Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Walking Shanghai, from one stadium to the other

I really enjoy walking tours in a city, and Shanghai is one of my favorite cities for extended walking trips. It is a very pleasant place to walk, and the streets are very lively, offering lots to see along the way.

The walk from Hong Kou Stadium to the Olympic Stadium in Xu Jia Hui is a great half-day trip. It is just over 20 km / 13 mi, and it can take you into some very interesting parts of the city. You can stretch it into a whole day trip, if you decide to take it at a more "tourist pace." There are lots of places to stop along the way.

I did the walk last week, taking just under 3 hours. Here's the route I took:

Cut through Lu Xun Park (a pleasant way to start)
Head south on Sichuan Road
Turn right (west) on Hai Ning Road (it is nice to cut through some back roads just north of Hai Ning Road if you want to see "local flavor")
Cross the big overhead bridge at Chengdu Road — make sure and stop for a picture of People's Square here
I cut through some small roads heading roughly southwest here, till I hit Shi Men Er Road, where I turned left/south
When you get to Nanjing Road West, you make a little hook back to the right, and Shi Men Road will head south again (right off of Nanjing Road) — when you are here, you'll see WuJiang Lu to the left, if you are looking for a spot to eat (you should do this if you are taking the "tourist pace")
Turn right (west) on Yan An Road
At Chang Shu Road, head south (left turn), follow this as it turns into Heng Shan Road, which will bring you to Xu Jia Hui Park
You can cut through the park, then come out at Xu Jia Hui and cut across to Tian Yao Qiao Road
If you follow this south, you will reach the Stadium

If you would like a little more touristy type of route, don't turn off at Hai Ning Road, but follow Sichuan Road all the way down across Suzhou Creek. You will be in the heart of downtown then. You can wait till you get to Fuzhou Road to head west (turning right on Fuzhou Road). If you follow this all the way through People's Square (it will turn into Ren Min Da Lu), you can hook back to the right at the Grand Theater and over to Nanjing Road West. From there, you can get to Wu Jiang Road for lunch, and pick up the route toward Xu Jia Hui from there.

This is a fairly long walk, but not at all hard. The roads sometimes have heavy traffic, but I didn't even find a whole lot of that (mostly because I did not cut through People's Square). In most places in Shanghai, it is not at all difficult to keep up a decent pace while walking on the road. For the most part, pedestrian traffic here moves at a quick pace.

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