上海 Shanghai

- Three days in Shanghai -

I’m back in Shanghai! This is my go-to place whenever I need a Ningbo city escape. After contemplating about where to spend the Chinese New Year, I’m happy I decided to stay in China. My friend Alexandra from Norway joined up and we explored Shanghai and Beijing together for a week during the CNY festives. As this was my fourth time in Shanghai since last September, I feel more or less familiarised with the city. I enjoyed showing her around some of my favourite spots, introduce the best Shanghainese dishes and be a Chinese translator with my Level -1 Mandarin skills during her virgin trip to the mainland. 

Day one 第一天: It took me the longest time to get from Ningbo to Shanghai. The travel conditions during Chinese New Year were crazy and the weather was freezing, hence why my train broke down and stood still for four hours. A journey that would've otherwise taken me merely two hours ended up as a six hours nightmare. I thought I was cursed or something considering all the delays and the emergency landing I had just encountered the week before. But looking at the bright side I’m safe and sound, and the rest of that evening was spent wandering around Nanjing Road, having good dumplings for dinner and catching up with Alex who had just arrived from Hong Kong (credits to her for most of the upcoming pictures since I barely used my camera in Shanghai.)

Day two 2天: Starting a full day of sight-seeing with ¥1.5 baozi for breakfast, yes please! If there’s anything that gets me rolling out of bed in the morning (literally) it’s this. With baozi in one hand and egg tarts in the other, we made our way to YuYuan Garden where we had more Xiao Long Baos, Shanghai’s famous soup dumplings. After feast we made a quick stop to visit the Jing’an Temple before going to Tianzifang in the French Concession area. 

I then figured that we might as well could check out the Bird and Cricket Market, because I was curious after hearing talks about it. It's a little market hidden inside a street corner that sells everything from birds, dogs, cats, fish, turtles and insects such as crickets, which symbolises good luck in the Chinese culture.  

However the sights of puppies and kittens cramped inside small cages, and crickets locked inside little glass jars was very upsetting and frustrating. Believe me, I could rant for days about animal rights although now is not the time.

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Later that evening we strolled along the Bund before going to my favorite restaurant for dinner, Lost Heavens. I try to avoid going to the same places twice, but I’ve been making exceptions as this was my third time dining here. The food is so good and I love the relaxed ambiance! After dinner we took a cab to Pudong area where we went skyline viewing from the 100 Century Avenue at Park Hyatt.

Day three 3天: We roamed around People’s Square and went café crawling around Anfu Lu. First we went to café Foamka, which does really cute 3D coffee (overpriced), followed by a nice evening at Drawing Room's beautiful rooftop café. For dinner we met up with two lovely girls near Jing’an Temple for some local Chinese food. They introduced us to Speak Low hidden bar, located in another French concession area in Luwan district. This place had some serious good vibes and as a diehard National Treasure-fan I can’t help but love the concept of hidden bars. I must say I've had a very enjoyable time overall.

Next stop, Beijing!