Shanghai is a modern cosmopolitan metropolis, and transportation hub that seamlessly blends Western and Chinese cultures. It is an ancient city with all of the modern amenities a visitor could want. This city has some unique cultural aspects that cannot be found in other parts of China and visitors to Shanghai should not leave without experiencing at least a few of them.
Except for some famous tour sites, Shanghai is also a city full of interesting activities. Here, we recommend some special activities that you can do in Shanghai.
- Watch Acrobatics: Be awed at the artistry of the Shanghai Acrobatics Show, one of China's best.
- Take a ride on the Maglev Train: The first commercial high-speed Maglev train in the world.
- Take Huangpu River Cruises: The cruise begins at the Bund, which is known as a "museum of architecture" and slowly cruises toward the Nanpu Bridge.
- Visit Xin Tian Di and experience Shanghai nightlife: Savor world-class cuisine and then hit the dance floor at some of Asia’s most stylish and cutting-edge restaurants and nightclubs.
- Enjoy Shanghai Opera: A type of popular folk song from the Jiangnan area.
- Enjoy Ping Tan Performances: A form of storytelling and ballad singing.
- Acrobatics is a traditional Chinese performance art with a long history. The acrobatic performances are breathtaking, often humorous, and always unforgettable.
- Shanghai has many acrobatic troupes, the most famous being the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe, which has performed throughout China, and across the world, and has received numerous international awards for their breathtaking feats.
- Shanghai Maglev Train (SMT) has been operated since the end of 2002 and is the world's first and only commercialized maglev train line in operation.
- It runs from Pudong International Airport to Longyang Road, and the whole journey takes only 8 minutes.
- Cruising down Huangpu River, Shanghai's mother river, is a wonderful experience. The cruise begins at the Bund, which is known as a "museum of architecture" and slowly cruises toward the Nanpu Bridge.
- The best time to take a cruise on the Huangpu River is at night. The buildings along the river are lit up and the Western-styled buildings of the bund look extremely majestic. It is a wonderfully romantic experience for visitors to Shanghai.
- A newly built scenic spot, Xin Tian Di is a large complex built with a European feel. During the day thousands of sightseers can be seen visiting Xin Tian Di taking photos.
- In the evening, the area has a romantic European flavor. The Cafes are extremely popular with locals and visitors. The restaurants offer wonderful food in a romantic atmosphere.
- There are several exhibition halls which exhibit local arts and crafts, and Xin Tian Di also has many art galleries, and distinctive shops.
Enjoy Shanghai Opera
- Shanghai Opera (Huju) originated at about the same time as Beijing Opera, around 200 years ago. It originated from Shange, a type of popular folk song from the Jiangnan area, the area south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
- Huju is performed in the Shanghainese dialect, which is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin, thus does not translate well to other provinces. In other words, a person from Beijing would not understand the lyrics of a Huju piece.
- Like many of the other regional opera styles, Huju is in danger of disappearing forever. Few young actors take up the art form since there is much greater fame and fortune to be had in movies, TV, or even Beijing Opera.
- It is recommended to real Chinese culture lovers. However, there is No English subtitle thus some foreign visitors might feel a little bit boring. Most local tour operators don't provide booking service due to the negative feedback. If you really want to watch this performance, we recommend you to visit there by yourself.
- Visitors who are interested in Shanghai Opera can see it at the Tianchan Peking Opera Centre Yifu Theatre located on Fuzhou Road, Huangpu District. This center is the only traditional opera performance theatre in Shanghai. It was built in 1925 and is famous for its Peking and Shanghai Opera performances.
Enjoy Ping Tan Performances
- Originating in Shanghai and Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, Ping tan, a form of storytelling and ballad singing, has become very popular with locals and visitors alike. Ping tan performances have one to three performers.
- There are many popular traditional pieces of Ping tan. Many are love tales, and many tell of the daring exploits of legendary Chinese figures.
- This performance art is popular with all walks of life in Shanghai. It is also very famous in Suzhou.
- The only props used, are a fan, a handkerchief, a table, and a piece of wood. They are used to help emphasize certain parts of the performance. The piece of wood is used to hit the table, to attract attention, and emphasize certain actions.
- There are many venues which feature Ping tan performances. The Tian Chan Peking Opera Art Centre (Fuzhou Lu) and the Lyceum Theatre are the most popular. Most local tour operators can't arrange this kind of tours for you, thus we recommend you to visit there by yourself.
- In some traditional style tea houses, visitors might see Ping tan performances. One of the best locations in the mid-lake pavilion located in the Yu Garden. The best way to experience Ping tan is by sitting on the bank of the lake while sipping Longjing Tea and munching on local snacks.
Check the following classic Shanghai tours and start your Shanghai tour now.
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