A book about how Shanghai is formed

a book tells how modern Shanghai was shaped

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A book tells how modern Shanghai was shaped, “The Last Kings of Shanghai”, has been one of my readings in the lockdown. How it was shaped? probably many different explanations on how and by whom, we wouldn’t find any answers boring anyway.

This book is more than just entertaining. Through rich investigation, the author tells the story how two Jewish families the Sassons and the Kadoories (Kelly) transformed Shanghai into an international cosmopolitan before mid 20th century. buzzling with glamour. With ‘go get’ attitude, the Sassons and the Kadoories pioneered the foreigners in their era to bring industrious mentality into the city. If you are fascinated by the dynamic culture uniquely in Shanghai, or why it’s named as the capital of “international architecture”, or just interested in those buildings on the Bund. The book presents intriguing picture how the city was initially formed by location and how it’s shaped with the influencers then. Not surprisingly Shanghai is the most pro western city in China. Half a century later, still plenty of literatures and films dotted the fondness for that period, such as the book Peace Hotel (aka Cathay Hotel ).

Interesting books take us afar and away. Back to the reality, whilst we are still adjusting limited travelling for the time being, for the remaining half of year 2020, I feel this book gives me the comfort in my ‘comfort zone’!

What’s the fun in those fine days!

Always get prepared before your planning and travelling, so much to do!

 

 

enjoy the quiet time in Shanghai

How we enjoyed this quiet time at Shanghai

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How did we enjoy this quiet time at Shanghai? It’s been a couple of months since the outbreak of coronavirus. We’ve been staying in and keeping outdoor venturing minimum, building up the inner zen  …

Still, having fun: how to pass the time during the time of ‘staying in’ all that long, especially not by choice! Exercising at home, making spaces at living rooms, getting used to stretch out any time if feels like; friends try to perfect the culinary skills, no fear with heat in the kitchen… It will be an epic winter in the memory.

Shopping apps are the nearest and dearest for the restrained lazy toes, instructions on how to make the use of Hema, DingDong(叮咚买菜), not to forget TaoBao, and, JingDong… Those delivery guys are the heroes.

Like entering uncharted territory, will life or the way of living quite the same or different in Shanghai from now on? Oh, perhaps… wait and hope, as Dumas cheered.

Get ready when it’s all over..

Our blog image overlooks NanPu Bridge at Power Station of Art, we’ll make a “splash” on it in blog in the near future.

did you know flights to Shanghai

Did you know more flights available to Shanghai …

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Did you know more flights available from London to travel to Shanghai directly? Gatwick has opened its “gate” since March, at the time of writing this blog, price is at £468 end of Summer, operated by China Eastern.

Did you know it just takes more than 11 hours to Shanghai (Pu Dong international airport) directly, over 12 hours on the way back. With time difference, it makes sense to switch your body clock to the destination time zone before your travelling. On arrival, ready for all actions.

To celebrate its 100 years in business, British Airway is offering promotion prices, which includes return flights from Heathrow to Shanghai on £508 (check out its dates). Good for them, however, watch out you top it with the check in luggage.

Please let us know if we can be of any helps.

Our blog image is from Mo Gan Mountain (easy access from Shanghai), a cool choice to see the rural China over the weekend.

We are happy to help your flights choice if needed. You can share your favourite Shanghai images with us (we can flaunt them on our Instagram).

weekend Shanghai Flamingo at Shanghai Zoo

How to make the most of weekend in Shanghai

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How to make the most of weekend in Shanghai? It takes time to get to know a place though, we sums up some tips here if you are only there for a short spell.

Head to Yu Garden, If you want to see the traditional architecture, which is located in the old town.

Not far from Yu Garden, an area which has been revamped and became a show piece, XinTianDi, you can see Shanghai’s typical eye catching residential style. You will also visit the premises of the 1st Chinese Communist Party conference. Plenty of bars/restaurant, highly possible to keep you entertained.

Even just for a weekend, still possible to enjoy walks around the city. Xu Hui  where I grew up, is a must ‘go’ to me, Within walking distance, you bump into Russian poet Pushkin’s statue, Shanghai Orchestra, Music Academy..,. You can spend all day or just one afternoon in this area, in its galleries and museums, This time I went Propaganda Art, well worth visiting despite its confusing location (in the basement of one building), .

When you are in Shanghai, hardly miss out the Bund, the epitome of metropolis Shanghai, which has done it lots of proud over the years, enjoy the evening view. You can visit East side of the river, PuDong, have a drink at the “cloud”..

