What’s it like taking the 200mph+ Maglev train in Shanghai

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8 bucks and you’ll ride like you’re in the Indy 500

When you land in Shanghai you have a choice to make: do you take the Maglev to Longyang road station or not. This option compared to say, a taxi, may take you a bit of extra time, but I couldn’t imagine not doing it. The Shanghai Maglev was the 3rd Maglev ( Magnetic Levitation) put into operation in the world, behind Birmingham and Germany, and hits speeds over 260mph. They even have a speedometer so you know exactly how fast you’re going. So…what’s it like taking the Maglev?

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Getting to the Maglev from PVG

It’s super simple, all enclosed, and there are plenty of signs to lead you where you need to go. From the time we exited immigration and customs to where we bought our tickets was roughly 10 minutes. You’ll go through security again prior to hopping on the Maglev.

a sign with a bus and bus in chinese

The actual ride = 8 mins

Super smooth. Cheap. Totally worth it. There is something so surreal about going so fast that you’re passing cars on the highway like they’re going in reverse. You can find the timetables here, but they run about every 15 mins.

a car driving on a road

Going on into Shanghai

We were staying in Xintiandi at the Andaz and our taxi took about 45-50 mins. Make sure you have cash before you hop in as they don’t take credit card. Also…Uber isn’t a thing in China, although they have their own version called Didi, it’s not accessible to foreigners, or at least those without a viable way to pay.

If you’re staying in Pudong the taxi ride will be much shorter as Longyang is technically in the outskirts of Pudong.

You can also take the subway from Longyang road – it connects to lines 2, 7, and 16. We didn’t do this as we just wanted to get to the hotel and head out, but it’s a viable option and cheap. However, your cab should only be $10-15.

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  • mojo May 22, 2018

    Can you speak practically about the Transitory Visa process/protocol.

    What was it like, how much of a hassle was it, what (potential mistakes) to avoid?

    This is what worries me about the weekend in Shanghai thing. I really want to do it, but am dreading doing something wrong re: Transitory Visa and consequently getting horribly delayed or worse (sent home).

    Thanks 🙂

    • Miles May 22, 2018

      mojo – I actually have a 10 year Chinese visa, so I couldn’t give you a real life account

  • Ed May 21, 2018

    Coming from the airport, be prepared for taxi cheats at the Longyang road station. I, as well as others including a visiting businessman from Beijing, gave up when drivers quoted exorbitant fares and refused to use the meter. I got on the subway and rode the rest of the way to Pudong. Didi would have been much better as the fare is quoted before you commence the trip.

  • 02nz May 21, 2018

    You get CNY 10 off the ticket price if you show a boarding pass or flight itinerary from an arriving or departing flight.

  • Mike May 21, 2018

    From my experience Didi IS accessible to foreigners. I had no problems signing up and using Didi in Bejing during my stay in January. A regular (international) Mastercard already did the trick.

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