Shanghai. The land of the customised cheongsams and pork dumplings. I never thought I’d ever give this city a visit but I’m glad I did. It was a good 3 days spent, seeing Shanghai Old City, the Bund and Nanjing Road. I even managed to squeeze in some shopping on Day 1!
One of the features of our trip was an impromptu visit to Three on the Bund for dinner on our second night. Three on the Bund is a collection of bars and restaurants on The Bund, and is a must for anyone looking to try good fare to end a day-to-night trip by the river. We wanted to give Nougatine a try but it was completely filled that night. A propped up banner informed us that Michelin star chef Jean-Georges was in town for some exclusive menu, so I guess that’s probably why we missed out. Luckily for us, there was a table at Unico and so there we went.
Little did we know that it was Restaurant Week in Shanghai, so we were in for quite the pleasant surprise! The fare at Unico was amazing and I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for good European food in a relaxed setting.
Cuisine aside, Shanghai is a city that I find easy to understand. The people are generally friendly, they speak the same language as most of us Singaporeans and most of the city dwellers are housed in high-rise apartments (oh and how massive they are). On the flip side, the air is polluted about half the time, while meandering about traffic is kind of a life-and-death game. I guess it’s a good thing to have, if you travel to sharpen your mind.
When I went shopping on my own on the first day there, I noticed how almost every store has several sales assistants and how they would automatically tag along with you from the moment you enter till the moment you leave, regardless of whether you buy something or not. They have no qualms about popping their head into your dressing room when you are in a half-dressed mess, to check on how things are going, or to check if your dressing room is occupied. Mirrors are strategically placed outside of your dressing room, so that you’ll have to step out to take a look, and they can comment on it. By the end of my shopping trip, I ended up with a leather jacket and gorgeous black knit dress from Vero Moda.
Shopping Tip: When in a foreign country’s departmental store, explore brands that you can’t easily find in your own country. This helps to spice up your wardrobe with little effort. Also, do a quick mental conversion of the price before you commit to swiping your credit card.
Shanghai is not as densely populated as Singapore and during my time there, I felt it was definitely not as crowded. We stayed at Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai Yu Garden for the first 2 nights and found it to be a pleasant experience, mostly because it was great value for money and quite closely located from The Bund. The view of the city from our room (I had requested for a room on a high floor, as always) was also splendid.
I hope this entry’s helped you to decide which places to visit if you only have a limited amount of time to spend in Shanghai. Three on the Bund (for dining), Nanjing Road, Shanghai Old City and The Bund are definite must-sees! I’ll definitely talk a bit more about the rest of my stay there in the next post, where I share my experience at The PuLi Hotel & Spa and my outfit for our final day there. Stay tuned!
Be brave and explore the world,