No trip to China would be complete without a stop in Shanghai. During my short stay in the ‘Paris of the East,’ I filmed a few of the attractions and restaurants I visited, so watch this video and maybe you’ll be inspired to check out the same spots.
Shanghai’s famous Huangpu river is the divide between the financial Pudong district and lively Huangpu district. On the Bund, you’ll find a spectacular view of the familiar Shanghai skyline.
This long street is closed off to cars and decked out with shops and vendors selling stuff you never even knew you wanted. What Khao San Road is to Bangkok, Nanjing Lu is to Shanghai.
Walking the streets of Anren Jie is like going back in time to ancient China. Amazing architecture, small shops, and snack vendors abound. And while you’re here, be sure to check out Yuyuan Garden.
After experiencing the crowds and intensity of Nanjing Lu, visiting Yuyuan Garden will ease your nerves. For 40 RMB, you can buy a ticket to tranquility in a more than 400-year-old lush 5-acre garden in the heart of Anren Jie.
Tianzifang is a lively marketplace within a maze of tight alleyways loaded with tiny boutique shops, art galleries and cozy restaurants.
More Than Toilet
Hidden within Tianzifang lies one restaurant that’s so odd and interesting, I had to stop in to check it out for myself. More Than Toilet is a restaurant where you can eat pancakes, ice-cream and coffee off of bathroom tableware while sitting on a cushioned commode.
World Financial Observatory
To the east of the Huangpu river is the Pudong District, which is hardly China as much as it is an Asian reflection of New York city. Here you can visit the 474-meter-tall observatory for a dizzying view of the city (if it’s not too smoggy outside).
Din Tai Fung
After visiting the observatory, stay in the World Financial Center and drop down to the 3rd floor for some grub in Din Tai Fung. This restaurant serves the most juicy, delicious dumplings I’ve ever had the pleasure of digesting.
Referred to as either the ‘Paris of the East’ or the ‘Whore of the Orient,’ Shanghai is a city where east meets west in a compromise of modernity and ancient society. The eastern Pudong Ditrict represents China’s financial power and growth while the westerm Huangpu district is a showcase of Shanghai’s colorful street and dining scene.
The crowds, the food, and the all-too-familiar skyline drew me in like a moth to a flame. As a teacher living and teaching in Rizhao, a small city in the Shandong Province, it was so amazing to finally experience Shanghai. Now I know what I’ve been missing out on, and I’ll probably be moving here this coming summer.
Thanks for watching and/or reading.