When I arrived, they’d said to take a taxi to the hotel so I did, and the price was reasonable, but it was an hour of dice-with-death Shanghai driving through not-very-exciting neighborhoods. But then I found out about the MagLev train to the airport. It’s really fast, and the station (a short taxi ride from the hotel) is totally all mod cons. I lashed out for the first-class ticket.
It was a grey day and Shanghai’s air isn’t the clearest at the best of times.
The ride from downtown to the airport is a big seven minutes. That’s about 2½ minutes of acceleration, a couple at top speed, and and another 2½ slowing down.
The sensation of speed is absolute. The ride is smooth but not all that smooth, and frankly, I found it kind of scary hitting bumps in the track while banking around a corner at 350 km/h. Still, I was grinning like an idiot when I got to the airport. But then, I was going home too.