Summer is officially here and even though the pollution and weather has drastically improved in Shanghai, we know you still crave an escape. If you and the fam don’t have time to travel to places like Thailand and Vietnam, here are some fun weekend getaways that will offer a change of scenery from Shanghai’s concrete jungle. Best of all, these places are just a short drive or train ride away.
About Chongming Island
Part of the Shanghai municipality, Chongming Island was formed from sediment deposit washed down from the Yangtze River. As such, it is a continuously growing island and is currently the second largest in mainland China. It is home to plenty of natural flora and fauna, by surrounding protected wetlands and nature reserves that your family is sure marvel at. If you are looking for a trip to take at the end of the summer before the weather turns colder, September and October are great months to visit and catch a variety of activities, such as the Crab Festival, Forest Travel Festival and the Shanghai Fishermen Fun Festival. There is also the Yu Sheng Cup, a national cricket-fighting tournament, held annually in Luhua (near the island) during the October Holiday.
What to See
Xisha Wetland Park
Part tourist destination, part scientific research center, this small haven of plants, birds and animals totals 24 square kilometers. Being China’s only wetland park to house a migratory bird reserve, June and September are the best months to visit if you want your little ones to catch a glimpse of the feathered friends that come and go in droves.
Dongping National Forest Park
Smattered with lakes, gardens and barbecue and camping grounds, this park is an easy escape from the city and caters to all age groups. Boasting the largest man-made forest in East China, additional highlights include Swan Lake, Dawn Redwood Lake and a bird watching terrace. You can also partake in recreational activities like paintball, horseback riding and rafting – sounds like a great family destination to us!
Dongtan Migratory Bird Reserve
Located within the Dongtan National Nature Reserve, this education center offers visitors tours, workshops and volunteer work designed to raise awareness and support for conservation. Each year, up to one million migratory birds (nearly 300 species) stop by in the area in the middle of their travel along Asia’s north-south migratory route between Alaska and Australia.
Only an hour’s drive from Shanghai, it’s possible to get to Chongming Island by renting a car for about RMB50. Regular buses run between the bus station on Jinxiu Lu (near Shanghai Science and Technology Museum), as well as the Shanghai Tourist Distribution Center (near Hongkou Football Stadium).
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