It’s unthinkable to visit two car museums in the short span of one month but that’s just what we did. I must have done something very wrong in my past life to deserve this.
The London Motor Museum and the Shanghai Auto Museum couldn’t have been more different. The one thing they have in common, other than the display of vintage cars, is the ridiculous distance you have to travel from downtown to reach them.
“Daddy, are we there yet?” Pangzi asked impatiently after what seemed like hours on the train from Paddington Station.
“We could’ve stayed in London city and shopped. You wanted to come all the way here. So don’t complain!” I snapped.
No one was manning the entrance at the car museum when we arrived. I thought we could’ve slipped in unnoticed. Then out of nowhere a lady appeared, surprised to see visitors.
“Today is your lucky day,” she said in heavily accented English. “We have an offer for discounted entry tickets if you register online.”
So I whipped out my phone and happily punched the URL. “There you go,” I said, showing her the confirmation page.
“Sir, you need to print out this page to enjoy the offer!”
“But I can help you print – at a small fee,” she smiled. That’s British hospitality for you.
Pangzi was of course oblivious to all the drama unfolding. Once in the car museum he got lost in the cars he’d seen from TV, from Batman to Mr Bean.
The bonus find was No. 95 from the movie, along with his animation friends.
The London Motor Museum was also quite interesting for its great variety.
There was even a Porsche farming vehicle, if I wasn’t mistaken.
“Daddy, is this car for real?” Pangzi asked when he came across a pinky made of wood.
“I wooden know!”
A few parked outside the car museum completed the collection.
Verdict: Considering all the distractions available in the city, this car museum is worth your time if time is what you can spare.
We were here:
Next, we went from the West to the East and ended up in this car museum on the outskirts of Shanghai city.
The Shanghai Auto Museum used to be out of bounds unless you have a car. Now the subway has been extended to Jiading where it is located so it is slightly more accessible.
Still, the train ride from Xujiahui took an eternity.
Upon alighting, we had to cover further ground on foot.
The guard at the gate stopped us for tickets. “Sir, you can go online to buy…”
This time fortunately, there was less hassle and we entered in no time.
The car museum was huge and modern, with three floors of exhibits.
The collection was impressive, and although some of the models belonged to the dinosaur era, the sleek environment made them look brand new.
On the top floor you could locate a series of activities suitable for kids.
Some of the activities, like racing games, came at a charge though.
“Daddy, why do we have to pay twice?”
I shrugged. That’s Chinese hospitality for you.
Verdict: Don’t come on an empty stomach. The cafe is not functional and there’s no civilisation around for miles.
We were here: