Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Shanghai: Pudong, Jing'an and more

Back to Shanghai for the remainder of my first week in China. After a morning of dumplings I hopped on the metro to Pudong. The metro in Shanghai is so easy to use - the trains are regular, the tickets are cheap (30p - 50p for a single journey) and everything is in English.

A pineapple-y building!
27 going on 7.

The iPhone panorama camera - pretty cool.
Hopping out the metro I was greeted by some pretty tall buildings! The Pudong area feels very new and is ever-changing as taller and taller buildings spring up. I headed to the waterfront promenade to look at The Bund from this side of the river. The Superbrand Mall and IFC Mall are in this area so I did a spot of window shopping and coffee drinking while waiting for the sun to set.There are a few viewing platforms to pick from - the instantly recognisable Pearl Tower, Jinmao Tower and The World Financial Centre - I opted for the later as the city can be viewed from the top and bottom of the trapezium-shaped cut out. Maybe one to skip if you have a fear of heights - the top level has a glass floor.

Rain was forecast for Friday so I walked up East Nanjing Road, umbrella at the ready heading for Jing'an - an area which most shows a contrast between old and new Shanghai. After browsing the Han City Fashion and Accessories Plaza for a Chanel handbag or two (hint: nothing sold in this bizarre six story indoor market is genuine, despite what the stall holders might try to tell you) I headed for Jing'an Temple, a beautiful retreat from a street full of Western chain stores. Feeling zen-like I took up my guidebook's suggestion of lunch at Vegetarian Lifestyle - another vegetarian restaurant in a city where almost every food has some form of meat in it. After lunch the rain was getting worse so a quick trip to the Jade Buddha Temple felt like enough before the hotel swimming pool beckoned. The temple is beautiful and also features a reclining Buddha (photos cannot be taken of the Jude Buddha itself but there were tourists a-plenty with their selfie sticks in the temple courtyard, bleugh).

Jing'an Temple in the rain.

An escape from the city if you don't look up at the adverts.
After heading to Qibao on Saturday, Sunday was my final day for exploring Shanghai. Despite only being in the city for a week, it felt bittersweet having only one more day - feeling smug that I'd done all the touristy things on my list Sunday lunch Chinese-style (well Taiwanese to be exact) beckoned. Din Tai Fung is an Asian institution - the dim sum has a Michellin star but the restaurants are relaxed and prices reasonable. The xiaolongbao dumplings are so, so good (and you don't need to know how to pronounce them to order them - just point at the picture on the menu). After DTF I hopped back to The Bund and visited the Rockbund Museum. Feeling in need of something arty after skipping the M50 art district on Friday due to the rain Rockbund did not disappoint - the "Breath Walk Die" exhibition was amazing. Performance artists dressed as clowns acted out a "vocabulary of solitude" - occasionally moving and changing positions around the gallery visitors. After dark a final visit to The Bund at night to watch the Pudong skyscrapers light up and a walk down the ever-busy Nanjing Road made for a chilled end to my Shanghai adventures. Next stop (and next post) - Beijing!

Chicken xiaolongbao.
Chopsticks at work.

Steamed vegetable buns.

Prawn-topped dumplings.

Clownin' around.
Goodbye, Shanghai!



  1. I'm loving all your China posts Lily!

  2. Yessss for Din Tai Fung! My literal favourite. Love the snaps of the temple Lily. Can't wait to see you soon!

  3. Love Din Tai Fung! I went there for the first time on holiday recently and their XiaoLongBao are so good. They seriously need to hurry up and open a branch in London x


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