To make the most time of a weekend. If you are into history or anything arty, some of options here, ‘Shanghai History Museum’ on People’s Square, pleasantly informative. Some of touristy spots for the evening chill out, check on our blog about the oldest band in town (Peace Hotel).

Our blog image shows flamingos dancing around the lake at Shanghai Zoo

It will be cool if you’d like to send over your tips on the new hang outs.

French Concession

How to get the most of Shanghai Walk

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How to get the most of Shanghai Walk?

A favourite walk of mine is at the old Shanghai French concession, where some of interesting houses hidden away from the traffic, the lines of plane trees cover the streets, little boutiques sit quietly among the residences. Around the area, quite a few museums and galleries have established themselves over the years.
Around 10am, we set off from Wu Yuan Road (just off Metro line 1 & line 7, Chang Shu Road). On the road, one of the late artists Le Ping Zhang’s residence was turned into a museum, his art works are displayed. A very popular caricaturist, children worshipped him. Next, we took the left turn to Fu Xing Xi Road, where you can visit another celebrity (a late author Ke Ling) residence. Our blog image is taken outside his house. Authority prioritises the area of the maintenance for tourist interests, you can find enough celebrities’ houses available for public visits.
Plenty to see. We had to march on, quickly we found ourselves at Shanghai Propagandar Art Centre. Located in one of the blocks basement at Hua Shan Road, it has been there almost twenty years. The authority started funding it since 2012. Majority of its collections are since 1949, I got the bulk buy of postcard at its souvenir shop. A friend of mine felt Einstein is out of the place on the propaganda postcard. The great man once said “truth is born out through the test of experience”, perhaps that made him into the league. Chinese is renowned for being pragmatic.
We took a couple of turns, where Shanghai Drama Academy is in the middle of enrolling students, passed Wu Lu Mu Qi Road, we browsed “Safari Photography Exhibition” on the 3rd floor of Shanghai Hotel. Almost 2pm, after we visited late Yuan Pei Cai’s old residence, we must take a break, we were so relieved to find a cosy restaurant at Chang Shu Road, just opposite the old Little Theatre.

We were happy.

What are the fun

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Chinese New Year

How to enjoy Chinese New Year like a local

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How to enjoy Chinese New Year like a local, so you are in Shanghai, you are not flying away somewhere afar, the town is nearly empty, traffic is kind…

Whether you go for the traditional Chinese affair, or, stay on the trend, you will always find your type. Let’s start with indulge yourself with the traditional flavour, all the fanfare and folk stuff. There’s the carnival.

Following the current Cultural Carnival, which ends in 14th Feb, Spring Festival Carnival takes place to coincide Chinese New Year (16/02-02/03) at SongJiang District, celebrates with traditional folk music shows, lantern show, stand-up comedians and lights displays, food stalls… Address: 888 LinHu Road.

It’s the 2nd year to celebrate the Chinese New Year for the newly established Shanghai Disney Resort, Impressed, not only by the charm of Disney with Chinese twist. Some locals are keen to have the New Year Eve banquet there, a worthy family event.

Brace yourself, it is crispy cold time of the year. Nothing can put people off to enjoy the brief quietness in such a busy town, you can appreciate the wintery blossom in Central Park, or parks like DianShan, ZhenRu for cool excursions out of the centre. A friend of took the blog image near her house at the recent snowy day.

Chinese New Year is always about the food. With plenty of expats living in the town, rest assured, you will find your favourites. Some apps expedite your decision,  like ShanghaiWoW  To be truly like a local, you need download the app WeChat, you can find any info you need, we mean any. it works like an altogether of FaceTime, WhatsApp and Facebook.

OK, if you are there, we wish you a happy time and will be great if you get in touch to share.

For the organised celebrations over the Chinese New Year, please check on the link:

Chinese Spring Festival

how not to forget Shanghai

How not to forget Shanghai you have been

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How not to forget Shanghai you have been? Photos, plenty of them, insta it and of course blog it… Lots of different ways help to remember…

With fast paced change, Shanghai has altered so much, not people who visit it are amazed by the newness, resident are used to the ever changing. I have a map imprinted in the mind, where I was born and grew up, where the centre was and my favourite walks and meeting points. Over the recent years, Shanghai has stretched out much further, twenty four million people inhibit in this much larger city. It sounds sentimental to recall the old time, those little alleyways, simple old food, easy chitchat like everyone has time for each other, live was not overruled by digital. These tales are supposed to stay in the mind for a long long time.

