I’m actually not yet in China, but in a few days time I can say those words – Good morning Shanghai! I used to visit frequently, for business you know. But in the past five years, our encounters have been too few. I am looking forward to roaming around the old quarters again, snapping photos and snacking on street food. This is a bit of an unusual trip, as I am not traveling with M, but we have done the travel planning together so I am quite sure it will be a success anyway. I thought I would share a few of these tips with you even before trying them. My camera finger is just itching to get down to business. First and foremost, I am looking forward to Shanghais street food. Last time we were in Shanghai, we took a guided evening tour starting at the Shouning Lu (Shouning road) wet market and ending at the backstreets of Yu Garden. This is the first time I tasted Jianping pastries and stretched Muslim noodles. I have also marked several new dumpling places on my Google maps: the legendary Yang’s Fried dumplings being one of them. This time I feel confident enough to take the tour on my own, but for the less experienced (and why not even more experienced) Untour is a good option. They arrange really cool food tours around shanghai and I can warmly recommend them.
Wine has never been a big thing in Shanghai, and I have not really seen much development from last time. But perhaps I am wrong. We shall see when we get there. Last time I think I tipped off Roosevelt wine cellars and Napa Wine Company as places to go for a good glass. Roosevelt Wine Cellars has an enormous selection of old world wines and a photographer-friendly roof terrace right next to the Bund. You can catch a really nice shot of the famous Shanghai skyline of Pudong.
For drinks, I am really looking forward to trying some of the Shanghai speakeasies with their take on the mixology trend. My map includes Speak Low, Oji and the Union Trading Company. Speak Low is said to have a secret bar within the secret bar, some rotating bookshelf thing. Lets see if it is as obvious as Gintub, which is a secret bar inside a doughnut shop in New York; it was kind of a spoiler when a bouncer stood outside the doughnut deli asking customers if they were there for the pastries or the gin. I seem to recall that many of the cocktails I had in Shanghai the last time where a bit sweet, but perhaps a more sour taste has developed with the prohibition era trend.
That is it for preparations for the upcoming trip. Takeoff is Tuesday morning and arrival on Wednesday. I will off course be travelling with my camera and Microsoft Surface for an up-to-date blogging experience. Lets just hope the Chinese firewalls let me through to make updates.