Shanghai’s depiction on screen is no stranger to global audiences. From the Treaty Port period (from 1842 – 1946) to modern day, the city never fails to showcase its enduring charm. However, the 1930s period has been the most remarkable one which inspires numerous film productions. As a result, a great number of films set in 1930s Shanghai were released, particularly the all-time classical “The Bund” from TVB. Thought that all the things you see just only appear on screen. But you can experience the 1930s version of Shanghai in Shanghai Chedun Film Park.
This blog post will serve as my ultimate guide to Shanghai Film Park. I will show you What’s inside and How to plan your trip to this theme park.
1. Shanghai Film Park at a glance
Before showing you my ultimate guide to Shanghai Film Park, let’s take a look at some key information:
1.1. About Shanghai Film Park
Shanghai Chedun Film Park is a theme park established in 1992 with the initial purpose of scenery setting for filmmaking. The film set was then expanded and opened to the public. It now offers a site for film & TV shooting, sightseeing, and cultural communication.
1.2. What makes the Shanghai Chedun Film Park special?
Shanghai Film Park is one of the ten great film-making bases in China. This theme park offers a glimpse of the 1930’s Shanghai in which the city reached the peak for prosperity and sophistication and was widely known as “Pearl of the Orient”.
By showcasing abundant and signature film sets of the 1930’s Shanghai including Nanjing Road, Shikumen Alleys, and Zhejiang Steel Bridge the film park has become a famous tourist destination and draws numerous visitors per day.
2. How to plan your trip to Shanghai Film Park
As there is not much English-language information available about this film park, it might be difficult for non-speaking Chinese tourists.
Here are some key information to plan your trip to Shanghai Chedun Film Park:
2.1. How to get to Shanghai Film Park from Shanghai city centre
Shanghai Film Park is located in Chedun Town, Songjiang District which is far from the city center (45km). You can get to Shanghai Film Park by following ways:
- Metro: Take Line 1 to the last station Xinzhuang, then transfer to Line 5 and get off at Minhang Development Zone station. From this station, then take a taxi to Shanghai Film Park.
- Taxi: The most convenient and hassle free way for group traveling. It takes 250¥ to go from the Nanjing Road area to Shanghai Film Park.
- Bus: As shown in the official website, there are shuttle services running between Shanghai Stadium – Shanghai Film Park. However, this service is no longer available.
2.2. Shanghai Film Park ticket
It takes 50¥ for admission to Shanghai Film Park. You can buy Shanghai Film Park tickets at the ticket booth or online.
As Shanghai Park does not have limited admission per day (like Forbidden City, Beijing) and is not packed with tourists, you don’t need to buy the ticket in advance. If you wish to buy tickets in advance, kindly see this link.
This ticket will bring you back to 1930s
3. What’s inside Shanghai Film Park
The Shanghai Film Park is quite big with a lot of different film sets, and also unused areas. It houses the sets of 1930s Nanjing Road, West Nanjing Road, Shikumen Alleyways, Shanghai Old Town, European Villas, Suzhou Creek Neighborhood, Moller Villa, Church, Peace Plaza, Zhejiang Road Steel Bridge, Lake & Hills.
Let’s take a look at some main areas:
3.1. Nanjing Road
The Nanjing Road area was actually constructed for director Chen Kaige’s film “Temptress Moon” starring Gong Li and Leslie Cheung. The set recreates iconic buildings in Nanjing Road in 1:1 scale such as the Sincere Company department store, Wing On department store, Seventh Heaven Hotel.
It is the less crowded but more nostalgic version of Nanjing Road. There is also a tram crossing the street along with historical replica buildings.
3.2. Shikumen Houses
Shikumen is a traditional Shanghainese style house. However, most of the shikumen houses within central Shanghai were demolished for urban development. The remaining were renovated for commercial use. As a result, the “shikumen life” is barely seen in modern Shanghai.
However, you can find some sort of authentic shikumen neighborhood in Shanghai Film Park. The whole area recreates not only signature shikumen houses but also some daily life items namely, clothes drying rack and street food carts.
3.3. Zhejiang Road Steel Bridge
Waibaidu Bridge is one of the landmarks of the old city of Shanghai, spanning the Suzhou Creek. And there is also a smaller version of this bridge in Shanghai Film Park, called Zhejiang Road Steel Bridge.
Though Zhejiang Road Steel Bridge does not have a traffic function like the real one, its unique steel design. Walking on the bridge, you can enjoy the distinctive scenery on both banks, with old-fashioned alleys of Suzhou Creek Neighborhood in the north and iconic buildings of Nanjing Road in the south.
3.4. Other areas in Shanghai Film Park
- European style villas: This area houses an array of European style villas. Some houses are abandoned with climbing plants that cling to walls.
- Suzhou Creek Neighborhood: Different from the prosperity of Nanjing Road, Suzhou Creek showcases a more rustic side of 1930s Shanghai with wooden houses. During my visit, part of the area was closed for filming, so I don’t have much time here.
- Park & Lake: Park and lake literally. Just a relaxing area with greenery and bench chairs, nothing to see here.
4. What to do in Shanghai Film Park
There are a couple of things to do in this film park, and here are my recommendations:
4.1. Take Instagrammable photos in Nanjing Road
Tourists prefer to stay around the Nanjing Road area as the set includes the most iconic buildings of old Shanghai. And it is also a popular spot for taking photos. It is common to see couples who are in period clothing, taking wedding and engagement photos here.
Making it all the way to the 1930s version of Nanjing, so don’t miss the chance to take some Instagram photos. No matter what angle, any photos taken here will make your Instagram feed pop.
4.2. Ride the iconic tram of Nanjing Road
The iconic tram crossing Nanjing Road was removed for urban development and only available on screen.
However, you can experience this iconic tram ride in Shanghai Film Park (admission ticket includes a tram ride). It was like being in a time capsule which brings you back to 1930’s Shanghai.
The tram does not run frequently, but 1 ride per hour, so make sure to watch your clock (the timetable was glued in the tram’s door).
4.3. Be in a movie scene
Walking in the film park is like walking in the movie scene and experiencing the mood of the actors and actresses in the story.
Fortunately, you will get a chance to see some film shootings. And of course, taking photos or videos of film crew is not allowed. However, it was “another story” for non-commercial film crew.
During my visit to Shanghai Chedun Film Park, I bumped into a group of primary school students. They were filming some documentaries in which they were taking on the role of street vendors. They allowed me to use their props when the camera was off. You can see my version of ‘The Bund” below.
My “The Bund’ drama version
5. Summary: Ultimate guide to Shanghai Film Park
5.1. Shanghai Chedun Film Park travel tips
– There is only a small grocery shop opening during my visit to Shanghai Chedun Film Park. It is recommended to bring some snacks and water along.
– Wear vintage clothing and accessories which match the 1930’s vibes in this theme park.
5.2. Shanghai travel tips
– Always bring your passport along (digital version are accepted) as you can be check sometimes by the police
– Install Baidu Map, Dianping, VPN Proxy, Didi… believe me they will help you a lot when traveling in China.
– Learn some basic Chinese words or phrases to communicate with vendors
– Book your accommodation in the following 4 areas: The Bund, People’s Square, Former French Concession and Shanghai Old City.
Shanghai Chedun Film Park is one of my top favorite spots in Shanghai, and also China. Just 60 minutes from the city center, but it feels like traveling back to 1930’s Shanghai. I have a great time here and hope to come back in my next Shanghai trip.
If you need any further information about traveling to Shanghai, see other posts below:
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