Shanghai might be a great big city and financial/business centre but action and adventure course through its veins. It’s easy to find a greenbelt, a park to walk or exercise in, a Crossfit box, or a cool cycle or culinary tour or even a sidecar sightseeing adventure tour.
1. Suzhou Creek
A meandering waterway with a fascinating geo-political history, its willow-lined banks have been converted into walkways to help you discover and explore much of its 50-odd kilometer journey through Shanghai. Enjoy colonial-era warehouses, post offices, parks, art districts, etc, en route.
2. YuYuan Garden
Stretch your legs here, because this 5-acre plot features placid ponds, rockeries, bridges, pavilions and rosewood structures from the Ming Dynasty (mid 1500s). Snaking grey ‘dragon walls’ delineate the six main thematic areas – each with a feature hall - from each other.
3. Yanzhong Guanchang Park
This park is made of several connecting parts, covering several downtown blocks. Feel you want to escape the seething metropolis or just get some exercise among streams and bridges? Head to Jinling Xi Lu, near Danshui Lu. Link to Julu Park for even less people.
4. Culinary Backstreets Walking Tours
If you enjoy cooking, eating, and burning off some calories add this to your list. CB offer an authentic immersive insight into lesser known areas and the unsung heroes that cook up a storm in them. You can also try your hand at cooking dumplings.
This fitness movement is sweeping the world, and Shanghai is not being left behind with 4 boxes already operating. To keep pumped up on the go, drop by either of the 2 boxes on the Puxi side or the 2 on the Pudong side.
6. Shanghai Hongqiao Golf Club
Easily accessible in the western part of the city, this popular 9-hole ‘mini’ course is lined by 30,000 trees. Notoriously unforgiving, you’ll find sand, water traps and even stone walls can ruin your day here. But nevermind, you can play under floodlights at night too.
7. Culture Shock Bike tour
French tour leaders, fluent in Chinese, provide the perfect combination to get the inside story of the Former French Concession area, leading you down little-known alleys full of real life, real stories. Enjoy a very local breakfast, Fuxing Park, gracious mansions and Taoist temples.
8. Jacky Chan Film Gallery
Are you a fan of the Chan? This small gallery at Daduhe Road is worth seeking out. Props, memorabilia, cars, costumes, and things from his career tell his adventurous and inspiring story. You’ll learn about his rags-to-riches life and his massive charity work in China.
9. Insiders Shanghai Sidecar Tour
What a cool way to experience this city… in a motorcycle sidecar, with a knowledgeable guide pointing out the interesting parts of the old city. You are as much an attraction as you zip along, garnering admiring and amazed stares. Customised 2-4 hour tours.
10. Factory Five Bike Shop
Self-proclaimed ‘epicentre of the fixed-gear scene in Shanghai’ this shop/ workshop/ café at Changhua Lu is a great place to enjoy the buzz of fellow cyclists, find out good local riding spots and check out their renovation work on retro Chinese cycles and latest on-road bikes.