One month ago (crazy… already one month…), Sylvain, Ronan, Charles and me have decided to do a bike trip week-end from Xú Jiā Huì (徐家汇) to ChángXīng Island (长兴岛). It was Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th June.
Satellite view is available here.
We’ve fixed the appointment at 9am in front of the rental bike shop (see the address below). For once, I was not late, and Ronan has chosen this day to sleep until 10am… LoL
Another issue was to find a bike enough large for Charles (yeah, this guy is 2 meters high!). But, finally, Jason, the boss of 27Bike, arranged it (Charles looked a little bit like a frog on a bike, but it was pretty fine!).
We went thru YueYang Lu, XiangYang Lu, ChangLe Lu, BeiJing Lu, then we’ve followed SuZhou River and we’ve crossed HongKou District (虹口区) up to TongJi University (同济大学) and FuDan University (复旦大学). The ballad up to this place is not so nice: a lot of stupid shanghainese bikers, traffic jam, roads without bike way…
Therefore, the rain stops and we reach SongHu Lu (淞沪路) which announces the start of Xīn Jiāng Wān Chéng (新江湾城): the new green-ecological-fashion-modern district of Shanghai! In the meantime, it’s a remote district, with nothing except yards and disused fields.
In this location, they’ve built the SMP skatepark -the biggest and hardest in the world-, and the future extension of Fudan University is under construction (it will open on September). The architecture of this new university is not so bad, and the buildings are huge… It reminds me Versailles with the small lake and the garden.
After the "beautiful" and "clean" Xīn Jiāng Wān Chéng, the transition is really hard when you arrive on the HuangPu River (黄浦江) docks… It’s full of dust, dirty, polluted, boring…
The only funny thing is these Chinese women waiting every 100meters on the road. At the beginning, we were wondering what they’re waiting for… But in fact, they sell Sex DVDs!!! They hide their stocks in the bushes behind them! You know, in France, you can buy all the Sex DVDs you want in whatever SexShop, and prostitutes are hidden in some remote places like Le Bois de Boulogne… In China, it’s the opposite: you can find prostitutes in all the barbershops and pink "hair cutter" shops in the streets, but the Sex DVDs sellers are hiding themselves
Below, some 外国人 and some 中国人 buying Sex DVDs.
On the North, there is a small river: Wēn Zǎo Bāng (蕰藻浜), and our next mission is to find the only small bridge which cross it: because the other big bridge is only for the highway.
So, we first have to cross a district full of factories: did you ever watch Batman movies?: some fights take place in big factories, with a lot of pipes, strange noises, vapor & fume on the air… We were there!!!
In the middle of this scary scenery, a 60 years old couple, native from AnHui province, lives there. He repairs bicycles, she repairs clothes. Their house is a small slum on the side of an old railway.
So, the only solution was to go to the highway’s bridge, but we’ve discovered that some bike ways have been placed on it
On the other side of this bridge, there is a subway station: Sōng Bīn (淞滨) which will belong to the new extension of line 3.
Then, it’s our arrival at Wú Sōng (吴淞), the harbor towards ChángXīng Island. We have to wait 1 hour and half for the next boat… Thus, we spent our time to screen an advertisement for Absolut Vodkas (local extras are cheap! I’m speaking of the guy in the left!)
If I trust Baidu DiTu, Xú Jiā Huì up to Wú Sōng is about 24km (with a simplified itinerary).
So, now, it’s time to embark on our cruise boat (honestly, it was clean, modern and steady). But the scenery of Pudong docks is not really romantic!!! But for a 13rmb (one way) ticket, I think that we can’t ask for better…
Boats seem to operate everyday between 7am and 7pm. Two different companies sell tickets for the islands within Yangtze estuary, but serve also toward Pǔtuóshān (普陀山). Each office is located on both side of the harbor garden.
ChángXīng Island is about 6km away from Pudong, and the ChángJiāng is 18km large there!!!
Finally, around 5:30pm, we land at Mǎ Jiā Gǎng (马家港), the island’s main harbor.
Riding 10 minutes away from the docks, we already could have a good overview of this sand hill lost in the middle of the ChángJiāng.
But night began to fall, and it was time to find a hotel in the middle of nowhere…
After asking several farmers and local people, we accidentally meet a Chinese woman riding by bike and going back to her home. She suggests conveying us to the hotel where she works.
We (obviously!) agree and thanks to that, we discover a nice & modern hotel within a small park: it was only tiny houses (like bungalows) with a pond in the middle of them. The rooms and the bathroom are clean and it costs 350rmb for 4 people (breakfast included).
