Disc Kart is by far the most fun karting centre in town, and a great place to spend a few hours. Walking into a bar area with circular banquettes overlooking the track seems like an invitation to drink drive, and the fact that you’ll normally wait 20 minutes for a spin on the track makes the 60RMB pitchers of draught beer (1.25l) particularly appealing (you can also play foosball, pool or the Daytona USA 2 arcade game).
Once you’ve paid your 70RMB for eight minutes of track time, it’s a lot of fun, with the 550m race track full of interesting twists, turns and opportunities for overtaking. The only slight irritation is that the 40 karts – all imported from Germany and fitted with Honda 160cc engines – vary wildly in their performance, so observe first. Karts six, nine and 24 will have you overtaking at will, while karts two and 17 are painfully slow.
Open 2pm-2am daily
Telephone 6222 2880
Metro Jinshajiang Lu
English add 809 Zaoyang Lu, near Guangfu Lu, Putuo district
Chinese address 普陀区枣阳路809号, 近光复路
The 45m high ski slope in Minhang district claims to be the second longest of its kind in the world, which could be true judging by the excruciatingly long ascent to the top on a travelator and button tow.
Yinqixing is unlikely to appeal to advanced skiers, who'll spend ten minutes getting to the top and then about 20 seconds getting down through the slushy fake snow past the out-of-control skiers (watching wipe-outs is one of the highlights at Yinqixing). It’s a decent enough option for beginners, though the slopes are often packed and there’s not much in the way of instruction.
The skis and snowboards for hire are old and shabby, though you can hire snow blades (shorter skis) for an extra 100RMB. And if you like ‘80s shell-suits, the purple, black and orange ski wear will be right up your slope. Really, though, the joys of novelty ski wear and watching crashes on the slopes doesn’t really make this completely worth the trip all the way out to Minhang.
Costs: 98RMB/hour Mon-Fri,
198RMB/day pass Mon-Fri,
218RMB/day pass Sat-Sun.
Prices include equipment and ski wear.
Open 9.30am-10pm Sun-Thur,
Telephone 6478 8666
English address 1835 Qixin Lu, near Gudai Lu, Minhang district
Chinese address 闵行区七莘路1835号, 近顾戴路
The compact Planet Laser is located inside Hongkou football stadium, the home of Shanghai Shenhua. Players are ‘debriefed’ by English-speaking instructors before each 12-minute game: you can play every man for himself or in teams, with the rules short and sweet (no jumping and no running). Inside the arena, the faux fog and James Bond or Star Wars-themed music on repeat make for a surprisingly tense atmosphere, and there are plenty of sneaky areas to snipe from.
However, the guns are frustrating in that it’s incredibly hard to hit opponents, even when you’re convinced you’re firing straight at them – on our first game, we hit one person in 12 minutes of frantic firing; and when the winner got his printout at the end of the game, his hit percentage was a measly two per cent. The rules of one game – essentially find the enemy base and fire like hell – were also frustratingly unclear. But you’ll still have fun.
Open 1-10pm Tue-Fri,
Mon reservation only
Telephone 5560 0658
Metro Hongkou Football Stadium
English address Hongkou Football Stadium 444 Dong Jiangwan Lu, near Sichuan Bei Lu, Hongkou district
Chinese address 虹口区东江湾路444号, 近四川北路
Laser Quest yang lain
Shanghai's newest laser tag venue, X Club offers a winning combination of laser tag and alcohol. They offer a variety of battle modes, including vampire and mutant zombie apocalypses. One round is 15 minutes long and the maximum capacity of 24 people, with a limit of eight people/team.
Open Mon-Fri, 2pm-12am;
Telephone 400 666 8023
Metro Jiashan Lu
English address 366 Zhaojibang Lu, near Xiangyang Nan Lu, Xuhui district
Chinese address 徐汇区肇家浜路366号, 近襄阳南路
This indoor golf simulator at Hengshan Lu's Shanghai International Tennis Centre Club lets players smash balls onto graphically projected golf courses. The Double Eagle machine, in a tiny room, has over 20 real courses to choose from (including Spyglass in California and St Andrews in Scotland), and has a multi-player setting that lets you play with friends. Players tee off ten feet away from the wall, which is counterintuitive but satisfying.
A tracking device then measures the ball’s speed, direction and spin, and if the simulator decides the ball hits an obstacle – such as a tree, lake or clubhouse – the golfer will hear the appropriate sound. If you land in a bunker, for example, the crowd groans, and you’ll play your next shot from the sand-coloured mat on the floor.
Putting is done using a real putting hole, with markings denoting the distance of the putt. There’s rapturous applause when you sink the final putt, even if it’s for eight over par. The Wilson clubs are decent quality and, though this doesn’t beat the pleasures of an actual golf course, it’s a good alternative when it’s cold and wet.
Open 6.30am-11.30pm daily
Telephone 6415 5588
Metro Hengshan Lu
English address Third Floor, Regal International East Asia Hotel, 516 Hengshan Lu, near Wuxing Lu, Xuhui district
Chinese address 徐汇区衡山路516号富豪环球东亚酒店3楼, 近吴兴路
The rock climbing wall at the Shanghai Stadium is the highest and best indoor wall in China, though it barely qualifies as indoor, being on the very outer edges of the stadium (and thus chilly in winter). There are eight main walls, stretching up to 20m high, with two easy walls and then a succession of increasingly tricky climbs, as well as a large bouldering area (rope-free climbing above soft mats) with plenty of routes.
There’s a lot here for experienced climbers, with six of the eight main walls featuring overhangs. For beginners, there are attendants on hand to sort your equipment and belay you (ie hold the rope), though they don’t always offer much in the way of advice. Still, the rental equipment is good, and it’s great value – 70RMB per session, including equipment rental, or 1,500RMB a year, which will likely do more for your body (and soul) than an overpriced gym membership.
Open 10am-10pm daily
Telephone 6426 5178
Metro Shanghai Indoor Stadium
English address Entrance 6, Shanghai Stadium, 666 Tianyaoqiao Lu, near Lingling Lu, Xuhui district
Chinese address 徐汇区天钥桥路666号, 近零陵路
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