Chongming Island - A Great Shanghai Gateway
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.
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
- Distance: 25 km
- Time Needed: 4 hours
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
- Distance: 37 km
- Time Needed: 5 hours
Route 3: Mingzhu Lake
Mingzhu Lake has a specialized bikeway for cycling along the waterway.
- Distance: 7 km
- Time Needed: 1 hour
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.
- Rental fee: Recommended to use a mountain bike, CNY 100-150 per day, CNY 20 per hour
- Deposit: RMB 500-1500 per bike
- Includes: helmet, riding gloves, riding saddle
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.
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.
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
- Address: Dongwang Avenue, Chenjia Town, Chongming District
- Tickets: 50 for adult, child RMB 25 for child
- Camping price: single 198 RMB, double 368 RMB
Dongping National Forest Park
- Address: No. 2188, Beiyan Highway, Chongming District
- Tickets: RMB 70 for adults, RMB 35 for children
- Camping price: 100 RMB/tent, 10 RMB site fee for bringing your own tent
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 Accommodation: Shanghai Space Forest Fairy Island B & B
- Address: No.106 Qianshao Village, Chongming District, Shanghai
- Price: from RMB 699, extra plus RMB100 on weekends
5. Watch the Sunrise and Sunset
Best sunrise spot: Dongtan Wetland at the east of Chongming Island
- Sunrise time: The sunrise time is around 5:00-5:30 in summer and around 5:40-6:20 in winter, specific time should confirm a day in advance.
- Notes: It is recommended to arrive at the sunrise point at five o'clock. It’s windy and cold at the seaside, so be sure to keep warm.
- Tickets: Free
Best Sunset spot: Xisha Wetland
- Sunset time: Winter 17:00-18:00; Summer: 18:00-19:00
- Tickets: Free
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
- Recommended Dishes: Stir-fir mutton, Plain boiled tender mutton
- Address: No 7218 Tuancheng Road, Chongming District(near South Gate)
Yi Zhi Cai 一只菜
- Recommended Dishes: Plain boiled tender chicken, mutton
- Address: No. 119 Dongmen Road, Qiaozhen Town, Chongming County (near xinchongnan Road)
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.
How to Get to Chongming Island
1. Public transportation: the most economical and affordable
- The following buses can reach from Shanghai to Chongming. They are Shenchong lines 1, 2,3,4,5,6
- Starting points in Shanghai: Shanghai Wenshui Station, Shanghai Technology Museum
- Starting Points in Chongxing Island: Chenjia Town Bus Station
- Time Needed: 1 1/2 hours
- Tickets: prices vary from 8 to 20 yuan
2. Passenger Ferry - Fastest and Save Time
Take a ferry from Baoyang port (Shanghai) to Baozhen Port or Nanmen Port (Chongming).
- Time Needed：30 minute
- Tickets: RMB 28 per person
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.