Shanghai, China

Shanghai Film Studio Day Tour

with David Y.

David Y.

The film park lies only a couple of blocks away from a dusty, noisy and truck-loaded highway and down a side lane filled with noodle restaurants, massage parlours, Internet cafés and short-stay apartments -- an unassuming place to launch some of Asia's best films.

Opened in 1998, the 400,000-square-meter compound witnesses the production of more than 100 films and TV series every year, with headlining titles like "Lust, Caution," "Perhaps Love" and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor."

A walk through the park is an eerie experience.

The expansive space is mostly occupied by reproductions of landmarks (only the facades) from the colonial Shanghai period, such as Nanjing Lu, Moller Villa and the former Peace Plaza on the Bund.

A diverting collection of Western style buildings and props jump into horizon now and then, including a Tudor-style winery and a Titanic-like ferry made with cardboard (erected on a deserted patch of grass).

The recommended stops for Chinese movie mavens are the Moller Villa complex, Nanjing Lu and the iron bridge, where you are likely to catch film crews in action or, if you are lucky, get autographs from film stars like Gong Li (巩俐) and Andy Lau (刘德华).

For adventurous travelers, walk behind the facades for a view of abandoned buildings and props, which is almost as ghostly as the deserted Wonderland in Beijing.

Surprisingly, the functioning film studio also houses a pleasant green space. Walk past the "Suzhou Creek," turn right and keep walking till the end, you'll find a small scenic spot with a tranquil lake, weeping willows, pebble-paved paths and a forested island.

Pick up from your hotel lobby at 9:00am and transfer to Shanghai Film Studio at Songjiang District. It was originally founded in 1949, the same year as P.R.C took the authority. Many film and TV productions use the authentic sets here. You will want to pose on the impressive sets that recreate 1900s-era Shanghai. Some examples include: "Nanjing Road in the 30s," "Suzhou Creek," "Downtown Shanghai," "Peace Plaza," "Old Shanghai bridge," and "Lake and Mountain Area." Many blockbuster Chinese films were produced here.
Have lunch in a local restaurant.
At around 4:30pm, you will be driven back to your Shanghai Hotel.

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for 8 hours

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