Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 021 Contents 82 Scoop Traveller Januar y - June 2012
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SHOPPING The Silk Market and Pearl Market
sell all manner of jewellery, electronic goods, bags,
clothes and pretty much everything in between.
Be prepared to barter. The Xidan Area, west of
Tiananmen Square, has a big selection of fashion
stores, while Yandai Xiejie is a short hutong selling
silk, clothing and jewellery. The shopping mall
under the Grand Hyatt is a wonderful place to
browse local and international fashion stores.
EATING OUT Beijing is full of restaurants,
but if you are after Peking Duck try the well-
known Da Dong Roast Duck. There are a couple
of Da Dong outlets on the two-kilometre strip
between Changhong Qiao and Dongsishitiao
For a more upmarket experience, try Made in
China at the Grand Hyatt.
NIGHTLIFE The Sanlitun District used to be
a small street with bars, which turned into a hot
spot of nightlife entertainment. Sanlitun bands
foreign emigrants, tourists and local people
together, and is the best spot for trendy people
to look cool or just relax. Top Club Beijing on
Sanlitun Bar Street is known as the most active
electronic bar in Beijing, with a great combination
of music, lively crowds and international DJs. Club
Banana/Spicy, meanwhile, is a well-known venue in
Beijing and offers an authentic disco experience.
It’s the place to be seen on Friday and Saturday
nights. For a more fancy nightclub experience,
Passion Club in the Chaoyang district (next
to the Sheraton Great Wall Hotel) has intense
laser shows and famous DJs in an atmosphere of
modern and elegant design.
If Beijing is the big daddy of China, then
Shanghai is its naughty little sister. Although
slightly bigger in terms of population, it feels
younger, prettier and a whole lot sassier. In this
city of 22 million people, the restaurant and bar
scene is constantly evolving, with the beautiful
people – both local and expat – pouring into
the newest, hippest establishments until the
smallest of hours.
If you want to be right in the middle of it,
then stay on Shanghai’s famous riverfront,
the Bund. From 7am, when the locals line the
promenade to practice tai chi, the Bund is
bustling with activity and is the city’s most
popular area. It’s worth a visit just to see the
amazing display of architectural styles, from
renaissance and baroque to Les Beaux Arts
and art deco. In fact, Shanghai has one of
the richest collections of art deco architecture
in the world. Make sure you step inside, look
up and enjoy.
Like Beijing, Shanghai has a huge variety
of hotels. Choose a local-style boutique
hotel or apartment in the charismatic French
Concession, or opt for a bit of glamour on the
Bund, it’s up to you. Our first three nights were
spent at the newly opened Waldorf Astoria on
the Bund. Spread over two buildings, it’s an
exquisite hotel in which no detail has been
overlooked. Rooms are large, and all enjoy
different views – ask for a view of the Bund, it
really is an ever-changing feast for the eyes.
If you can, take one of the hotel’s 20 signature
suites in the old Shanghai Club. But even if you
don’t stay at the hotel, a drink at the
Waldorf’s famous Long Bar is a must.
Housed in Shanghai’s old gentleman’s club,
it boasts what was the longest bar in China.
Well-known for its oyster station, you can
indulge in a selection of freshly shucked
molluscs, flown in from all over the world.
Christopher, the manager, will happily talk you
through them and perhaps even mix you a very
tidy dirty martini (three olives, please).
For a memorable fine-dining experience,
the Waldorf’s Pelham’s is not to be missed.
American-Chinese head chef Brian Chen
opened the restaurant which serves clever,
beautifully constructed food. Walking a
fine line between molecular technique and
traditional cooking methods, our meal was a
gastronomic journey: foie gras on a chocolate
croissant, drizzled with drunken cherries,
anyone? It’s a decadent dining experience in
a sumptuous setting.
Strolling through the tree-lined streets of
the French Concession was one of my favourite
Shanghai experiences. Ancient Chinese
P arlrl MMa
Shanghai’s famous Bund.
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