The last leg of our trip was Shanghai for NYE 2015. #gottacelebrateinstyle #wanderlust #travelers We had an early flight from Xi'an and arrived in Shanghai around 10/11am. We took the subway to our hotel, the Marriott located near The Bund (neighborhood), and it only took an hour and a half ;) For those who know my dad, the original Whittey world traveler, he has stayed in this hotel a few times - so kind of fun following my dad's footsteps :) #likefatherlikedaughter #lovethatdude
We had an amazing view from our room (check out the pic below). But after we checked in, we were HUNGRY. And I get #hangry when I'm hungry and tired - so Nate knew we had to find food immediately. We didn't find much around the hotel that had English menus and we were craving some dumplings or soup. Randomly, we walked by this tiny hole in the wall spot and people were eating delicious looking soup at tables on the street. The menu had absolutely no English, but we pointed to some soup that one of the people had and held up two fingers. #workedlikeacharm #weshouldorderthiswayeverytime (this seems to be my dad's strategy when he travels as well - works well!)
We found a tiny table in the restaurant where we got to watch them hand make the noodles while we waited for our food. It did not disappoint and this was one of our top meals in China #neverknowwhereyoullfindem
Now that I was no longer #hangry, we were able to explore the neighborhood around our hotel a bit.
So since it was NYE - we had to figure out our plans! Unfortunately, the shut the metro down around 8pm on NYE and it's super hard to find a taxi #justlikeinAmerica! Luckily, our hotel was having a NYE celebration at the lounge on top of the hotel #17thfloor Even though we missed friends and family, we had fun celebrating half way across the world. #NYE2015! #Bringon2016 And since it was at our hotel, we had an easy commute back to the room :)
The next morning, after face-timing with our buddies (Ryan, Steff, Mel, Jaime, and big D) for their NYE countdown back home, we were in desperate need for some healthy food to nurse our NYE hangovers. I had read about an organic, healthy food place in one of the malls in the Pudong neighborhood. The Shanghai Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center is also located here, so we got to do some site seeing as well
So the plan was for us to go up the in the Shanghai Tower and take a boat cruise on the Huangpu River. Unfortunately, apparently New Years is a huge holiday in China, and a lot of people vacation during this time, meaning Shanghai was PACKED. Only a 4 hour wait to go up in the Tower and the boat cruise was booked for the next week.... #poorplanning Usually I'm a good planner but I did not anticipate the crowds :(
So we headed over the Science & Technology Museum metro stop where the AP Xinyang Fashion & Gifts Market is located. It is Shanghai's largest collection of shopping stalls. My dad has been talking about this place for years and I can remember him coming home with 'Ralph Lauren' polos and 'Rolex' watches. #thanksdad His advice: never pay more than 10-20% more of the starting bid/price. Needless to say, I was excited to see this place and practice my bargaining skills :) Nate and I cleaned up! He did make me play the bad cop though during negotiations.... oh well - I stayed strong and got us some great deals!
A good friend from my sorority at Berkeley lived in Shanghai for a couple years with her now husband. She gave us a bunch of recommendations to try, one of them being Boxing Cat Brewery - the top rated brewery in China (located in the French Concession district). Well, we had already hit up the number 2 spot in Beijing, so of course we had to go to the top spot. We took a cab from our hotel over. Fun lesson, the Chinese taxi drivers like to honk. A LOT. I think our driver honked 90% of our drive, even when other people weren't around us...
Next, we walked over to Yongkang Road Bar street. It's a small strip of yongkang road that has a bunch of small, little bars on it - apparently it popped up and became hip overnight in 2013.
I made the mistake of saying I was tired and we should make it an early night.... #famouslastwords #neverworksoutthatwayonceisayit We ended up meeting some Marines who were stationed at the Chinese Embassy (two dudes and a girl). The two guys were dressed up quite classy - and for those of you who watch Netflix Peaky Blinders, you would have recognized them instantly #peakyblinders #watchitnow #oldenglishcharm Basically, dressed up as old school, English around the 1920s. After drinking with them for a while, we met some other fun Americans who were vacationing from Seoul. We had quite the crew and didn't want to end the night when the bars shut down around 2. So our American Embassy Marine buddies called their driver (yes, their driver) - who drove us all to another spot they knew of where we played pool, darts, and took tequila shots til about 4:30 in the morning..... not an early night (unless you count early morning..?) Totally worth it and we had a blast! #memorieslastalifetime #woulddoitagain
We took it easy the next day after our wild night #cantpartylikewere21anymore... We tried to see an acrobat show - but alas, it was also sold out. :(
We didn't get to do as much as we wanted to do in Shanghai due to the crowds, but we still had fun, and it was great getting to connect with my dad over a city he loves from across the world, and make new travel memories with my amazing hubby.
Our last morning in Shanghai, we walked along The Bund and grabbed one more dumpling lunch before our flight back to Okinawa.
Things we learned in China:
We plan on coming back to China to visit Zhangjiajie (floating mountains that inspired Avatar) and put our Chinese Visas to good use. Thanks China!
Until next time folks!
Follow in our Footsteps:
Renaissance by Marriott Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel
159 Henan S Rd., Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China 200010
+86 21 2321 8888
Shanghai Old Street
Baodai Long, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200010
501 Yincheng Middle Rd, LuJiaZui, Lujiazui Residential District,
Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200120
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
1 Century Ave, LuJiaZui, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200120
8am-10pm, revolving restaurant 11am-2pm & 5-9pm
(in Super Brand Mall)
B2-06-07 168 Lu Jia Zui Xi Lu, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China
Hours: 10am - 10pm
AP Xinyang Fashion & Gifts Market
Metro stop Science & Technology Museum
Hours: 10am - 10pm
Boxing Cat Brewery
82 Fu Xing Road West (near Yong Fu Road)
+86 21 6431 2091
Hours: Monday – Thursday 5pm – 2am, Friday 3pm – 2am, Saturday – Sunday 10am – 2am
Yongkang Bar Street
located on Yongkang Rd between South Xiangyang Rd and Jiashan Rd.
The Bund (neighborhood)
Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200002
Other things to do that we didn't have time for (too crowded with New Years crowds)
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!