shanghai abridged

May 20, 2010

A continuation from the previous blog post.

I am going to try and condense my trip to Shanghai in this post, so be prepared for a super heavy post.

Click on the picture if you want a larger image.

SIGHTSEEING

1. Orient Pearl Tower

Very famous there. There are 3 “balls” on it and you can go on each one to see the view of Shanghai. I couldn’t be bothered because the line was too long! So I settled for pictures outside.

2. Yu Garden

OH this was my favourite!! If I could only choose one place to go when in Shanghai, it would be the Yu Garden. It depicts old Shanghai, with strong Chinese architecture and full of cultural values. There’s a temple in there, which is really famous. Around it there are Chinese restaurants and tea places. I went to a tea place and sat right at the balcony where I could see the view of Yu Garden. And my god, what a breathtaking experience.

Chinese version of tea and scones

Just look at the crowd!

There are many shops and kiosks in this area, which mostly sell souvenirs. There was this one shop that sells only chopsticks! I never even thought those kind of shops existed! Couldn’t resist buying them in bulk.

3. The riverfront

Huangpu River divides Shanghai into 2 parts; Pudong and Puxi. Pudong is the more modern area, whereas Puxi is the more cultural area. It was super romantic being by the river, taking in the awesome view. There were lots of cafes on the Pudong side, but surprisingly none of that on the Puxi side. Just a tip if you want to just chill and eat ice-cream while watching boats go by.

The view of Puxi from Pudong side

The view of Pudong from Puxi side

SHOPPING

1. Plaza 66

The most popular mall for high-end stuff. I was so excited that my dad had to hold my hand to keep me from running astray.

Oh I bought a bag….

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TA-DA!!!

Am thinking how to bring it back though. It’s huge…

There was also a big Lady Dior bag smack in the middle of the world. Dior is doing an exclusive Lady Dior Shanghai line. I’m not a big fan of the Lady Dior range, but if you are, off to Shanghai you go!

And…uh-oh.

Was so excited, but found that most of the Chanel stuff they stock were the classic ones. I only saw black and beige, nothing else. But I did see these flats which I loveeeeed. I had to have it.

But had to control myself because Shanghai has crazy luxury tax. So don’t buy any high-end stuff in Shanghai unless you have a lot of money to throw away (in which case, I will gladly give you my address for postage).

2. Shanghai Tang

Of course, how can I not mention Shanghai Tang! The famous Chinese designer brand founded by a Hong Kong designer. Their clothing and accessories are Chinese-inspired, a lot of cheongsam and silk robes. Really nice.

They also have other items like photo albums, jewellery boxes, frames and other household items.

3. Changle Road

This would be heaven for fashionistas. Kind of like the strips of Bangsar boutiques.

Some of the clothes are quite tacky, but there are some good ones. You’ve just got to have patience to choose and take time, which I obviously don’t have. Patience isn’t something I would put on my resume.

You can bargain here, so make sure you sharpen those negotiation skills before you come. But they can smell foreigner-ism, so come with a local friend.

FOOD

1. Shanghainese cuisine

I’m sorry but I couldn’t acquire the taste. Everything looks different than what I’m used to, and the menu was in Chinese. So…yeah.

I had this Shanghai “pie”, which was just roti canai with some spring onions in them. These were really yummy!

2. Moonsha Japanese restaurant

Food here was good, but you should go there for the view. Located on the Bund, you can see the Huangpu river while you dine. The decor was just fantastic!

3. Va Bene Italian restaurant

This was in Xintiandi (see previous post). I loved it here the most. There were so many restaurants around it and I really felt like I was in London. We chose this Italian restaurant which had really good Italian food. Yay!

Also, Paris Hilton has been there. You can spot her bottom right.

4. M on The Bund

One of the fine dining restaurants there. I really wanted to go because it was recommended by a friend, but it was all booked out. Boo. If you go to Shanghai and you get to eatΒ here, think of me!

5. Desserts

Shanghainese people love sweet things, so dessert is always fantastic there. Just look at this Shanghainese version of “ice kacang”!

Halal food was difficult to find, so I stuck to eating fish. Just protein plus walking a lot (Shanghai = flat shoes), I think I lost a couple of kilos here! I had some chicken on the plane, and almost drooled for the meat. Chicken = good.

Overall, I LOVE SHANGHAI.

If you’ve been there, you’d probably agree with me. If you haven’t, you have to go one day! There are more things to see, do and eat there; this blog post is just a tiny fraction of it. But just know that language is a barrier here. So either you learn Mandarin first, or go with someone who can speak it! You can borrow my phrase book, but with the wrong intonation, you might just utter some bad words without knowing it!

Till we meet again, Shanghai!

p/s: I shall write about the World Expo soon. That will be another heavy post! For now, I have to sleep. 7.30am, I’m off to the factory. Back to work, baby!