I was on a Shanghai Insiders (formerly Shanghai Sideways) vintage sidecar motorbike tour of the city. This company, which was started by expats in 2008 and today has about 30 vintage motorbikes, delivers a novel way to tour Shanghai. The motorbikes are driven by professional drivers who speak English (and several other languages). Although the motorbikes are vintage, they are inspected regularly by qualified mechanics.
Before starting the tour, our guide outlined the projected route on the map and asked us if there were any particular places we wanted to visit. We set up a tour of historic areas and interesting sights. During our two-hour excursion, we stopped at historic places, where our guide offered informative and interesting commentaries about the city's history and the cultural revolution. We visited an art gallery and a restaurant, both housed in architecturally rich older buildings. During another stop, we went out on a rooftop balcony of a restored home that had been turned into a boutique hotel, for a spectacular 360-degree view of the city.