Traipsing Shanghai

July 02, 2011 Travel

I visited Shanghai to see the World Expo but I also spent a few days getting to know this city.  For most of my trip, I traveled solo and it was quite an experience for me.  

I was astonished by its skyscrapers, its art deco buildings, and its temples. 

There were times I felt so out of place, the most populous in the world, teeming with thousands of people all wanting to get noticed. It didn't help that I could not read anything around me and I was always lost in translation.  

But, I kept walking because Shanghai really begs for wanderings.  

Here are a few of my favorite spots.

The City God Temple

Also known as Shanghai Chenghuang Miao, The City God Temple forms the core of the old city of Shanghai. Here is where Shanghai shows how to beautifully meld the old and the new.

We saw kids peeping in holes to watch a puppet show. A Starbucks Cafe and Victoria Secret shop didn't seem out of place here. Souvenirs were everywhere. 

What I will forever remember about this place is my first Xiao Long Bao. 

The French Concession

This is the Paris of the East. It is so charming with its tree-lined avenues (something I really love about Shanghai), the shopping, and the architecture. 

The French Concession used to be the foreign concession of France in Shanghai. The district exudes the glamour and decadence of that period and a visit at its museum presents the home and lifestyle of a lady who lunch and her family.

The Bund

The Bund, located by the bank of the Huangpu River, showcases Shanghai's rich collection of architectural styles. We crossed The Bund via a pedestrian transit tunnel, which features light effects, to see Shanghai's skyline from both sides of The Bund.

The Shanghai Sculpture Place

My friend JR designed a tour of Shanghai. 

My first stop was the Shanghai Sculpture Place, which is less than a five minute walk from his place. It features a sculpture park, cafes, shops and offices. 

Admission is free.

    The Jing'an Temple (Temple of Peace and Tranquility)

    This was my next stop in JR's itinerary. I took the Metro Line 2 to Jing'an Temple. Entrance then was 20 RMB. I was in China so a temple was a must, but what really caught my attention was how this temple thrived amidst modern Shanghai.

    Tian Zi Feng

    Tian Zi Feng along Taikang Lu Road is both old and new. 

     The 2nd floor are residences and the homeowners sit on the alleys to watch tourists shop on its very contemporary shops. This is one of my favorite places in Shanghai.

    Sampling Shanghai Cuisine

    Before JR took me to his recommended restaurants and bought me street food, I thought Chinese cuisine was better here in Manila. It was really different traveling with a local. JR was the closest I could get.

    My Shanghai food adventure started with lining up for Xiaolongbao or steamed bun at Nanxiang Bun Shop, one of the most authentic xiaolongbao specialists in Shanghai. This place was recommended by my friend Sasa.

    I also had some hand pulled noodles and xiaolongbao near JR's place, which he says is a lot better than the one I had at Nanxiang.

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