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alleys and buildings sit happily alongside modern developments, and
we found it’s also home to a dizzying array of young, local fashion
designers. Take your time, because the little, unassuming shop fronts
can often hide fantastic bargains.
The Xintiandi area is a must. Wind your way through the
cobblestoned streets, dotted with traditional homeware stores, tea
vendors, clothes stores and art galleries. There are little bars and
restaurants throughout, so it’s a great place to stop for lunch, or
perhaps a Chinese tea, and to get a taste for historical Shanghai. While
there, go to the famous Din Tai Fung Taiwanese restaurant. Although
inexpensive, crowded and part of a chain, it has been voted one of the
world’s top 10 restaurants by the New York Times, and has the best
dumplings (xiaolongbao) you are likely to have. Translucent paper
makes at least 18 folds around the perfectly steamed meat. Bite in and
the broth oozes out onto your spoon – an experience not be missed.
You can’t come to Shanghai and not check out the markets. Market
580 is three storeys, selling everything from jeans to jewellery to
electricals. Be ready to barter because prices start high and get lower
and lower. Start by offering about 1/5 of the asking price and see
how you go – it’s half the fun. Remember that if it’s too good to be
true, it probably isn’t!
Although I didn’t get there, the Shanghai Museum is said to be worth a
visit, with four floors of cultural and historical items from all over China.
Or if you need to change pace a little, visit one of the city’s many gardens.
The facade of the heritage
Waldorf Astoria on the Bund.
The Long Bar inside
the Waldorf Astoria.
3 levels of urban cool
45 stores for fashion, food & lifestyle
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