THE IN­SID­ERS I SHANG­HAI

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - DAVID ZHOU

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Fair­mont Peace Ho­tel Opened in 1929 and re­cently re­fur­bished, the fab­u­lous art deco Peace Ho­tel is on Nan­jing Road, the city’s main shop­ping street, ad­ja­cent to The Bund. It has a fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory — Shang­hai’s ver­sion of Mel­bourne’s Ho­tel Wind­sor; peace­ho­tel.com.cn.

Chenghuang Miao (City God Tem­ple) The tem­ple is sur­rounded by tea­houses and shops full of char­ac­ter that sell crafts and fine jew­ellery. Buy tra­di­tional sou­venirs and ar­ti­facts at the hand­i­craft shops in Shang­hai Yu Gar­den — hair­brushes made with a va­ri­ety of bris­tles and han­dles in bone, wood or jade; gold or sil­ver chop­sticks; or bam­boo flutes. It’s also a mar­vel­lous area for jade jew­ellery; chenghuang­miao.com.cn.

Xiao Shao Xing Es­tab­lished in 1943, this place is fa­mous for its boiled chicken (or white cut chicken), served with fresh gin­ger and light soy sauce. In­stead of the restau­rant up­stairs, eat at the ground-floor stalls — it’s far cheaper and you’ll get a con­gee to share; 118 South Yun­nan Road, Huangpu Dis­trict.

Hu Xing Ting Even Queen El­iz­a­beth II has en­joyed a cuppa at this lake­side tea­house, a wooden struc­ture built in 1784 with­out a sin­gle iron nail. Wa­ter for the tea is min­er­alised and pu­ri­fied; the leaves — oo­long, longjing, iron bud­dha, green tea and white tea — are hand­picked in the moun­tains. It is a great place to gain a good un­der­stand­ing of Chi­nese tea cul­ture; Yu Yuan Bazaar, Old City.

Huangpu Jiang The Huangpu is the river that di­vides Shang­hai, and its banks are a favourite spot for lovers to meet, for book­worms to sit and read, or to prom­e­nade af­ter a good lunch. Go early in the morn­ing to watch the tai chi en­thu­si­asts in ac­tion.

Zhouzhuang About 40 min­utes by car from the city cen­tre, Zhouzhuang is one of Shang­hai’s pret­ti­est precincts and in­spi­ra­tion for the menu at my Ori­en­tal Tea­house restau­rants in Mel­bourne. Founded in the ninth cen­tury, the town sur­vived the Cul­tural Rev­o­lu­tion. Built around canals, with many beau­ti­ful bridges, it is a place of pro­found cul­tural im­por­tance, with smart restau­rants and ac­com­mo­da­tion; zhouzhuang.com.

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