The Big Bus rolls into Shanghai: Cruise the city's top attractions in style

Culture | by Sascha Matuszak
Posted: September 16th, 2010 | Updated: May 6th, 2011 | Comments
The Shanghai, everybody, so hop on board and enjoy the ride. On a pleasant autumn day when the skies are blue and a slight breeze reminds you that Shanghai is indeed on the sea, sit atop the double-decker bus and take in the scenery as you roll through the city's best-known districts, from the former French Concession to the historic Bund, from Shanghai's Old City to the towering financial district of Lujiazui in Pudong across the Huangpu River from Puxi. The best part? Hop off any time you like for a closer look at prime neighborhoods and attractions, then hop back on when you're done—Big Buses roll by every 30 minutes. And even if you don't take the opportunity to disembark and visit incense-filled Jade Buddha Temple (price of admission included in your Big Bus fare) or shop and dine in tony Xintiandi, the ride is a relaxing way to take in Shanghai's dynamic cityscape without having to mix it up with the crowds below. Indeed, there's bit of a first-class quality to the ride: You are, in essence, being chauffeured about Shanghai as you glide past classic Shanghai scenes like Jing'an Temple's golden spires silhouetted against a hypermodern glass-and-steel skyline. However, you're not behind tinted glass—you're very much in the midst of things, so wave to passersby and try to get a smile and wave in return. However you take it, the ride's worth it, especially if this is your first time in Shanghai—the combination of regular routes, expertly done audio guide, buses running on 30-minute intervals, and the ability to hop off to explore then hop on another bus and continue on give Big Bus the ideal mix of independence and structure. Pudong skyline Big Bus: Another global brand finds a home in Shanghai You may have heard of Big Bus before—they've been honing a reputation for excellence for almost 20 years. Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Dubai—with more world-class destinations on tap. Buses come equipped with comfortable, spacious seating, air conditioning in enclosed areas and individual audio guides in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Dutch, French and German. The Englishman giving me my Shanghai audio tour smoothly delivered key information covering Shanghai from its humble origins as a fishing village embellished by fascinating little-known facts including details such as the stories of the original owners of some of the French Concession's more beautiful buildings—all in all, a clear presentation of rich historical and cultural details that you can pause, rewind and restart at will as you take the city in at your preferred pace. Big bus, big value... and lots of room to meet individual needs The trip is perfect for families, group tours and any traveler who enjoys planning their trip out to a T but who still wants space and time to improvise. The Big Bus Tour costs between RMB100-RMB300 depending on the service you want.  If you are just a little guy, maybe under 1.2 meters tall and unable to speak properly, then you get in free: kids from 5-15 years of age pay RMB200 for a 48hour pass, while adults pay RMB300. The ticket includes admission into the Jade Buddha Temple and Shanghai's Madame Tussauds plus a one-hour cruise on the Huangpu River. There's also a 24-hour ticket that costs RMB160 for both the 5-15 year-old set and adults and includes free admission into two attractions, one being the Waitan Tunnel and the other being a choice of one of the following three: the Jinmao Tower, Madame Tussauds and the Huangpu River Cruise. You can also buy a RMB100 ticket which only includes the bus ride and no free admission to any attractions. Expo ticket holders receive a 50% discount on this ticket. For more information about the tour, call their hotline at 021-63515988. You can book tickets for the Big Bus Tour online People’s Square opposite to the New World Shopping Centre at the intersection of West Nanjing Road and Middle Xizang Road near exit 7 of the People’s Square Metro Station. Buses run every 30 minutes from 9am to 5pm and the tour takes around two hours.
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