For the next two weeks or so, our agent Pam will be in China! She’ll explore Shanghai and Beijing on her own, and then join Viking River Cruises for an inside look at Xian, Chongqing, Suzhou, the Yangtze River and much more. Check in as the Wittravel blog follows her on her adventure!
First on her stop is glamorous, fast-paced, international hub and cherry-on-the-world Shanghai. Where is she headed, you ask? Check out Wittravel’s Top Things to See/Try in Shanghai:
To the traveler familiar with anything Chinese, the first thing he or she may notice is how different Shanghai is from the rest of China. With its own distinct food, dialect, lifestyle and pace—Shanghai is a prime example of the international metropolis.
Here are WIT’s top things to see and do in Shanghai:
1) Yu Yuan Garden
Constructed in the late 16th century by the Ming Dynasty, the magical and peaceful Yu Yuan Garden lies on the northeast of the Old City. Encasing more than 20,000 square meters, the garden is surprisingly tranquil in spite of the tourists that cluster there during peak seasons. Don’t miss this organic maze of stepping stones, koi ponds, ancient trees, souvenir shops, historical courtyards, and the towering, porous Exquisite Jade Rock.
2) Nanjing Lu
The Nanjing Lu is one of the world’s busiest shopping streets, and definitely worth an hour or two’s perambulation. It’s a mecca of food, museums, markets, and shops that stretches from The Bund to Hongqiao. Stop here for souvenirs or just to purvey the streets brimming with silk weavers, jade vendors, and fast food chains.
3) Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe
One of the most popular and beloved attractions in Shanghai is the Acrobatics Troupe. Though frequently on tour all across the world, there is no better and no more fortuitous venue to see them than their hometown. The troupe breathtaking display of daring feats showcasing marvelous physical technique, stunts, balance and strength. And in case you should happen to be in the city during their world tour, there are also plenty of other magnificent troupes that provide daily wonders. Check out the available venues including Bai Yu Lan Theatre, Shanghai Cloud Peak Theater, Shanghai Circus World, and others.
4) The Bund
Chock full of historical architecture and memorabilia, The Bund is the citywide term for the western riverfront region of Puxi. It is the site of a major business district, stunning Art Deco building and various international neighborhoods left over from the construction boom at the turn of the 20th century that brought over major European influences.
5) The Maglev
Shanghai’s magnetic-levitation train was built by German-owned Siemens as the first commercial, high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world. It connects the international airport to the city center, reaching 430 km/hr (267 mi/hr) and taking less than eight minutes. A star mascot in a city run on speed and cross-cultural efficiency.
6) Shanghai Food
The Shanghaiese are not wrong when they tell you that they have a cuisine unique to the city alone. Full of delicious sauces, salted meats and fried dishes, the culinary traditions are definitely attractions not to be missed. Try thick Shanghai fried chow mein, stinky tofu, gingery 1000 year eggs, or soup dumplings (Xiaolong Bao), a delicious snack of dough wrapped around juicy pork and succulent broth.
For a true dining experience, visit one of Shanghai’s many acclaimed Hot Pot restaurants. The minute you sit down, you’ll receive a menu chock full of veggies, proteins, broths, and other options galore—tick away at your choices, and your meal will promptly appear. A small individual pot all to yourself, and small dishes of everything from stacks of mushrooms to strips of meat, all fighting for their place on your decently sized but inevitably insufficient table.
7) Dongtai Road
A haven for Chinese vintage memorabilia and antiques, curiosity shops and bookshops, Dongtai Road is one of the largest flea markets in Shanghai. Though most of the items are in fact replicas, it’s almost worth trying your skills out in haggling for the best in replica figurines, Mao kitsch, jade, propaganda posters, teapots and tons more. Come here for the elderly Mahjong square-offs, for the hustle and bustle and Cantonese murmur, and for the weirdest finds of trinkets and ersatz memorabilia.
Of course it’s near impossible to have a complete list of ALL the attractions and activities in Shanghai! Stay tuned for Wednesday, when Pam heads to the city’s quieter neighbor, Suzhou.
Interested in touring the gorgeous city of Shanghai or any of her neighboring sisters? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 503.224.0180.