China

Shanghai – the most westernized city in China

Shanghai was such a different world for us. It started with the fact that almost nobody was able to speak any English. So far so good. Shanghai is with its 24 mio. inhabitants one of the worlds biggest citys. Sounds scary? Yeah, but honestly we have to say that we haven’t felt that safe in a big city anywhere else so far. Despite the fact that we got lost all the time.

 

 

This was our first trip to China and we were blown away from the first moment, not always positive though. It was an incredible experience we are not going to forget any time soon.

 

 

Important tip: never ever let somebody talk you into taking their cap at the airport. It’s a rip-off. Rather que a couple more minutes in the official taxi que and safe money. The price from Pudong airport to the center is between 160-200 CNY.

Getting cash out of an ATM with a Visa or Master Card was never a problem, although we were not able to use our debit card (VPAY).

 

 

Another life-saving tip: Take tissues with you all the time! A lot of restaurants and bars, or even public places don’t provide toilet paper in their bathroom.

 

 

One of our highlights was K-TV. There is a very funny K-TV story actually, but I will tell it later. K-TV is the operator of the karaoke studios in China, and there are a lot of K-TV places in Shanghai. We went to this one place, not far away from Peoples square, and it was our first time singing. The price for 3 hours is 400 CNY (approximately 50€). The song range is ok, but due to the censure, a lot of western songs are forbitten and prohibited. Anyways, K-TV is absolutely worth the money, it’s a funny experience and you can bring your own food and drinks into the room and smoke there as well.

 

 

Back to the funny story: One evening, we wanted to try a different K-TV studio. We went to this building, where my friend was sure the place is located and the receptionist send us up to the 8th floor. The elevator was packed with weird people. Once we arrived at the 8th floor, the hotel staff was yelling at us in Chinese and obviously being mad at us. Later we have realized that K-TV is also another word for Brothel in Shanghai, a room with a happy end. Well. That was awkward.

 

Sightseeing

Bund

If you are into sightseeing, we can recommend a boat trip on Huangpu river. The boat cruises around the famous bund. The bund is the riverside of the city and big skyscrapers are lined up one to another. The lights of the skyscrapers will make you feel like in a fairytale. Note that the buildings only start lightening up around 19:00, so a boat tour after 19:00 is recommended.

 

 

Yuyan garden

this garden is a famous classic garden in Shanghai and is located in Anren Jie. The garden was finished in 1577 by an official of the MING dynasty of 1368-1644 called Pan Yunduan . A lot of tourists are visiting the park at any time of the year, so it’s pretty crowded over there. The garden is nice to walk through, but don’t get food there, the restaurants outside of the garden are better and cheaper.

 

 

Nightlife

Shanghai is one of the best party places ever! We went out almost every day because you can always find a happy hour or a ladis night where they offer free drinks. The drinks in bars (especially rooftop bars) are pretty expensive compared to the rest, therefore we definitely recommend checking out lady’s nights before going out. You will save a lot of money.

 

Bar Rouge

18 Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu

The view is amazing. Bar Rouge is located in a skyscraper near the bund, therefor you are able to see the skyline of the city with its lights. The entry is 100 CNY, which is totally ok. Cool people, good music, and delicious drinks made our visit very comfortable. We have been there about 3 times and definitely enjoyed it. The atmosphere is simply great! Please don’t miss out on this cool bar when you are in Shanghai.

 

The Shelter

5 Yongfu Rd, Xuhui Qu

very unusual underground club. Not everybody’s taste but we have enjoyed it.

 

The Apartment

Xuhui, 永福路47号 邮政编码

This club is located in the French concession. The apartment is a great place to party hard. They have several dance floors with all different kinds of music. Drinks are cheaper than in Bar Rouge.

 

Modu

Huaihaizhong lu 527

This Nightclub is on the 3rd Floor of a Skyscraper. It’s pretty small compared to other clubs, but the atmosphere is great and they always have international DJs playing there.

 

 

Liquid Laundry

Xuhui Qu, HuaiHai Lu XiDuan, 淮海中路1028号, Jiahuafang 邮政编码

This place is super cool to just chill and enjoy free drinks at the ladies night. We had such a blast here. The bar is very westernized, therefore the cocktail range is huge and the staff speaks english. Happy hour (means free drinks for girls) is usually one day a week and ends around 11pm.

 

Food

Shanghai is very variegated. You are able to find everything in this city. When I say everything – I mean everything. The menus include many pictures, which is not a bad sign in china compared to European countries, the reason behind this is that the food isn’t called what it is, it’s given another name, which has nothing to do with it at all. In order to avoid confusion (even locals don’t know) they use pictures.

 

 

The food in Shanghai was simply delicious.

 

They like to cook pork a lot, but it’s not hard to find food as a vegetarian, because they always offer so many things. A must is eating a HOT POT. Hot pot is kind of a Chinese fondue.

 

Please practice eating food with chopsticks because you won’t get normal cutlery anywhere in China. If you are fed up with Chinese food, we can recommend a great place in the French concession, called Ali`s Diner. It’s an American restaurant and on Sunday, they offer free pancakes: eat 5 + 1 milkshake in less than 10 min and you will get them for free.

 

 

Usually taxi drivers can only read in Chinese signs so please translate your address or the places you wanna go in Chinese.

 

Internet

Wow. Very hard to find. There are almost no WIFI hotspots and if there are, the connection is very poor. We totally recommend buying a local sim instead. Unfortunately, pages like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram etc. are blocked due to their strict laws. The only social media platform locals use is WECHAT. Wechat is a mix between whatsapp and facebook and everybody has it.

 

 

We were truly impressed of Shanghai and its surely not our last visit in china. China is such a big country with so many great places. We just need to get used to the mentality of the people. The spitting, the burping, the elbow culture in general. Nevertheless, it was an amazing journey. 

 

 

We have met a couple of closeted lesbians. Homosexuality is not allowed or accepted in China so people almost never come out. Most of them life a heterosexual life and only explore their true self in secure places like Roxi, the only gay bar in Shanghai. It was very sad for us to see, that people still need to hide their tur self, and can’t be with whoever they want. The people, who come out face a lot of troubles because they won’t be accepted by their parents or friends.