Authors Note 1: we were supposed to spend this three day weekend in Jiuzhaigou National Park, which is supposed to be one of China’s (and the world’s) most visually stunning natural landscapes. Our flight was cancelled the day before, though, so we decided to go to Shanghai.
Author’s Note 2: We made this trip in March 2014. I actually wrote the whole blog in March also… I’ve just been slow to upload and add the pictures. At this point… we’ve actually now visited Jiuzhaigou too. 🙂
We had a few goals visiting Shanghai: 1) Stroll along The Bund, 2) Take some great pictures of the skyline, 3) Go on a food tour, 4) Go to some kind of show, 5) Eat some really great western food that we can’t get in Chengdu, and 6) Relax.
On the first night, we learned a bit about the size of the city on our 1.5 hour odyssey into the city from the airport (largest city in the world with 24 million in the city-proper). We started on the subway, and then (mistake) got off midway to take a cab the rest of the way. I’m not sure what we were thinking… I don’t know where we were, it took us awhile to get a taxi, and it’s a huge landmass and A LOT of people. So we had fun getting the cab and then it was still a long drive in.
We stayed at the Hotel Indigo on The Bund (basically the Shanghai river walk). It was a gorgeous hotel with a modern/trendy style with great amenities (skyline views, rooftop bar and steakhouse, close to everything). The staff were also awesome with everything, from general customer service to touring tips. They even helped us rent the two neon colored bicycles parked out front!
Friday evening recap 星期五晚上总结: Long trip in from airport, Checkin with complimentary tea, Cocktails at Rooftop Bar, Dinner at CHAR Steakhouse (yum!), Sleep. Friday was good！ 很棒！
We got up early and headed to our 10am Shanghai Dumplings UnTour in the French Concession. This foodie tour is highly rated for a reason: our guide Monica stuffed us with dumplings (Jiaozi 饺子) of all kinds, including Shanghai’s Xiao Long Bao 小龙包 “Soup Dumplings”. How do you make and seal a dumpling that has soup in it? So simple! They make them by cooling and gelatinizing the soups into cubes that can then be loaded into the dumplings, sealed, and cooked (resoupified) for dumpling munching perfection. Delicious!
This UnTour provided even more than expected, though, because not only did we go to like 10 places and get stuffed beyond belief, but we also had a Dumpling cooking class midway through AND a Chinese wet market tour! Just wait until you see us again in the U.S.A., we’re going to take our new knowledge and make Texas Chili Dumplings! 🙂
On a tangential note, we also saw our fair share of old Chinese hipsters and heard about the Accidental Chinese Hipsters blog. Funny stuff and worth the time if you’re bored.
For the rest of Saturday we…
Rode the ferry across the harbor: Not as cool as Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, but still fun to rush onto the boat with a thousand Chinese friends. It also only cost 2 RMB each (.30 cents).
Then, we climbed 100 floors to the World Financial Center Observatory!
They say this is the highest public observatory of any building in the world. There was actually a super long line too, so funny story… while queued up we called the phone number listed for purchasing their “VIP Tours”. We found we were able to skip the line, have a personal 2-on-1 tour with our own photographer + grab a lot of cool perks and gifts for just 150 RMB more ($30 more per person). The only catch – they were out of VIP English tours so we had the tour in Chinese… But from my perspective that’s a bonus! I get to practice my skills AND Emily is dependent on me! Great deal! We would highly recommend it!
After the 100th floor we were off to see “The Best Show in China”: Shanghai Circus World’s ERA Acrobatics Show. We went to this super cool acrobatics show that included seeing six dudes riding motorcycles around in a cage at the same time! Check out a trailer video here.
Finally… we closed out Saturday by feasting at one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants: We were able to get an 11:30 pm reservation (no typo), and enjoyed our experience at the French Mr. and Mrs. Bund restaurant.
We took it a little easier on Sunday. We rented the neon bicycles in front of out hotel and explored The Bund and several bicycle accessible areas of Shanghai including super packed tourist areas like People’s Square and the famous Yu Yuan gardens.
Having already checked Steakhouse and French Restaurant off the list, we were still missing Italian food. We had made our early 8pm reservation (definitely early compared to 11:30pm) at Goodfellas Italian Restaurant on The Bund. From the homemade pasta to the wine and desserts, this was our favorite meal and a great way to cap off our last evening in Shanghai.
Shanghai: Definitely an amazing city! 上海肯定很棒城市！你们马上应该去上海旅行吧！