About a month ago, my colleagues and I were treated to a short vacation in Shanghai, courtesy of our company. Yay! As much as I would love to share with you about the quirky and off-the-beaten-track places to visit in Shanghai, I was, however, on a power-packed itinerary to all the usual touristy attractions. Here’s my guide to the top 8 things (can’t seem to find more stuff to do to round it up to Top 10) that you must do as a typical tourist in Shanghai! Enjoy! 🙂
1. Take a day trip to visit 1 of the most beautiful cities in China – Hangzhou
Know for its breath-taking natural scenery, Hangzhou is ranked as 1 of the most beautiful and scenic places in China. Take a boat ride at the West Lake (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to enjoy an unobstructed view of the lake and its islands.
Directed by highly-acclaimed director Zhang Yimou (who also directed the opening act of the Olympics 2008), the dazzling Impression West Lake show will keep you spellbound with its spectacular lighting and special effects. Be ready to get highly entertained by this enthralling performance!
3. A vacation in China is never complete without multiple visits to the temples
With a rich history dating back to thousands of years ago, it is not surprising to note that China is a treasure trove of temples. Personally, I have been to China thrice and not once did I not visit a temple during my holidays. This time round, we visited the 1) Lingyin Temple, which is 1 of the largest Buddhist temple in the country and 2) Yue Fei Temple that is built in honour of the Chinese hero.
4. Spend a day at Zhouzhuang – The #1 Water Town of China
Once a best-kept secret of China, Zhouzhuang started opening up to tourism when a businessman from USA called Armand Hammer presented a painting of the water town, “Memory of Hometown” to the then Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping. Since then, the ancient water town of Zhouzhuang – often described as the “Venice of the Orient” – has lose its authenticity and become quite the tourist trap. Nonetheless, city dwellers like us were immediately enchanted by the picturesque views of ancient houses & bridges set against the backdrop of stunning waterways and willow trees. Definitely the highlight of the trip!
5. Taste the local delights – Dumpling & Smelly Beancurd
Just like how durians might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the infamous smelly beancurd is a dish that most would do anything to avoid! :p True indeed, the smell of the smelly beancurd was so repulsive that we could sniff it from 10m away but my taste for adventure was stronger. My verdict? It tastes ALOT better than it smells and honestly, I like it. 🙂
Take a river boat ride. Get a panoramic view of the skyline at the observation deck. Dine at the bund. Basically, do anything that you can to enjoy the stunning night views of this vibrant city! Speaking of nightlife, remember to live it up and party hard in Shanghai! Our ladies’ night in MUSE 2 was wild … In fact, that night in Shanghai made my clubbing days back home seemed so mild!
If you know me well, you should know that I’m an avid fan of roller coasters and most of the thrilling rides that you can find in an amusement park but somehow, the idea of walking on a glass floor at close to 300 feet in the air was rather terrifying! My heart was pumping furiously as I tried to keep my eyes away from the floor when I made my way round the observation deck. But yes, I did it … with encouragement from the girls!
8. Have fun & take a gazillion pictures!
It’s a vacation … Have fun! 🙂