A few years ago I did a day trip to the Great Wall while in Beijing on a motorcycle sidecar. At that time they were affiliated with the Shanghai Insiders - but now they've gone their separate ways.
I had a full day to myself last week in Shanghai and decided to do their 4-hour tour. Sammy, a driver from San Diego, picked me up at 2pm at the Swissotel. (it's one of the " no extra charge" pickup points and is in a good location for seeing a few other things).
Sammy asked about my interests (photography, seeing people in the old places, etc) before leaving. He showed me generally on the map where we'd be going.
I've yet to process my photos - but Sammy saw things that even he hadn't seen. We even came across a huge crowd of bystanders, police, SWAT team and fireman where a protester had climbed a high-voltage power pole with a sign that described how poorly he'd been treated. The police shooed us away, but we found another building that we could get into and go to an upper floor to see more. I was certain this guy was going to electrocute himself - it was a very, very dangerous place to be. We moved on while he was still standing on the crossarm.
Sammy is a friendly guy with a good rapport with the people. Some even invited us to come into their living quarters (I'm hesitant to call them "homes". as they are so very minimal.
We also drive through the Bund, the French Concession and such... the normal stuff.
There aren't that many sidecars in Shanghai, so be prepared for folks to stare at you.
We stopped a couple of times for drinks and ice cream... and Sammy would turn around if I asked him to... after passing something that may be interesting to photograph.
It was a blast! Thanks, Sammy.
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