Shanghai Sculpture Park is pretty awesome

04 May 2010

OK, so its name isn’t terribly appealing, its logo is questionable, and it doesn’t even seem to have a website, but Shanghai Sculpture Park (上海月湖雕塑公园) impressed me. At a time when everyone else was heading to the Expo grounds, my wife and I, together with a few friends and our dogs, headed to the Sheshan (佘山) area outside Shanghai, where Shanghai Sculpture Park is located.

OK, so what is cool about this park? Here are some reasons I liked it:

1. You can take your dog. You actually have to buy a ticket for your dog (it’s 30 RMB), but there aren’t many places in Shanghai you can legally take your dog. Most people in the park seemed comfortable with dogs roaming around, and the whole place was quite clean (no doggy “land mines”). It seems to me this is “dog park” done right.

2. The place is huge. We stayed in a small area of the park, but it’s really quite big [map link]. I’m sure there were a lot of people there, but since they were so spread out, it didn’t seem crowded at all.

3. Giant bouncy hills! OK, this is a little hard to explain, and I’d never seen these anywhere before. But one of the attractions is this cross between a cluster of hills, an air-filled moonwalk, and a trampoline. It was a ton of fun. It was a great place for someone even as tall and goofy as me to attempt front flips, although I had to be sort of careful, because as badass as a flying trampoline head-butt is, I doubt it would be appreciated by the little 5-year-old tykes roaming around (or their parents). Pictures below.

Bouncy Hills

Bouncy Hills

Bouncy Hills

Does anyone know what these are called? I think I remember seeing the word “Fuma” on the sign, and this Chinese BBS thread uses the term 大型弹性球 (“giant bouncy sphere”). Anyway, I highly recommend it… the bouncing and the hills make for a really fun combination.

The park also has those things I once referred to as “hamster balls on water.” It looks like they used to have the spherical kind, but now they use a cylindrical kind. This appear to be a bit more stable, but honestly they look much less fun. Wasn’t the whole point that you couldn’t stay on your feet for longer than one second before you fell over thrashing and sent your ball splashing out across the water? The new cylindrical ones are also pictured in this Chinese BBS thread.

A few more things I should mention on the con side…

1. Shanghai Sculpure Park is a bit expensive. The normal price is 120 RMB per adult. Tickets were sold at a discount for 80 RMB each over the vacation. We spent over 300 RMB for a Chinese-style DIY BBQ lunch. On the pro side, though, the high price means it won’t be too crowded (unlike certain Expos I know).

2. The park closes at 5pm. Why so early?? I have no idea. It’s a bit of a bummer.

3. It’s all the way out in Sheshan. Yes, it’s somewhat far. It’s actually right next to the new Shanghai amusement park, Shanghai Happy Valley (欢乐谷). There’s just more space out there.

4. If you spend too long on the giant bouncy hills in your bare feet, you might just develop huge blisters on your toes. Yes, I can personally attest to the veracity of this statement. You really don’t want me to show you.

If you make it out to Shanghai Sculpture Park (上海月湖雕塑公园), let me know what you think.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Awww…you bought tickets for your dog? That’s so cute! (I just had to say that.)

    But where are the sculptures?

    You’re right…wow. RMB 30. E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E.

    • Yes, there were some scultpures around, but I didn’t pay them much attention.

      My dog tells me the 30 RMB was totally worth it, for him. 😛

  2. I was looking at this a while back specifically for the dog part. So far haven’t headed out. A bit far away. But dang, bouncy hills? I guess I need to reconsider.

  3. Nanjing’s Map Magazine ran an interview with japanese sculptor takamichi ito, whose many ‘kinetic sculptures’ are featured in the park. his works can be found all around japan, and in some parts of china (shanghai and nanjing, that i know of). very cool place.

  4. Lisa in Toronto Says: May 6, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Wow those tickets are indeed very expensive – isn’t that more than even the Forbidden City?
    I am amazed there are any other humans in the photos.
    Do the dogs have to stay on their leashes?
    thanks for the photos.

  5. “isn’t that more than even the Forbidden City?”

    I’m not sure why you picked this as your standard for high ticket prices — there are many things in Shanghai more expensive than the Forbidden City. For example, tickets for the Pearl Tower, the Jinmao Building, and the World Financial Center all cost more than the Forbidden City. Amusement parks, like Happy Valley and Dino Beach, cost more as well.

  6. My wife says we’ve just been near there so she doesn’t want to go again so soon. Philistine.
    (We recently visited Thames Town nearby which is exactly like Britain would be if some sort of virus had killed all the residents, and the ghosts of brides who were once married in the town were cursed to forever walk the streets.)

  7. Hi John, how did you guys get out there? do one of the new metro lines reach it? the website doesn’t mention it.

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