- A city that can be a short-break destination
- The city has plenty of contrasts and will appeal to all
- We recommend the best way to see the city is on foot
Think about the Far East and you’d normally think of a long break to make the twelve-hour-plus flights worthwhile. However, it is equally possible to enjoy somewhere like Shanghai in just four short days.
Shanghai has grown rapidly since the colonial days of the 1800s and is a city of two halves. The Bund – the waterfront of the old side – is a living, breathing museum of those colonial days. In contrast, on the other side of the Huangpu River, lies Pudong, the ultra-modern business hub which includes the 632 metre,128 story Shanghai Tower. The tower boasts the world’s fastest elevator and some breath-taking views over a cityscape that looks more like a model from that height.
Pudong also boasts some of the world’s best hotels – the Four Seasons, Ritz – Carlton and Shangri-La to name a few – and drinks on one of their roof-top bars is a must-do! The “Top of the Ritz” is an unforgettable experience, with a wonderful view of the iconic Pearl Tower.
Back to the Bund, you’ll find all kinds of drinking and dining experiences hiding amongst the back streets and at the top of unassuming elevators found through small doorways. Do your research and you’ll be guaranteed a treat!
While the public transport system is excellent, you’ll get the best experience of this bustling city – a city that never sleeps – on foot.
For a spot of time-out, how about the five-acre Yu Gardens with picturesque bridges zigzagging over abundantly filled koi ponds. Beautiful wooden buildings delight the eyes, while Pudong looms in the background to remind you that you are, indeed, still in the city.
For the adventurous palette, if you have nerves of steel and an iron stomach, you could try the “Wet Market” with such culinary delights as “Salt and Pepper Snake”, or fried frogs. There is an authenticity which will appeal to people seeking out a real taste of the city, even if you choose not to eat in the market.
Outside the city, a more serene pace of life is easily accessible. There are numerous small villages with tea plantations where Westerners are very uncommon (expect the locals to want photos with you!) and the way of life is extremely simple. It’s a huge contrast to the busy, modern life of Shanghai, and a very humbling, and hospitable experience.
There’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy a short trip to Shanghai, especially if you’re good at sleeping on flights! There’s plenty of relaxation opportunities, plenty of spectacle, and plenty of opportunity for business to be done. So do not rule out the Far East from your wish list for your next event.