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Disappointment alleviated?

Yes. Thanks to fallen angels et al.

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although i really like shanghai, i would have to agree that if you're looking for a cultural experience, SH would not be the best place to go for that. if you've never travelled around China, SH will give you an illusioned perspective of life in china. the city has kinda been bastardized by all it's outside influences, and the result is a melting pot of expats and money grabbers, its already crazy diverse and very commercial/corporate, leading many people to find the city unauthentic and "plastic". but this is all rooted from shanghai's interesting and unique history as china's most exploited port city (or, the "Whore of the Orient"), which is why SH is so different from the rest of China.

but if you have time, definately travel to other cities as others have mentioned, as visiting any other place would probably give you a more cultural experience in a Chinese sense. i still think there is a lot to see in shanghai and it's still worth checking out for what it is. its interesting to see such fast-paced modernity in china. but you will want to visit other chinese cities to put it all in perspective.

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oh yeah. don't get your hair cut at any of the salons with pink lights.

unless you don't really need to get your hair cut.

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during the early summer

are you out there for work or pleasure?

thanks for all the advice

i'm there for play. will hopefully make it to hongkong for a detour before reaching home again.

oh ya, in shanghai, when it rains, all the hot prostitutes (aka underdressed 'medical students') go home. so bad weather=hot sluts on buses. from my experience.

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will be in Shanghai around mid Nov or later Nov. Planning to Tibet after it..

Good luck, Tibetean winters are shittastic. My mother (a former PLA officer) still has friends stationed out there.

Check out Bar Rouge in SH, it's on the Bund and has a great view and an interesting, eclectic crowd. I wrote some really bad poems to impress a drunk Chinese girl before realizing that she wasn't all that pretty and moved onto hitting on this French chick who ended up getting a ball of hash with me somewhere in the suburbs, but that's a whole other story. If you want to have fun you'll get it, but yeah, the most Chinese thing in the city would be the MSG ad in the subway, otherwise it's whitewashed to hell and bathed in a dreary smoggy dayglow grey all the time.

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I'd pick Shanghai over Beijing anyday. But Hong Kong would be the ultimate. For shopping that is.

For clubbing experiences, I guess its pretty much the same at the end of the day aint it? You hope to bring some girl home or hotel rooml, do what ever you need to do, get it done and pronto. Whether you are in Shanghai, Tokyo, New York, shits the same.

I'd reccommend visiting Dalien, not sure if thats how you write it. But the scenary is spectacular, and theres just something bout that city that catches my attention more than the other cities in China.

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I'm curious lacquered why you pick Shanghai over Beijing.. just for shopping or other reasons?

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oh yeah. don't get your hair cut at any of the salons with pink lights.

unless you don't really need to get your hair cut.

just get into those pink lights....u might come out with HIV...

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Bars/clubs

Clubs in Shanghai typically play boring hip hop, if you're into that you'll enjoy yourself at places like guandii, it's a bit harder to find places with good electronic music

People 7 on 巨鹿路 (julu rd.) close to 茂名路 (maoming rd.). One of the most amazing bar i've ever been to, the bar itself is hidden so you might have some trouble finding it and when you eventually find the entrance you have to press the right lanterns to get in, truly esoteric: http://www.designity.net/foto/china/cool-restaurants/shintori-pub-enter.jpg, make sure you order the "people firefly".

Bar rouge - One of shanghai's best views from the top of one of the buildings on bund, good dj's and great parties.

DKD (decadence cures depression) - Good if you're into tech-house.

Bon Bon - Usually has an open bar for 80-150 yuan, which means you can get totally trashed for a fairly cheap price. Check out their webpage and see if they've booked anything you like listening to.

Skybars

There's one in radisson hotel (the UFO-building) and one in the Jinmao tower.

Shopping

Check out plaza 66 if you got the cash, they have all the expensive designer brands. Stay away from Nanjing road if you're not into buying the same stuff you can get at home at for about the same.

The really interresting shopping is in the french concession where you can find lot's of brands you've probably never heard (most of them from hong kong or japan) in smaller shops. If you just walk around here for one day you'll find everything from good copies of brands like dior and prada to really crazy chinese fashion. Check out 茂名路 (maoming road), it has lot's of small shops with great clothes. Oh, and check out 5 cm, my favourite hong kong brand.

Food

Real Chinese food is not something that few foreigners like when they first taste it, but there's a few provinces where people eat food that's really really tasty.

新疆 (xinjiang) - Food from the western province is spicy and tasty, lot's of oil and especially lot's of niurou (lamb meat). The guys selling the kebab-sticks all over town are all from Xinjiang and are uigur. Can't remember any restaurant but just try out any place that has their signs written in arabic.

湖南 (hunan) - Fantastic spicy food, a little less spicy then sichuan food and a little more tasty. There's a great restaurant on 陕西路 (shanxi road), close to 茂名路 (maoming road).

云南 (yunnan)- food from the southern province where most of the minorities in china live, so fucking good.

Japanese - you can get some great japanese food in Shanghai, it's usually all you can eat/drink for 100-150 yuan. My favorite place is Shintori, the food is great and the interior is amazing: http://www.designity.net/foto/china/cool-restaurants/shintori-restaurant.jpg there's lots of other japanese restaurants in the french concession.

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I'm curious lacquered why you pick Shanghai over Beijing.. just for shopping or other reasons?

Well, for a number of reasons actually. Same reason why people'd pick NY rather than DC. Even though both DC and Beijing are the capital of both respective countries, but those cities are more for political reasons than 'street' lifestyle. My 2c.

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Interesting reads. I spoke to my cousin yesterday and he absolutely preferred Shanghai over Beijing as well, so I guess opinions vary. Would it be safe to conclude that Beijing is more authentic while Shanghai is more of a metropole? I'm very suprised to hear that Beijing clubs are better to be honest.

