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On Shanghai Insiders Tours You Sightsee Riding in a Sidecar Motorbike

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Touring Shanghai on a Vintage Sidecar Motorbike is an Adventure
Touring Shanghai, China on a vintage motorbike

Touring Shanghai on a vintage motorbike is a novel way to explore this city in China

© 2011 Lois Friedland
After walking for miles to explore Shanghai, China, stepping into the vintage 1930′s-style sidecar motorbike was a relief. As I relaxed in the sidecar's seat, the driver motored around neighborhoods that I would never have discovered by foot power. We zoomed into narrow alleyways where high walls hid homes and swung around cars driving on tree-lined streets where locals were shopping, or sitting curbside chatting with friends.

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.

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