Look at the skylines and so many hot spots. New Shanghai is equally exciting and can be more dynamic. We cannot help to recommend the easy appsShanghaiWoW for any new cool spot, or check on the official tourist sites for anything news worthy, it can be interesting too, see the example on Foodie Heaven

We will continue to blog in 2018, if you can share with us your experience in Shanghai, the places you went, the food you enjoyed and the people you met, that will be so cool.

city walk

More about city walk in Shanghai

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City walk in Shanghai has a lot to choose. One of my favourites usually starts from Jing’an Temple, many times I end my route in French concession. With lined trees and small cafes, so pleasant in the afternoon, it’s perfect for a walk.

It will get lot better and more intriguing. As XuHui district, where French concession is, is undergoing renovation for the 342 buildings, mostly within the area of HengShan road and FuXing road, aims to complete by the end of the year. Categorised as Hengshan-Fuxing Road Historic Reservation Area, it covers an area of more than 221,000 square meters, also includes some areas in French concession.

It must be challenging to initiate such a reservation project, Craftsmen with traditional construction skills are called in, some skills are brought to the city by Western architects in the early last century, long lost though, now is crucial for this preservation work.

Historic figures and celebrities have resided here in the past, those old buildings complimentary the fascinating diversity of the city’s architecture style. Once reservation project done, a detailed database for each building will be available, including its size, inner structure, original designing charts as well as historic photos.

Quite exciting to see a quiet area being revived, already popular with its trendy bars, restaurants, chic hotels and fabulous boutiques, the area has become one of the major attractions for residents and tourists.

Why not take a walk in this area when you are in town, you may find this place the same interesting?  what is it then.

Oh, What are the Fun

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Photo of Shanghai Old Town

Water Town Zhu Jia Jiao

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Water town Zhu Jia Jiao is the one very nearby Shanghai, comparing to the other similar around.

Established in the 2 centuries BC, Zhu Jia Jiao was always a market town for clothing and rice trades. With the presence of its booming antique stores, it managed to consolidate the prestige at the dynasties Ming and Qing, You still can trace those historic shops in alleyways.

Now Zhu Jia Jiao is part of the Shanghai, it sits within Qin Pu Division and is accessible by public transports at the People’s Square or near Shanghai Stadium or by frequent Express Line ‘Hu Zhou’.

You can have a ride on the boat, given the town name as the ‘Venice in the east’. It is said 36 bridges connect the town throughout, all in different shapes and materials such as wooden or stone or marble, You will enjoy taking the photos of these ancient bridges, or, the view at Ma Jia Garden (one of the largest manor style gardens in the southern China).

Old pharmacy Tong Tian He is at the original location, the vintage Chinese pharmacy is so charming with its surroundings.  However, Zhu Jia Jiao went through the revamp in 2012, added with shopping malls and entertainment complex. Let’s hope the authenticity of this old town is not threatened entirely.

Half a day trip can give you the chance to put a piece of jigsaw in your collection of traditional Chinese charm. You can taste some local dishes before heading back Shanghai.

Why not Try our carefully selected programme: Half a Day at Water Town Zhu Jia Jiao

Yu Garden

See Yu Garden for visual treat

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Nested in the heart of city centre, Yu Garden has the layout of traditional Chinese garden: pavilion, artificial mountains, willow trees, ponds and the magnificent zigzag bridge. Built in the 16th century,  the only traditional garden in the north of Shanghai, whether you are in Shanghai for a couple of days or longer, this place is a must see. We recommended this gem in our blog “One Day In Shanghai”(One Day In Shanghai).

Not only Yu Garden prides itself a visual feast, it makes a worthy trip for shopping. For a long time, it is the heaven for the wholesalers, when they source anything locally produced. Today, you still have plenty of choices for your Christmas list or just the impulsive binges.

Restaurants and food stores boast another reason for visiting. Lu Bo Lang and Shanghai Restaurant have been there for years, they offer the traditional food with local flavour, so delicate. Those restaurants often attract long queues of hungry eaters. The best thing in life is always worth waiting. One of the afternoons, you sit at Lu Bo Lang, sipping the Chinese tea with the delightful Dim Sum, a lake in your view when looking out the window, it is divine.

Getting there is easy.  Almost every local knows its location. Metro line 10 and plenty of bus services go through there. Don’t be put off by the crowds, popular places like Yu Garden are often packed with visitors all day, perhaps try to avoid the peak hours, I wouldn’t miss out the opportunity for the local Dim Sum.

Our list for you to consider Discovery “the Traditional Charm”.