Shanghai: People’s Square Station

Gochugaru Girl wanted to experience the metro whilst in Shanghai.



Shanghai Metro has a unique feature, unavailable on the London Underground, or on any Western metro system.

It is this: your bag has to go through an X-ray security scan each time you enter the station. Banned items (there is a list at every station) are confiscated. There appears to be no exception. A grandmother had her helium balloon deflated; how she was going to explain this to her grandson who had gone ahead and was waiting for her, I don’t know. The look on her face was as flat as the now lifeless balloon.

One of the reasons for staying at the JW Marriott in Tomorrow Square was the easy access to the People’s Square Station, where Lines 1, 2 and 8 meet. This busy interchange is similar to Oxford Circus, which is the station I use most, but on a much larger scale.

Travelling on the Shanghai metro was an experience. There is no concept of personal space or of order here. It’s every man for himself. For once, you need to let your pushy Chinese and British Colonial genes come to the forefront if you want to travel like a local. Luckily Junior Three has inherited both and seemed undisturbed by the travelling. Maybe it’s the rugby training.

The cost of a single ride is extremely cheap, starting at 3 yuan (about 30 pence). This was the fare for a second class ticket when I first started using the London Underground in 1985. It is extremely good value for money, and the long distances between line changes is a good opportunity to work off some of the calories piled on by the hearty hotel breakfasts.

Would I take more taxis on a future trip to Shanghai? I definitely would, now that I have experienced the metro. The advice is to write your destination, and your hotel name, in Mandarin/ Putonghua, and to carry a map just in case.

Taxi rides in Shanghai are cheap and taxi drivers are reliable (but often bad-tempered). In any case the worst taxi drivers I have come across are in Kuala Lumpur and Paris, so your ride here would be relatively secure.


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Shanghai Metro