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Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

San Francisco
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Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

Is there a guided tour, maybe a group walking tour, of the Old Chinese City?

Guilin, China
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1. Re: Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

could you give more detail about it, which old city do you want to go, you may go to a local travel service to join in such a tour, all most all the local travel service provide the day tour like this

Sherbrooke, Canada
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2. Re: Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

Which city are you talking about? Many old cities in China.

Edited: 10:29 pm, June 09, 2012
Shanghai, China
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3. Re: Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

if you mean the old town in shanghai, you can just google shanghai old town walking tours,

Miami Beach, Florida
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4. Re: Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

Nothing against a guided or group tour, but I fear any common tour you might find will be chock full of shopping and eating stops and similar. The temptation is just too great, as there are so many hungry merchants willing to pay secret commissions/kickbacks to guides.

Nevertheless, ask after Googling the term Old Shanghai Walking Tour, and insist on a minimum of shopping. Tell the guides you want their expertise while with them, and you can always return to shop on your own.

Why? Because there is so much to explore in the Old City, the Confucius Temple, the Muslim Mosque, the Old City Wall, the little streets and alleys with housing dating back almost 200 years, in addition to the more well known Yuyuan Garden, City God Temple, nearby bazaar and famous eating spots. You can stay awake for a whole day tour of the Old City, and still want to see more.

You also can buy or get on-line several great do-it-yourself walking tours. Do not worry, Old Shanghai is perfectly safe, even though you might think Humphrey Bogart or Peter Lorre might be lurking in dark places. It is more fun to me to wander on my own to explore, but each to his or her own.

If you are a curious sort, or a photographer, you will definitely want to go on your own walking tour, rather than use a guide. On the other hand, if you just do not want to worry about maps, and which way is north, then take a guided tour.

This is a real gem of Shanghai. I think it is the finest thing to see in the city, even more so than the Bund. It is something than Disney would typically re-create for an amusement park, but here it is, alive and dynamic. The area south of Fuxing Road is the most "authentic" with few plastic facades and faux 19th Century storefronts like there are north of Fuxing Rd.

San Francisco
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5. Re: Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

Thank you very much, everyone, for your kind advice.SoBeSparky, is it possible for you to give me the name of a few atmospheric, photogenic streets, south of Fuxing Road?

Thank you.

Miami Beach, Florida
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6. Re: Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

Scout5, take the Metro to the Xiaonanmen Station. From there you will be able to see demolition, bad slums, quaint buildings, and a way of life imitated at amusement parks to take you back to the "old days," except they still exist for a while in Old Shanghai.

Not much of an effort is being made to save whole neighborhoods here. You are best to wander around, as the landscape is constantly changing. I found within a three block area of this station to be interesting. Follow your eyes, where they take you.

It is hard to get very lost, assuming you have a good Periplus or DK Eyewitness street map. Those freebies at the hotels are horrible, apt to ensure you get confused. The line drawing maps in some guides are even worse, leaving out most smaller streets so you can never quite orient yourself.

You can go to online Google maps, and drag the yellow "street view" man to some of the photo sites in this area. You will see some gems and some pretty sad pictures. By all means go and see for yourself. It is like walking back in time.

I am sure Disney Shanghai, when it opens in a couple of years, will recreate this neighborhood so paid visitors can visit a sanitized and idealized replica. Visit the real thing now for the full five senses.

San Francisco
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7. Re: Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

Thank you.

Dublin, California
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8. Re: Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

I have not used this one but I don't think she involves shopping:

http://www.walkshanghai.com/walks/index.html

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

does anyone have any experience with Viator walking tour of old Shanghai. it is a two hour tour for $48.00. Thanks.

Miami Beach, Florida
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10. Re: Guided Walking Tours of the Old Chinese City?

If you mean the Big (Red) Bus tour, then there are several other recent posts on this topic.

Basically, this is a shuttle bus between hotels and some very famous tourist stops and/or traps. You see what most tourists see, which means very little of the "real" Shanghai, and only other tourists, both from China and abroad.

You miss places as common as Fuxing Park, Confucius Temple, former French Concession, former Jewish Quarter and north of Suzhou Creek, etc. The Metro is perfectly English friendly, much cheaper, much faster, and takes you everywhere in greater Shanghai. See www.exploreshanghai.com and its Metropedia.

If you want on-off convenience and have no desire to scratch of facade of Shanghai beyond the tourist city (much like a Disney creation, cute but not real), then take these buses.

If, on the other hand, you mean the $48.99 Shanghai half-day sightseeing tour, it is chock filled with time wasting shopping stops. Two big negatives: first, you spend time in retail stores with overpriced goods rather than seeing Shanghai, and second, the store merchandise is about double market price because the tour guides are paid up to 50% commission for each customer they drag in. So, in essence, you are paying the tour company to help merchants rip you off. Not a wise way to see this or any other city.

Edited: 9:59 am, March 25, 2013