4 HOURS IN... SHANG­HAI

Be­yond the Bund, this quin­tes­sen­tial Chi­nese megac­ity of­fers plenty of just about ev­ery­thing

Business Traveler (USA) - - CONTENTS - CRAIG BRIGHT

Be­yond the Bund, this Chi­nese megac­ity of­fers plenty of ev­ery­thing

1 Nan­jing Road

China’s most fa­mous out­door shop­ping mall is a three-mile, three­lane wide pedes­trian stretch of re­tail heaven with hun­dreds of out­lets to pe­ruse. Start near the iconic Fair­mont Peace Ho­tel that sits on the Bund (OK, we said “be­yond the Bund,” but re­ally it would be mad­ness to visit Shang­hai with­out drink­ing in the sights at least once!), and from there work your way west to the junc­tion of Jing'an Tem­ple and West Yan'an Street where it ends. There, you’ll find fash­ion­able lo­cal bou­tiques, high-end brands from Tif­fany to Mont Blanc, as well as plenty of cafés, res­tau­rants and bars. The sec­tion from the Bund to Peo­ple’s Park, how­ever, can get ex­tremely over­crowded – some­times it feels like the whole city is on one street.

2 Peo­ple's Park

Af­ter giv­ing your wal­let a work­out, leave Nan­jing Road and en­ter Peo­ple’s Park, two blocks south of where the Pedes­trian Street be­gins. This green oa­sis is a fa­vorite with lo­cals and a great place to ob­serve charm­ing scenes of ev­ery­day life, from lo­cal card tour­na­ments to prac­tic­ing t’ai chi. Hid­den in the woods you’ll see the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art Shang­hai, which hosts ro­tat­ing mod­ern art and de­sign ex­hi­bi­tions through­out the year. Founded in 2005, the mu­seum’s char­ter is to “gather to­gether ex­cel­lent art­work from around the world.” In ad­di­tion the mu­seum also ex­plores the art of good food at its MoCA Restau­rant on the third floor. En­try to the mu­seum costs RMB80 ($12); open 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM daily; mo­cashang­hai.org If you didn’t man­age to get your fill of shop­ping on Nan­jing Road, then the slightly more up­scale of­fer­ings in the trendy Xin­tiandi dis­trict in the cen­ter of Shang­hai are a safe bet. Be­gin­ning just south of Peo­ple’s Square, head down Madang Road past The Lang­ham and An­daz ho­tels to ex­plore this up­scale en­ter­tain­ment and res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hood. The mid-19th cen­tury build­ings have been trans­formed into an eclec­tic mix of old and new. Here, you’ll dis­cover depart­ment stores, bou­tique shops, art gal­leries, up­scale clubs and a num­ber of col­or­ful res­tau­rants with in­door and out­door seat­ing that dot the auto-free zone. The nar­row in­ter­sect­ing al­ley­ways that frame the old brick­work build­ings can be a joy to ex­plore on foot.

4 Tianz­i­fang

From Xin­tiandi, head south­west far­ther into the French Con­ces­sion

– a his­toric area with pic­turesque build­ings and large, leafy av­enues. There’s plenty to ex­plore, but a high­light is Tianz­i­fang, an arts and crafts en­clave that has been re­pur­posed from a tra­di­tional res­i­den­tial and fac­tory area. An ar­chi­tec­tural draw, the area’s unique Shiku­men (‘Stone Door’) build­ings are the prod­uct of French and Western in­flu­ences. The dis­trict’s en­trance is sub­tle, but en­ter and you’ll find a maze of nar­row al­leys, pop­u­lated with small dwellings hous­ing mod­ern cof­fee shops, cafés, gal­leries, bou­tiques, res­tau­rants and bars. Called the SOHO of Shang­hai, many in­flu­en­tial artists in the early 20th Cen­tury resided here. Ad­dress: Lane 210, Taikang Road.

5 Jing'An Tem­ple

Com­pared to her­itage-laden Bei­jing, Shang­hai is lighter on his­tor­i­cal sight­see­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, but Jing’an Tem­ple proves the city is not de­void of of­fer­ings. A 15-minute taxi ride from Tianz­i­fang will re­turn you to West Nan­jing Road where it is lo­cated. Its ori­gins date to the third cen­tury AD dur­ing China’s Three King­doms pe­riod, the Bud­dhist tem­ple has been re­lo­cated, re­freshed and re­built a few times, but re­mains un­mis­tak­able for its red walls, golden roofs and tow­er­ing spire. Com­pris­ing mul­ti­ple build­ings that en­close a cen­tral court­yard, this is a good place to take a break from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the Jing’an busi­ness dis­trict. Open 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM daily, en­trance fee RMB50 ($8).CN Tower.

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