Chinese New Year starts on February 19th, followed by a succession of celebrations. All over the world there are activities and parades. We hope to show you how we celebrate in Sydney and Buenos Aires via our Instagram @lunainviaggio this week.
In honor of this day, we would like to share the highlights of my trip to Shanghai. Shanghai is the largest city in the world by population. Looking up you’ll be amazed with the never ending buildings, but within the streets, at eye level, you’ll find the real magic of this place.
Where to Stay:
I went on business, so was lucky to stay and visit the hotels of my company. As I arrived to Shanghai I felt as “lilliput” in this huge city amognst very tall buildings.
- Arriving to Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre I had the same sensation. It is grandiose and opulent. The location is prime, walking distance to People’s Square and the Shanghai Museum.
- Then I stayed Shanghai Marriott Hotel Luwan. It has a different feeling, a little further away from the city, but still just 15 minute drive to the main attractions. I had a wonderful room overlooking the river, with the most amazing views of the sunrise.
What to visit:
- Yu Garden Yuyuan is the most famous garden in Shanghai. It is located in the heart of Shanghai’s Old City, one of the few existant old tourist places in Shanghai.
- The Bund: Riverfront fashionable strip with the best views to Pudong and the iconic the Oriental Peal Tower.
- Jade Buddah Temple: Founded in 1882 it includes two jade Buddha statues and other sculptures from different origins.
Where to buy:
- Xintiandi: Where “yesterday meets tomorrow in Shanghai today”, Xintiandi is situated at Lane No.181 of Taicang Road Shanghai, the old Shikumen residential area near “Zhonggong yidahuizhi” (site of the 1st National Congress of the Communist Party). Charming place, ideal for a good view of the history, culture, and modern lifestyle of Shanghai and combine with some shopping and dinning.
- Shanghai French Concession: It is a great area to explore, from old European buildings to cafes and restaurants, and the upmarket shopping area of Huaihu Road. You will find fashionable boutiques selling everything from designer handbags to pricy silks.
- Nanjing Road: Bustling pedestrian street, the number one site for shopping in the city including shops from Tiffany, Mont Blanc, to Sephora, Forever 21, Zara, and much more.
- Shanghai Longhua Fashion and Gift Market: If you are looking for a more local and authentic experience, you should try these markets. You’ll get lost in the halls and have to bargain for some already cheap clothing and gifts. I also adventurer myself and walked outside finding a very low key street market (don’t know the name or where I actually was) but here I share some photos.
What to eat:
- Shanghai hairy crab: “Shanghai maoxie” is a variety of the Chinese Mitten Crab with tender, juicy meat. They are tied with ropes or strings, placed in bamboo containers, steamed and served. I was taught by colleagues how to separate the claws and go over the whole process of opening and eating the crab. Believed to have the cooling yin (of yin and yang) effect on the body, the female crab roe is regarded as a delicacy.
- Dim Sum: Dumplings, noodles, buns and other food prepared as bite-sized traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. It usually includes tea, linked with the older tradition from yum cha (tea tasting).
- Chinese Tea: An important part of Chinese tradition, tea is included in most meals as well as the most important life events and it’s a whole ceremony on itself.
Photos and content: Josefina Luna