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Shanghai for families: What to know before you go
With great food, unique sights and even Disney, Shanghai is a great entry-level introduction to China, especially for families. The city is ultra-modern while keeping distinctively Chinese characteristics. I recently spent a week there and here are some of my favorite things to do with kids and some advice about planning your visit to Shanghai.To get more Latest Shanghai news, you can visit shine news official website.

One of my favorite things to do in Shanghai is free: Stroll along the Bund at night, marveling at the evening skyline. Many buildings have their own coordinated light shows, with most happening at the top and bottom of the hour. You can also take a Huangpu River cruise but you don’t really need to; the view from the Bund is sufficiently impressive. Avoid the Nanjing Road intersection, though; that’s where most tourists tend to congregate.

An easy way to introduce culture to kids is through food and a hands-on lesson in Shanghainese cooking takes the learning to a new level. I booked a private in-home cooking lesson through AirBnb Experiences and was treated to a multicourse meal that I helped prepare. A number of the dishes we sampled were ones I didn’t see in any restaurants and we got recipes to take home. Although my dumplings weren’t pretty, they tasted amazing. I think kids as young as 5 (who have an interest) would do well with Chef Charlize, who felt like the Chinese Auntie I didn’t know I had.

You might not think Disney when you think of China, but Shanghai Disneyland is worth a visit. It has two rides — Tron Lightcycle Coaster and Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle of the Sunken Treasure — that you won’t find at any other Disney park. Pirates now tops my list as the best Disney ride worldwide. Shanghai Disneyland is about 45 minutes from the city and is easily accessible by the metro or in a taxi. There’s no need to stay nearby in order to enjoy a day at the park but if you want to immerse yourself, Disney has two hotels on-site: the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the Toy Story Hotel.

If you look up things to do around Shanghai, you’ll quickly learn that a number of sites proclaim themselves the “Venice of China.” Shanghai has several water towns, where canals serve as streets, within a two-hour drive of the city. After research, I decided that Zhujiajiao offered both ease of visiting and authenticity. It’s about an hour outside Shanghai, but it’s easy to catch a Didi (Uber) both to and from the historic city. I paid about $70 for a round-trip in a Didi Premier (Uber Black). You can also get there via the metro but it will take at least two hours each way. Or you can take an escorted tour.

Tour guides or tour buses are unnecessary to enjoy Zhujiajiao. The town is easy to navigate and you’re not really there for a set itinerary. It’s all about wandering and soaking in the city. It’s totally touristy but definitely worth a visit. In fact, I would skip the Shanghai districts of Xintandi and Tinzifang in favor of strolling the narrow lanes of tourist shops in Zhujiajiao, where you have the added benefit of a lovely setting.

If you visit Zhujiajiao independently, I highly recommend going in the morning. There are many half-day afternoon tours out of Shanghai and the throngs seemed to arrive around 2 p.m.I write for a living but I’m struggling for words to describe TeamLab Borderless Shanghai. TeamLab describes itself as a “world of artworks without boundaries” and “a museum without a map.” Neither begins to do TeamLab justice. It’s an entirely immersive, interactive and transformative experience. There’s a room where you literally sprout butterflies that follow you around the exhibition! I said the word “Wow” at least 10 times during my visit. I’d say that it’s perfect for kids, but that’s not true: It’s perfect for anyone. Just go.

In some ways, Shanghai reminded me more of Tokyo or New York City than of other cities in China. Nanjing Road’s pedestrian section could be any number of cities with its stores from Apple to Uniqlo and its outdoor cafes featuring cover bands performing songs from a MIX radio playlist. In one block I saw both a Taco Bell and a White Castle and I encountered more chichi shopping malls than in any other city in the 46 countries I’ve visited. In other words, if you wanted to stay in a Western bubble, it would be easy to do in Shanghai. I even stopped by a McDonald’s for a black (coconut-flavored) soft serve and a jasmine iced tea.

However, English is not as widely spoken as in other cities in Asia. I had to pull out my Google Translate even at places as western as Shanghai Disneyland. (Tip: Download the Chinese language into the app before leaving home so you won’t need a VPN to use it.)

Shanghai can also be challenging because of its air pollution. If you have kids with respiratory issues, do further research before visiting. The real-time air quality index is a good place to start.

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