Shanghai is a city of contrasts. The architectural ambience is an eclectic mix of old, contemporary and futuristic. You will during a typical day in Shanghai feel transported through different atmospheres in different parts of the cities. This city is undergoing rapid financial, cultural and technological development, which is extremly entertaining to take a look at as a foreigner.
But there are some “must do´s” in a city like Shanghai. And expats don´t always find the best spots until they come home. This is an article for those of you who want to be sure that you find the most interesting things (who most of the expats miss while living here):
1. The best view of Shanghai
A good place to start (just to get a sense of the huge asphalt jungle that surrounds you) is the Shanghai World Financial Center. Take the elevator 474 meter up to the 100th floor observation platform with a 360 degrees view that gives you a completely sovereign overview of Shanghai.
There is a glass foor on top of the tower that has become a tourist attraction. I can´t count how many expats I have seen taking photographs on top of the Shanghai World Financial Tower. And when you are on that side of the river, you can take a walk in the financial district and take a look at all the people with expensive suits.
2. Tea Time
The Chinese people looove their tea – and they really like to invite foreigners for a cup or two! Discover their neat and ritual intercourse with the drink in the traditional Moonlight Tea House, located in a small alley in the Chinese district. The entrance is quite anonymous, but there will be no doubt: This is ancient China! Here you get served fresh carved fruits, nuts and cakes with a cup of tea or ten (their cups are tiny, so constant refills are all just a part of the charm) and enjoy the quiet atmosphere.
Moonligt Tea House: No. 235, 4F/5F, Sanpai Lou Rd. Fangbangzhong Rd. Huangpu District.
3. Cocktails on top of The Bund
When you are tired of drinking tea, taking a trip back to The Bund to the award-winning Bar Rouge is not a bad idea. The decor is a mix of traditional Chinese and modern European décor. Book a table a couple of days before arrival on the large roof terrace to make sure you are guaranteed a fantastic view over the Shanghai city skyline and seductive neon lights.
Another alternative is the highclass nightclub M1NT. The nightclub is allright, but the staff are very strict and do not show any mercy if you don´t dress as a celebrity. Among other things, the club is furnished with a 17-meter long aquarium with small sharks swimming around.
4. Get a taste of Chinese medicine
A trip to a Chinese traditional doctor is probably one of the most exotic things you can do as an expat in Shanghai. You will, most likely, be given a diagnosis and some “certified” treatment that costs some money, but the whole experience is definitely worth it.
If you don´t want to feel “scammed”, another way of meeting with the Chinese healing market is trough massages. But male expats; be aware! There are a lot of massage clinics that want to offer you more than standard massage for 150 RMB. Only use the massage clinics that seem professional and have decent prices.