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Do we need a guide?

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Tasmania
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14 posts
16 reviews
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Do we need a guide?

Shanghai here we come. My husband and I will arrive in Shanghai in June and have a whole week. We wonder if we should hire a guide. We have seen some ads for student guides with a very wide range of prices and are a bit nervous about the language barrier and spending too much time trying to get from 1 place to another and making ourselves understood. Also if anyone has some good itineraries for interesting day trips. We are fascinated by the water towns and wonder which of these is the most interesting and possible to get to using public transport or is it better to book these as organised tours.

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: Do we need a guide?

We just returned from Shanghai. No need for a guide really for Shanghai itself although a guide for nearby Suzhou may be helpful. Try to stay away from all day bus tours if you can. While they are a good and economical way to travel, you lose 2 hours each day for visits to government owned factories that sell overpriced pearl, silk and other items. These stops are compulsory and therefore a real drag. The day starts at 7:30 so so and doesn't end until 6 PM thereby wiping you out from any good nightlife.

Fort Lauderdale...
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2. Re: Do we need a guide?

I just went to Shanghai in March. You do not need a guide to get around. As long as you have the names of the places you want to go to in Chinese characters for the taxi drivers, you will be OK. Invest in a good guide book. Most of the tourist locations have people that speak English, so there will be no problems there.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Do we need a guide?

You will need a guide and driver for the water town excursion, but little else. If you go on a booked tour to say the Yu Garden and the other sights in Shanghai you are going to be rushed around like a herd of sheep. You will not have time to wander off on your own and explore anyhthing that you maybe interested in. There is enough English signage around. Buy a Lonely Planet Guide, use the walking maps and the Mandarin addresses included for your taxi driver. Lucky you that you have a full week. This is a suggested itinerary.

Day 1 Orientation - what you do depends upon your flight.

Day 2 Yu Garden and the Bund, walk back along Nanjing Rd

Day 3 Water Town - Wuzhen, Tongli, Xitang (a la Mission Impossibe 111 movie backdrop) or nearest to Shanghai - Qibao. Resarch any of these on the internet and choose.

Day 4 Pudong side - Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai Municipal History Museum in the basement of the Pearl Tower, Superbrand Mall for lunch with views of the river and the Bund. You may also squeeze in a trip on the Maglev whilst on this side of town. Make sure you go to Pudong via the Tourist Sightseeing Tunnel ( pychedelic ride under the river).

Day 4 - Suzhou or Hanghzhou side excursion

Day 5 Dong tai Rd Market and a walk to the French Concession in the afternoon, including Fuzing Park. Lunch in an old French Concession villa.

Day 6 Be an early bird and catch the early morning activities of ordinary people in a park (Shanghai is gorgeous and has numerous small parks dotted around all over the place) Xintiandi, Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghia Museum.

Conclude any of the above days with a walk along the Bund at night, a night at the Shanghai Acrobatics, a night at a Xintiandi or other French Concession classy restaurant, a walk down Nanjing Rd at night.

read frommers.com/destinations/…0717020036.html

Most of these activites are dooable on your own, the others outside Shanghai you can hire a van, guide driver or there are public buses, but I don't no any detail about timetables where to catch etc.

4. Re: Do we need a guide?

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