Chongming Island - A Great Shanghai Gateway

Written by Vivian Updated Jul. 19, 2023

Chongming Island is an alluvial island located at the mouth of the Yangtze River. The climate is characterized by mild and humid, with four distinct seasons. It is suitable for travel all year round.

The island is featured by wetlands, lakes, forest parks, and ecological farms. it is a great idea to escape bustling Shanghai and spend a calm and relaxing weekend on the island.

Dongtan Wetland
Dongtan Wetland in Chongming

Top Things to Do in Chongming Island

1.  Chongming Island Cycling

Renting a bike and riding around the island is a good way to cover the whole park faster. There are many bike routes suitable and safe for bikers as below:

Route 1: National Park cycle line

Dongpyong National Forest Park ---Beiyan Highway ---Changzheng Highway ---Linfeng Highway ---Beiyan Highway --Dongping National Forest Park

Route 2: Dongtan Wetland

Dongtan Wetland - Guandong Village Lone Island Fishing Gear Museum, Guanhai Road - Farming Gear Exhibition Hall - Bicycle Theme Park - Dongtan Avenue - Lixin Road - Dongtan Wetland

Route 3: Mingzhu Lake

Mingzhu Lake has a specialized bikeway for cycling along the waterway.

Where to rent a bike

Visitors can find bike rental spots near the pier of the island, or next to the bus station, but should return the bike at the same store.

China Travel offers a One Day Chongming Island Cycling Tour with an experienced bike leader. Tour includes roundway transfers from Shanghai, mountain bicycle and helmet, all entrance fees, support vehicle, lunch (sandwich), and water.

cycle around Chongming Island
Cycle around Chongming Island

2. Bird-watching

Dongtan Bird Reserve is the largest wintering spot for trumpeter swans in China, with 3,000-3,500 swans wintering habitat here every year. Other endangered bird species include white stork and black-faced spoonbill.

The waterways, pathways, and boardwalks are throughout the wetlands, Possible to rent bicycles to better enjoy the visit.

Best Seasons for Bird Watching

Autumn and Winter are the best seasons for bird watching. Every year from November to February you can find many migrate birds' habitats in this reserve.

Common Bird Species

Dongtan Birds Reserve Inhabit 116 types of birds with total numbers roughly between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000. the species usually found are greater swans, lesser swans, white-fronted geese, mandarin ducks, gray cranes, white-pillowed cranes, lesser green-legged sandpipers, etc.

How to Get to Dongtan Birds Reserve

Take a boat from Shanghai to Bao Town, then hop on a bus to Tuan Jie Sha or Dong Wang Sha, about 10-20 kilometers away from the pier. Take a walk to the beach area for bird watching.

birds in Dongtan
Birds in Dongtan

4. Chongming Island Camping

You can bring your own tent, experience camping on Chongming Island, and spend a night outdoors and close to nature is opt to do here.

Best time for glamping: May to October

Places to Camp

Dongtan Wetland Park

Dongping National Forest Park

Chongming Bubble Houses Camping

Staying in the forest at night at a transparent bubble house. waking up in the morning to the sunshine and birds chirping now is becoming a popular activity among the youth.

Glamping in Forest Park

5. Watch the Sunrise and Sunset

Best sunrise spot: Dongtan Wetland at the east of Chongming Island

Best Sunset spot: Xisha Wetland

sunst in Xisha wetland
Sunst in Xisha Wetland

Chongming Island Hotels

Accommodation on Chongming Island is divided into three types: holiday resorts, economic hotels, and guesthouses. The resort has the best hardware but is most expensive, situated near the sea or at scenic spots, The average hotel price is about RMB 500-600 per night. While the economic hotel range from RMB200 - 300, and RMB100-150 for the guesthouse.

What and Where to Eat in Chongming Island

Chongming Island is renowned for the region of corps, vegetables, and fruits cultivation and abounds in fish and crabs.

The food you must try is mutton, Chongming rice cake, and freshwater crabs. Braised mutton is suitable to eat in winter, while river crabs are fattest in autumn. , various kinds of seasonal vegetables and golden melon are specific to this area.

Recommended Local Restaurants to Eat

Dongjiang Mutton Restaurant 东江羊肉馆

Yi Zhi Cai 一只菜

Farmhouse restaurant near the scenic spots

There are hundreds of farmhouse restaurants you can find in Chongming Island, they serve authentic local dishes for tourists at reasonable prices. Choose one close to where you stay at lunch/dinner time.

braised mutton
Braised Mutton

How to Get to Chongming Island

1. Public transportation: the most economical and affordable

2. Passenger Ferry - Fastest and Save Time

Take a ferry from Baoyang port (Shanghai) to Baozhen Port or Nanmen Port (Chongming).

Best Time to Visit Chongming Island

late spring in April and May, late autumn in November, and December is the best time to visit Chongming Island with pleasant weather.

You should note that the rainy season on the island is from mid-June to early July, and the typhoon season is from late August to early September. If you visit Chongming Island during these months, remember to check the weather forecast before planning the trip.

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