Address, telephone and website:
|qián wèi lǚ jú yuán bīnguǎn
pān yuán gōnglù
shàng hǎi shì
bǎo shān qū
cháng xīng dǎo
|qián wèi lǚ jú yuán Hotel
pān yuán Highway
Cháng xīng Island
Tel (电话): 021 56850883 66852508×800 66852508×209
Fax (传真): 021 56850883
Website (网址): www.qianweily.com
Afterwards, we went to a small restaurant, enjoying Chinese meals with 2 local guys who had drunk more than 3 liters of Huáng Pútáo Jiǔ 黄葡萄酒 (Chinese white wine)!!! We’ve learnt them what is the French for Gānbēi! (干杯!): so, from now on, I guess that if you go to this place, you will hear "Santé!!!" in restaurants all around
And as you can see below, we’ve been really adapted to the local way of life, because we finished with a billiard (American or French, I don’t know…)
The next day, we start our ride by going to Xīn Kāi Gǎng (新开港), a new harbor with hangars and docks under construction. We meet a guy fishing shrimps in the sewers, and can have a look to workers’ houses in the middle of the building site. A little bit boring… So we turn towards the center of the island, where orange trees fields are. Actually, the only tourist attraction at ChángXīng island is the Orange festival in October. At that time, tourists come in order to pick oranges by themselves. You can also buy an orange tree, and each year, come to this place to pick your own fruits!
Then, we continue up to the South-West part of the island, in order to have a better view on the ChángJiāng and Héng Shā Dǎo (横沙岛), which is 2km away. The coast is wilder on this area: we could see some bamboo huts, where fishers live and breed their poultry.
Authorities have built big dikes almost all around the island in order to protect population from ChángJiāng’s floods. On the other side of the wall, as you can see, there is so much sand that we can think Ronan & Charles are in the XinJiang desert
Later, on the road, we meet a nice Chinese kid who follows us but don’t give us any information about his place of living. As usual, it’s quite demoralizing to see that people in China don’t know their country… This boy is living in front of Héng Shā Dǎo, but he didn’t know where it was…
On the way back to Mǎ Jiā Gǎng, we discover some small factories (working on metallic pieces), some farmers and some pretty hidden places… We’re also wondering why they put hay and corn on the road… Maybe the cars going on it separate the seeds from the plant?…
Last but not least, we took the boat up to Wú Sōng, allowing us to admire the sunset on ChángJiāng and the multitude of transiting ships. For those who feel depressed during the 45 minutes trip, you can sing with the staff at the KTV (Karaoke 卡拉 OK) located on the 2nd floor!!!
Back to Wú Sōng, we’ve found two mini-pickups in order to put the bikes inside and go back directly to Xú Jiā Huì (the total cost was 150rmb).
Here are all the pictures (Day 1 - Day 2) and the slideshows (Day 1 - Day 2)!
As usual you can download high resolution pics thru my FTP server or thanks to the Add to cart function in the Pictures section.
If you need to rent mountain bikes, here is our favorite bike rental shop:
|shàng hǎi shì
xú huì qū
wū lǔ mù qí nán lù 396 lòng 27 háo
(kàojìn zhào jiā bāng lù)
|No.27, Lane 396, Wulumuqi Road
Xuhui District Shanghai
(nearby Zhaojiabang Road)
Tel (电话): +86 021-64711056 (10:00~22:00) (Also opened on Saturday & Sunday) （周日，周六无休息）
Fax (传真): +86 021-64711056
Website (网址): www.27bike.com
Email (电邮): qiqibike.hotmail.com
|27 gōngzuò shíjiān
quánnián wú xiū
|27Bikeshop working hours
no rest all the year
|zhōu yī zhōu sì
Rental cost per day: 50rmb for a well maintained mountain bike (if you want a top-of-the-range one, it should be 80rmb).
You have to give a deposit of 500rmb per bike.
岛 = dǎo = island
口 = kǒu = mouth, estuary
区 = qū = district
大学 = dàxué = university
港 = gǎng = harbor
电话 = diànhuà = telephone
传真 = chuánzhēn = fax
网址 = wǎngzhǐ = Internet site
黄 = huáng = yellow
葡萄 = pútáo = grape
葡萄酒 = pútáojiǔ = grape wine
黄葡萄酒 = huáng pútáojiǔ = yellow grape wine
干杯! = gānbēi! = cheers!
新 = xīn = new
开 = kāi = open
卡 = kǎ = card
卡拉 OK = kǎ lā OK = Karaoke
电邮 = diàn yóu = email
周日 = zhōu rì = Sunday