How to Spend 8 Hours in Shanghai

Explore China’s largest city through its colonial-era architecture, local cuisine, and fashion sensibilities.

Photo: DestinAsian

10am-12pm: Learn About Chinese Opera at YOUXI 1961

When in Shanghai, why not take the opportunity to learn more about Chinese opera and its roots in a modernized setting? Start your day at YOUXI 1961, a cultural and creative lifestyle brand cum café, which serves delicious homemade bakes including molten matcha (Japanese green tea) tarts and chocolate cakes. While tucking into tea and cakes, learn more about kunqu—one of the oldest extant forms of Chinese opera and the intricacies of each role through onstage performances and lectures.

Photo: DestinAsian

12pm-2pm: Lunch at Yong Foo Elite

Step into another world as you enter Yong Foo Elite, a grand French Concession villa once home to the Russian, Vietnamese, and British consulates. Today, it is a two-Michelin-star restaurant worth a visit for authentic Shanghainese dishes such as the smoked codfish with Qi Men black tea and braised pork in brown sauce. After which, take some time to explore the sprawling garden where a wishing well of sorts awaits seekers of good luck.

More information here.

Photo: DestinAsian

2pm-4pm: Have a Bespoke Qi Pao Made at Shanghai Tang

Before it captivated fashionistas as a luxury fashion house specializing in chic and modern Chinese-inspired designs, Shanghai Tang was a bespoke tailoring service founded in 1994 by Sir David Tang. If you’ve been eyeing a qipao of your own, head to the stunning Shanghai Tang flagship store where you can enjoy made-to-measure qipaos via its “imperial tailoring” service.

More information here.

Photo: Wikipedia

4pm-6pm: Stroll Ya Yuan Garden

Before heading to the Bund to admire its glittering skyline, make a pitstop at Ya Yuan Garden, the only surviving Ming Dynasty garden in Shanghai. Photo-worthy spots are plenty, from decorated bridges to colorful pagodas and even intimate enclaves separated by partitions with dragon motifs or “dragon walls.” The revered garden also contains some of Song Emperor Huizong’s private collection, including the magic Exquisite Jade Rock.

More information here.


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