Sunday, August 31, 2014

Trendy Travels: Shanghai

People call it the "Paris of the East" with its bright lights and unparalleled sophistication.
But is this nickname really fair? Shanghai stands alone and is drastically different than the "City of Lights." Shanghai is Shanghai. And I've tried to capture my favorite parts of the city in this post.

Away we go~
I started off my morning with this milk tea that my senpai tells me is THE best milk tea around ever at 阿姨奶茶. I got it with boba but Qiaoqiao-senpai got it with red beans!
The place was also conveniently located by my hotel in the old Shanghai Ghetto 上海隔都 where interestingly enough is where many refugees from around the world (including Jews during the Holocaust) would flee during the 20th century. Here's a really old apartment building from the time. Nowadays though, elderly Shanghainese Chinese tend to live in these buildings.
And then we were off to Tianzifang 田子坊, an arts and crafts enclave in the French Concession 法租界. A bit touristy but a hipster's paradise nonetheless, everything was so cute and quaint. I couldn't get enough!
Cute food keychains!
A pretty money tree.
絵馬? Quite clearly some Japanese influence here.
てるてる坊主? More Japanese influence. 
GIANT WHITE RABBIT CANDY. A childhood's dream come true.
And just weird things too like this mannequin decked out in a horse mask and a Communist uniform.
It looks like Buddha from Saint Young Men 「聖おにいさん」!
Just a large steamer of rice...
Oh! And then we went out to eat at this adorable restaurant specializing in Shanghainese fare called The Dining Room 南小館. 
Qiaoqiao ordered the wontons which are a Shanghainese favorite!
But of course, being in Shanghai, one has to order the xiaolongbao 小籠包 at least once. For those who don't know, these are glorious soup-filled, steamed pork dumplings of awesomeness.
I also ordered a Shanghainese specialty noodle of some sort that was also delicious.
We also could not resist ordering dessert! It consisted of sesame balls called jian dui 煎䭔 and pudding too!
Now we move on to other places in the French Concession and beyond! I happened to pass by this one stand selling blood? I'm assuming it's juice but made to look like blood bags...
Inserting here a picture of a cool skyscraper—architecture that Shanghai is well-known for.
Here's 新天地, the place for hipsters and the rich and wealthy to hang out. The place is part of a type of renovation project that took place to turn traditional shikumen 石庫門 architecture into retail and restaurant space.
This is the pièce de résistance: The Bund 外灘! It's particularly beautiful at night. I couldn't manage to get a picture of the International Settlement 公共租界but y'all should check it out when you're in Shanghai.
Some Hong Kong milk tea for the road! Look how cute the cups are.
Random picture of art because it's art and y'all should appreciate art.

I had a very limited time that I could spend in Shanghai so there are so many places left unexplored! It's a huge city and unlike any other I have visited. It's definitely worth a stop by next time you're in the area.

Writer: Princess
Photographer:  Princess
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