Shanghai captures the imagination of many visitors looking for a sense of its Jazz Age history through heritage buildings. In recent decades, the city’s ubiquitous shikumen style lane houses have been ruthlessly bulldozed and now only the French Concession district retains a significant amount of historical Shanghainese buildings sadly.
If you don’t mind a layover en-route to Japan from HKG, you can get some really great fares in economy class, $1090 before taxes and fees, which comes to around $2200 HKD all-in. Additionally, with China’s new visa-free transit rule going into effect January 1, 2013,
China Eastern has some pretty good pricing on flights to Europe and Shanghai for later this year.
Taxes will probably add a couple of thousand to the price to Europe, especially London with the high airport taxes but still decent pricing.
Yesterday I saw a news release stating that Beijing may allow 72 hours visa free visits.
Shanghai currently allows a 48 hour visa-free transit for passengers coming from outside China to another country via Shanghai. I took advantage of this twice last year flying from HKG to the USA.