on that in a dedicated post for “Shopping in Shanghai” alright? 🙂

Moving on, after 2 hours of shopping, our next destination was Huangpu River Cruise.

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The Ferry Wharf to get on the cruise is the Shiliupu Ferry Terminal. Here is where you get your tickets, check out the information booth, scramble for last minute toilet breaks and also wait for your turn to get on your selected cruise.

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Personally for me, I find cruising on rivers boring. I’ve been on the Putrajaya Cruise, the Seine River Cruise in Paris and the Singapore River Cruise. It’s basically skimming over small dirty rivers and seeing buildings with lights. Nice yes, but nothing extraordinary.
But don’t let me dampen your spirits. Cruising can be fun. Depending on what rocks your boat. 😀

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Cruising on the Huangpu River has become a must for most visitors to Shanghai (just like if you’re in Paris you got to cruise on Seine River). Cruise ships vary in size, decoration and amenities, with the most luxurious offering air conditioning, conference room, banquet hall, bar and television.

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Like this one.

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Ours on the other hand, were pretty simple; lower deck with tables and chairs and a bar selling snacks and drinks while the upper deck has an open viewing platform.

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It was freezing and most of us were running in and out between the lounge area and the outside taking turns to grab some shots and keeping warm.

But some shots are not to be missed, especially of the buildings on the east bank.

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The west bank (Puxi) of the Huangpu River is the cultural, residential and entertainment center of Shanghai. The Bund, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Waibaidu Bridge and the oldest park in Shanghai – Huangpu Park, are located on the west bank.

The east bank of the river (Pudong) is the newer district of Shanghai and its financial and commercial hub. Steel and glass structures are abundant here. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mao Tower, skyscraper hotels, offices and malls of the Lujiazui Financial Zone are located on this side of the river.

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I have to admit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower looks really good lit-up.

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I wish I had better camera/lens/equipment to capture the shot. Ah well, too bad my Sony NEX wasn’t with me.

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Cruise Information (from travelchinaguide.com):
Huangpu River, a symbol of Shanghai, originates in Dianshan Lake and empties into the Yangtze River at Wusongkou (mouth of Wusong River). It is 114 kilometers (71miles) long and 400 meters (0.25 miles) wide. It is ice-free year round.
The river divides Shanghai into east and west. It is a silent eyewitness to Shanghai’s history and its development.

Price: RM50 per person

Transportation:

  • Take bus 33, 55, 65, 305, 868, 910, 928 and get off at the bus stop of Shiliupu.
  • Take City Sightseeing Bus and get off at Huangpu River Cruise Terminal.
  • Take Subway Line 2 to East Nanjing Road Station.Then walk 10 minutes to the Bund and Huangpu River.
  • Take Subway Line 4 to Nanpu Bridge Station and then take a taxi to Shiliupu or the Bund, paying no more than CNY15. Huangpu River Cruise is available in Shiliupu Wharf.

** Ships depart from the Bund (Zhongshan Road), sail to Huangpu Bridge in the south, turn and head north towards Wusongkou, and return to the Bund.

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And that’s it for Day 2 in Shanghai.
You can expect more posts on Shanghai as I clear my drafts over the coming days. Do drop me any questions that you may have here & I’ll try my best to check it out for you! 😀

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** This is a media trip with the Air Asia X team together with media from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. We were in Shanghai for the Air Asia X inaugural Shanghai flight launch and had the good fortune to explore Shanghai for 5D4N.