It may be a surprise to learn that in Shanghai, the world’s most populous city, there can be found both a lake and a mountain.
Silver Shovel Lake and Iron Arm Mountain are man-made features of the parkland to the west of the city, and have been designed to transplant nature into the cityscape. They are part of Changfeng Park. Designed in 1958, it boasts a tranquil cherry blossom garden, ornate lily ponds, a fragrant Chinese Rose Garden and examples of significant contemporary sculpture. The Changfeng Ocean Aquarium, a fairly recent addition in 1999 homes over 10,000 species in its sapphire waters. Beluga Whales from the icy oceans of the Arctic and sleek river otters from mainland Asia are just a couple of its vast variety of species. Most notable, however, is its shark tank.
Changfeng is home to the largest collection of sharks in the world, with over 100 animals in total, including huge razor-jawed tiger sharks and aggressive white-tip reef sharks that look as though they’ve mistakenly dipped the very top edge of their dorsal fins in emulsion. If viewing the sharks isn’t a sufficient thrill, it’s possible to participate in the toe-curling Changfeng shark diving program. It must be booked two days in advance, and includes a tour of the aquarium, shark feeding, an exhilarating scuba dive among the giant predators with a qualified instructor, and even the opportunity to find and keep natural shark teeth from the habitat as fearsome mementos. (Editors note: too adventurous or right up your alley?)
The psychedelic tunnel in Shanghai is another experience which can’t easily be replicated. At least, not without the special effects team from an 80’s film and a fistful of hallucinogens. A glass car transports you through an underwater tunnel from Bund in Puxi to the base of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Pudong. The walls of the tunnel are illuminated by strobing lasers, rainbow phosphorescence and shadow projections, all accompanied by an ambient soundtrack and quirky audio commentary. It costs around 50Rmb ($7.50) , but as a one-off is essential.
Jinjiang Amusement Park opens its gates in late July and runs to September, from 8am until 9pm, daily Admission is a humble 70Rmb ($10.50), and travel links to Xuhui in the southwest of Shanghai are exemplary, after all, it is the transportation hub of the city, served by the expressway, railway and over 20 main bus routes. The park has many traditional rides such as bumper cars and a rollercoaster, along with a 108 metre high Ferris wheel with giant colourful lamps illuminating its colossal spokes to resemble a spinning star of glow sticks at night. More modern attractions include the thrilling Space Shot, the Spinning Coaster and Log Flume. For smaller children, rides such as the magical Joyland and the charming ornamental merry-go-round are sure to make them feel spoiled. The stunning parkland includes cafés and restaurants serving refreshing cups of tea or cooling drinks around which to wrap your whitened knuckles at the end of the day.
So, what unusual things would you do in Shanghai?
Author: Thanks to Iain Miller for today’s post. If you’re an adventurous traveler interested in writing for IShouldLogOff, contact us at info [at] ishouldlogoff.com or check our submission guidelines.
Photo Credits: Diving picture from Expat Shanghai, Neon signs from Netflights.