Shanghai Pudong: a new airport for a growing city
If there is one city in China that best symbolises the country’s astonishing growth and development over the past two decades, it has to be Shanghai. After suffering nearly half a century of neglect after the Communists took over in 1949, the city is now a thriving business-oriented home to over 20m people, boasting gleaming shopping malls, luxurious hotels and more skyscrapers than New York.What fascinates many visitors is that this new, forward-looking side of the city rubs shoulders with an older Shanghai, which for parts of its recent history was ruled by colonial powers such as Great Britain and France. Tree-lined boulevards, cafés and Art Deco architecture have seen the city dubbed as the ‘Paris of the Orient’. As the showpiece of the world’s fastest-growing economy, you would expect Shanghai to have good transport links to the outside world. And sure enough, in Pudong airport the city boasts a squeaky clean, super-efficient facility built to impress. First opened in 1999, Pudong handles the majority of international flights to the city, leaving the smaller and older Hongqiao airport to concentrate on domestic services. Although it is located 40km from town, the super-futuristic Maglev train service can whizz travellers arriving at Pudong downtown in less than 10 minutes, travelling at speeds of up to 270 mph. Expect to pay around rmb50 ($7) for a one-way ticket • not a bad price for a chance to travel on the world’s fastest train. The airport itself features everything you would expect of a major international airport: the flight information is in English, and there are ATMs, free Wi-Fi, bureaux de change, hotels, business centres, baby-care rooms and hotels aplenty. The shops in both terminals are a nice mix of high-end duty-free stores and brand boutiques combined with local gift stores selling a wide range of food, tea, silk fabrics and handicrafts. Terminal 1 Duty Free Shopping Shanghai It has to be said that the range of shops and restaurants in airport’s original terminal is more limited than at the newer, larger Terminal 2. Nevertheless, travellers will still find well-stocked duty-free liquor, tobacco and fragrance shops in both departures and arrivals halls.
Pudong has one of the most developed arrivals shopping businesses of any airport and prices are low too. The range of brands on offer in these small stores is very much geared towards returning Chinese passengers, but it is worthwhile ex-pats knowing that these outlets serve as the pick-up point for a handy pre-order service. Pre-order in the departures shop on your outbound journey and then present your pre-order receipt and return boarding pass in the arrivals shop on your way back.The largest duty-free tobacco, wine and spirits store in departures is located between Gates 17 and 19, and facing the Business Class Lounge. The selection is decidedly brown spirits-driven as you might expect given the taste of Chinese travellers. You will find deluxe blended whiskies from popular brands such as Johnnie Walker, Royal Salute, Ballantine’s and Chivas Regal, and a decent selection of Cognacs from perennial favourites such as Rémy Martin, Hennessy and Martell. Smoking is still a popular pastime in China•in fact smoking rates among men are as high as 70%•so perhaps it is not surprising to find such a wide range of duty-free cigarettes and cigars at Pudong airport. You will find big cigarette brands such as Marlboro and Mild Seven, as well as Cuban cigar classics such as Cohiba and Montecristo. Chinese cigarette brands stocked include Hongtashan, Yuxi and Yunyan.
There are two beauty shops in Terminal 1 situated at Gates 16 and 17 respectively. Open from 06.40 to 23.30 hours, the stores feature in-store beauty consultants and a great brand line up which includes Christian Dior, Chanel, Guerlain, Clinique, Biotherm, Vera Wang, Gucci and Escada.If you are looking for a sweet treat, head over to Gate 17. Here you will find a confectionery shop selling mass-market Western brands such as Toblerone, Milka, Daim, Ritter, Nestlé and Ferrero Rocher. Higher-end lined stocked include Belgian and Dutch favourites such as Godiva, Guylian and Droste. Individual brand boutiques are arguably thin on the ground. Ferragamo has a shop between Gates 16 and 17 selling leather bags, scarves, shoes, belts and other accessories, but that’s about it. However, there are six multi-brand fashion store in the terminal selling watches, bags, accessories, jewellery and fashion items from the likes of Dunhill, Tumi, Longchamp, Benetton, Lacoste, and Folli Follie to name but a few.
Shanghai Duty Free Terminal 2
If you have money left to splurge on a last-minute gift after your stay in Shanghai, Terminal 2 is a far better place to do some shopping. This stunning wave-shaped, three-storey terminal opened bang on time in March 2008 as China geared up for the Olympics. Twice the size of Terminal 1, it doubled the airport’s capacity to 60m people overnight. It is now home to a long list of international airlines such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. The shopping offer is vastly improved with over 20,000 square metres dedicated to retail and restaurants. Standalone fashion, gift and accessory boutiques are not in short supply• choose from the likes of Aigner, Bally, Tumi, Lalique, Givenchy and Swatch. Taiwanese firm Sunrise Duty Free has the duty-free concession here and operates two general merchandise shops selling a full range of goods (located at Gates 77 and 69 respectively). At Gate 69 there is a standalone liquor, wine and confectionery shop selling a very similar array of products as in Terminal 1 although the selection of Chinese rice wines and spirits is particularly impressive here.
If you are looking for a last-minute souvenir for your friends or family, three outlets in Terminal 2 stand out in terms of the quality of the product offer: Quechengsi, Xindongyang and Wuyuege. Typical souvenirs that are easy to carry include fragrant Chinese teas, exquisitely decorated fans, delicate porcelain cups and bowls, paper lanterns and highly coloured Chinese opera facemasks.A word or two about eating and drinking. If you need to satisfy those hunger pangs before jumping on a long flight, you will be pleased to learn that Terminal 2 has a decent range of restaurants (unlike Terminal 1). Burger King and Famous Famiglia are there if you want to fill up on a quick burger or pizza, but if you feel like being a bit more adventurous why not try some of the Chinese or Asian restaurants in the terminal such as Shanghai Ren Jia (located landside) and Tian Xia Dumplings and the Feng Yuen Korea restaurant (both airside)? Like so many airports in Asia Shanghai Pudong is not about to sit back and take things easy. An ambitious expansion plan is in place, which will see two new runways and a new satellite concourse larger than both the airport’s existing terminals up and running by 2015. Shanghai continues to grow at lightening pace and Pudong doesn’t plan on being left behind. Related links Shanghai airport www.shanghaiairport.com/en/index.jsp Sunrise Duty Free www.sunrisedutyfree.com
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