Shanghai’s Maglev: No Time to Waste

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This is part of the Trip Report The Visa Run Keeps Running (October 2014) which started and ended in Mongolia with these stops along the way:

Here is the overview for this report: All in Business, All for $200 And 30,000 US AIR Miles


Quick Tip: Per a reader’s comment below: Be sure to show your plane ticket or boarding pass when buying the ticket – cuts the cost from CNY 50 to 40 one-way.


In each of my Hotel Reviews I start off with a Getting There snippet because I am tired of getting ripped off by taxi drivers right when my vacation is about to start. Landing in a new city there is nothing more frustrating than looking up how to get to a hotel and only finding information about the pool and the toilet but no directions on how to actually get there. This is true whether consulting the hotel’s website directly or by reading blog reviews.

If you’re arriving in Pudong International Airport, the best way to get to the city center is via the Maglev. At 430 kmh (267mph) a faster and more convenient way of jump starting your trip does not exist. The issue that many travelers face is arriving late in Shanghai and finding the Maglev closed. Not only did your waste you time walking all the way to the Maglev station but now you have to brave the endless taxi line.

As of writing this post, the Maglev operates from 7AM to 10:40PM but check here for further updates. The ride from the airport to Longyang Lu which is still in the middle of nowhere is a zippy 8 minutes and costs about $8. Mind you, the $8 ticket does not cover the cost of taking the metro or a taxi the rest of the way. Compare this to a taxi which takes an hour and will run no less than $30 depending on where you are going and the Maglev is still the best option.

My two gripes about the Maglev is that it does not run late enough and that it stops in Pudong when it should stop in Puxi, the location of the Bund, People’s Square, the French Concession, and other more lively neighborhoods of Shanghai.

Still for speed, novelty, and value, the Maglev literally can’t be beat.

maglev shanghai airport
Returning to Pudong
I'm so ordinary
I’m so ordinary
Yeah baby
Yeah baby
Back at the airport.
Back at the airport.

 <==Return to Hong Kong Travel Guide – Move onto Le Royal Méridien Shanghai for Halloween==>

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. Have taken the Maglev several times, most recently just last month when I was a bit disappointed to see the top speed hit “only” 300 km/h rather than 431 km/h as before. Not sure if this was a temporary or long-term change. But the effect on travel time was almost nil – the ride took maybe a minute longer. Given the distance the Maglev spends very little time at peak speed – it starts braking almost as soon as it’s hit the top speed. BTW be sure to show your plane ticket or boarding pass when buying the ticket – cuts the cost from CNY 50 to 40 one-way.

    • They definitely don’t ask if you have your feiji piao (airline ticket) when you go up there to buy! I’ll have to add that point to my post. Thanks for sharing.

      Also, did you check out the link I provided with the time-table. It shows what times it hits max speed though as you said it’s so quick it doesn’t matter. Here’s that link:

      http://www.smtdc.com/en/jszl1_2.html

  2. I think recommendations like this should always consider a person’s situation. Example: hotel reviews should disclose special rate packages or elite status…because FHR benefits or Hyatt Diamond perks at Park Hyatts always make a hotel look better than it really is…without a free breakfast, some of these glowing PH reviews would be false.

    For transportation into the city, I think the Maglev is good for individual travelers, but for even 2-3 people w/ 1 bag each, there is marginal cost or time savings, once you account for the curb to door convenience aspect. On my last trip to Shanghai, we used Uber, and didn’t feel we overpaid, and it was nice to take only 1 mode of transportation.

    • Selfish me only thinks about my situation. I usually travel alone or with one other person. However, the speed of the train, even if it only gets you to the outskirts of Pudong, beats the taxi driver. I even wrote in my book how horrific the taxi experience is at the airport in Shanghai. That’s why I vote Maglev.

      Having said that, I see your point for larger groups.

      Regarding status, I always or at least try to write what status I am. In fact for the Hyatt Hong Kong post, I remarked that the value of points + cash is not that great when you aren’t diamond because you don’t get breakfast, suite upgrade. See that post here: http://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/hyatt-regency-hong-kong-tsim-sha-tsui/

      Thanks for the comments.

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