A night and day in Shanghai

August 23, 2010, 07:29 AM posted in General Discussion

Wot ho, folks.

Soooooo, with the terrifying speed of an oncoming bullet train, my trip to China is approaching! I'm woefully under prepared, naturally, so as I wade my way through this Chinese visa form (did you know, American citizens are charged more than double European citizens? Heh!), there's a couple of things to consider! 

We're visiting Guangzhou for the longest time, as that's where my girlfriend's parents live, and I am told it's important they get to know me (god help them), but then we're travelling to Nanjing to visit her mum's family for a few days. We weren't planning on visiting Shanghai as her friend that lived there has moved now, but a certain englishpod staffer was VERY INSISTENT that Shanghai is way too close to Nanjing to not come visit! 

So after some delicate negotiations, we're planning on a night and a day in Shanghai. soooo:

1) Where should we stay?

2) What should we see?

3) Where should we eat? (This, I believe, is the most important question!)

One night, one day in Shanghai. Advise me please! (oh, and it'll be after the end of the expo I'm afraid. And probably a sunday night and a monday).

thanks muchly!


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August 23, 2010, 07:57 AM

First of all, I hope you enjoy the trip! I don't know Guangzhou well, but I used to live in Nanjing. It's a great city, especially when it cools down in the fall. If you happen to get there when the leaves have turned, make sure you make it to the Ming Tombs and to Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum. Tons of beautiful tree-lined walkways. 

As for Shanghai, there are so many places to see and so much to eat! Though, it all depends on your budget. I'll let some other poddies throw you more specifics. There is one place you totally have to visit though. It's near Zhongshan Park...there's a bunch of awesome people working there...you 'know' most of them...you get the point. ;)

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Thanks Jason! Appreciate it. It's the last week of October, first week of November, so hopefully that'll be perfect to visit those places.

Budget... uhh, middling to average? :)

This place near Zhongshan Park, I've heard some scary rumours about what they do to people there... pin them underneath microphones and suchlike ;)

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August 23, 2010, 08:49 AM

While in Shanghai, you absolutely must sample the famous Yang's Fry dumplings. See location and review here: http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/dining/shanghai/has/wujiang-lu/?most_viewed=1

For a completely different experience, I love walking through the French Concession. One of my favorite spots is Baker & Spice, at 192 AnFu Lu. Grab a pastry and a coffee, sit at the communal table, and watch the people pass by the huge window. About 60% of them are foreigners. It's trippy. That pocket of Shanghai is like nowhere else I've been in China.

As far as places to visit in Shanghai, it's super-touristy, but I still think a stroll around the shops and cafes in TianZiFang 田子坊 (卢湾区,泰康路210弄1~23号)is a cool way to see Shanghai's old shikumen 石窟门.

Now. About Guangzhou. Please, please go to 南园酒家 NanYuan JiuJia and eat dim sum. The 虾饺 and the 萝卜糕 are not to be missed.

The Mausoleum of the NanYue King is said to be quite a good museum, and is across the street from an interesting Lebanese restaurant, as well as being right by the enormous, iconic 越秀公园 YueXiu Park. Ask any of the elderly Cantonese if they'd like to play ping pong. Or they could teach you some tai chi.

If you want a truly pluricultural experience, you can go hang out with the Middle Easterners and French-speaking Africans on 环市路 near 小北路. There's a great Iraqi restaurant there on the north side of 环市路.

Also, I probably should be suggesting more places to get actual Chinese food, but in case you get tired of it while in Guangzhou, head to the AMAZING Tiger Prawn for some serious Vietnamese/Thai food that goes wayyyy beyond Pho. Go early, there's a wait every night. It's on HuiFu Dong Lu not far from BeiJing Lu, which is famous for its shopping (lame), but actually kinda cool because you can see the ancient Ming and Yuan city walls through giant glass floor tiles sponsored by Coca-Cola.

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Wow, so much info, thanks certain Englishpod staffer!

I've told Christine I want to see her city from her point of view, so I expect to be taken round the seedy backstreets of Guangzhou as well as the shiny front ones! Not that she's a seedy backstreet kind of girl... you know, that came out wrong.

I'm gonna pass on all your tips for her delectation! Food tips very much appreciated, although I'm not completely sure we're going to go all the way to china to eat iraqi food :)

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August 23, 2010, 10:45 AM

This has nothing to do with your understandable need for entertainment in Shanghai.  But since you brought up the American visa cost thing....

As you may know, diplomatic relations between countries are governed by something called "reciprocity". In the case of China/US relations, both countries seem to charge approximately the same amounts to each other's citizens to visit each other's countries.  So Chinese citizens get charged about $130 -$160 to visit the US on a single/multiple entry visa (or thereabouts).  What's really interesting to me is that there is still a tremendous line to get into the US embassy despite the relatively large cost to merely apply for a visa, let alone the cost to fly to Chicago/San Francisco/Washington/Newark.

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August 23, 2010, 09:36 PM

Come on you native Shanghainese! Normally we can't stop you talking about how wonderful Shanghai is! 

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August 24, 2010, 12:01 AM

I am not a Shanghai native, and I'm certainly not Chinese, but I understand Shanghainese accented putonghua, and I regarded Shanghai as my weekend playground as I used to live 4 hours away by train. 

You have to try the famous Shanghai 小笼包.  Happiness is only 6 块 away.  They're all pretty good no matter where.  Since you can find any kind of food in Shanghai, you might want to try some Western food if you get tired of Chinese food.

Also, if bars and clubs isn't your thing,there is a Korean sauna in Shanghai open 24 hours that's pretty cool, and you can even stay the night there for only 20块. If you're interested, I can find out the exact address, or at least tell you how to get there. 

Everywhere in China has the Muslim restaurants which have the best 拉面 soup.  They actually hand pull the noodles and make them in-house. I can never go back to instant noodles again. 

Regarding the expo, even though it will officially be over, the China Pavilion will be up permanently. You might want to check that out.

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August 24, 2010, 01:53 AM

Most people have covered the most important points, so I'll just send you a link and mention two important Shanghai food items:

CNNgo Shanghai has some nice articles/insider's tips

As for food, shengjian 生煎 (shēngjiān) are one of my fave's. Also, you'll be around for the hairy crab season, so keep your eyes peeled for 大闸蟹 (dàzháxiè) signs.

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August 30, 2010, 11:01 AM

We went to china (Shanghai & Foshan) for 3 weeks last year at about the same time (late Oct until first week of Nov) and it was great, food is awesome everywhere we did go to this place for a great show and had some very spicy food. It was a face changing show which is popular maybe check it out if you can its better to have reservations and ask for a good table for seeing the show, we also did the usual tourist places like Xintiandi and yuyuan gardens and nanjing road (the walking street) but be prepared for the hawkers trying to sell you stuff as you walk down the street, they get agressive but we just ignored them as much as possible or yelled back bu yao, of all the food we like Hot Pot alot and there are many places that serve hot pot, Have fun, weather is great that time of the year too.