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I think everyones 'clubbing' terms are different, are you there for the music, or just to get wasted and hopefully bring some girl back to your hotel room?

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I think to put it simply, Beijing has ancient historical builidings such as the forbidden palace, etc and clubbing wise, they've got some really hard core underground scenes, at one club, I saw some people snorting lines and rolling joints on the table openly and people there wasnt even the least surprised.

While Shanghai has got bunch of artistic buildings and one of the famous ones are the legendary peace hotel, which dates back when China was still at its peak economically before they turned to communism. I guess its differs to an individual's taste at the end of the day. They both have historical sites, just that in my case, id pick the peace hotel over the forbidden city, since I can 'relate' more to it.

Clubbing wise, in Shanghai, babyface and guangdi. But if you are just looking to get some easy 'local' delicacies, Id suggest going to the karaoke clubs (which are available in most cities in China). Ladies are much more 'friendlier' there, for a price of course.

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catcatcatcatcat gave some really good info ^

i really don't see how you like shanghai better when you go to babyface and guandii. babyface is a chinese style club where there's more tables/booths than room to dance - guandii is a bit more balanced but their dj's suck anyway. chinese people just want to plunk down a huge amount of cash and buy bottles of chivas and green tea so they can show how rich they are. and if you really want to go to babyface, beijing has one too.

beijing has better people, better food, more and better things to do than shanghai. it's just a lot harder to get around. of course it's a matter of opinion...

as catcatcatcatcat there's a japanese restaurant next door to people 7 - shintori null II - good if you're tired of going to the all you can eat joints and want something a little classier ("neo-japanese" e.g. green tea tiramisu). it has an open kitchen in the center of the dining room, dimly lit, with goth ninja waiters. it's a bit hard to find also- as it's just a path lined with bamboo trees with no signs. there's an all you can eat joint across the street if you want that.

there's also all you can eat japanese barbeque places that are pretty decent too - can't remember the names though....

sichuan province is known in china for their hot women. the south is definitely not.

speaking of sichuan, there's a bunch of decent hot pot restaurants (not the kind of hot pot you get here in the states) in shanghai. there's a supposedly famous (expensive) one on julu lu also... otherwise just find a place that's open after done clubbing and are really hungry. bring lots of friends and man up and get the ma-la spicy style (or just get a "ying-yang" bowl with half spicy, half normal).

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also. shanghai has mos burger for some unknown reason. i think it's the only city in china that has it. so get yourself a rice burger. mmm.

38276279db88214124nq4.th.jpg

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shanghai superguide, anyone?

they had prototype maps before... i don't know what happened to them. all they have now is this image up.

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that's because now we have this baby. i saw the most recent iteration and it is nice looking, way cleaner than the nyc one [which gets a little convoluted]

shanghai superguide

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oh and if anyone is in china within the next few months, keep an eye out for

RACK magazine, china's first dual english/chinese street style magazine.

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how updated is that superguide? shanghai has been changing crazy fast.

says here:

superfuture have been producing these reports for private clients since 1999, and we have decided to now make them available online and updated monthly. don’t leave home without one, or if you live in shanghai, make sure to get your visiting friends to buy one before they arrive!

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I think everyones 'clubbing' terms are different, are you there for the music, or just to get wasted and hopefully bring some girl back to your hotel room?

Good point. To me clubbing should be something like this, but I imagine some people prefer to sit around in bespoke suits and drink dry martinis (exaggerated image ofcourse). To each his own indeed. To me it's interesting to read how Beijing and Shanghai compare in this sense. I find that the clubbing/party scenes say a lot about any (major) city.

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shanghai, greyscale (that's the colour of the air, buildings) financial empire of china, city of materialism in its fullest extent. here money talks and the shanghainese listen well. they count very well too. sometimes too well. its a city that wants people to think its modern and contemporary and the facade might be. anti gravity trains at the huge airport, tall skyscrapers in the city center... but the closer you look, the more creaks start to appear. but it remains an intriguing, vibrant place which is becoming more and more westernised. shanghai is where rich chinese go to do their business and be seen.

when i was working in shanghai for a year, i worked for the company that opened Bon Bon. the place was designed by Patricia Urquiola. cat's info for clubbing is pretty spot on though. i think beijing has some good clubs as well. clubbing in shanghai was strange for me. regardless of where you go, there will be quite a few old, rich dudes dancing next to you, staring at the same chicks as you. surreal.

for shopping, shanghai does ok for higher end stuff, a DH store and I.T from Hongkong has two branches and they stock some good stuff. ones in plaza 66, the other's in XinTianDi. there is next to nothing for streetwear save some crappy fakes. there's also quite a few uniqlos. some people like to hit the tailors in the city but i think they suck quite bad.

food-wise, its pretty greasy. a lot of expats like to go to these all you can eat japanese teppanyaki buffets where you pay a flat sum 150RMB (maybe 15us?) iirc and get all the booze/food you want. quality's ok but nobody cares. there's also good higher end restaurants, some niche japanese restaurants and western fare. shanghainese food isn't all that great to me. xiao long bao are a good bet. also try some hotpot or maybe ma la tang.

i totally second the comment that if you go to shanghai, you should hop over to hangzhou as well, known for centuries as one of the most beautiful places in china. i think there's a saying that goes like live in hangzhou, get dressed in shanghai etcetc. the food is spectacular, scenery's great and the people are genuine.

if you're white and have some cash with you, you should do well in shanghai. it's a place to go where no one knows you and you can basically do pretty much what you want, if you've got the money (you don't need a king's ransom either).

go to the bund for a (touristy) sense of old world, gangster era shanghai. check out the skyscrapers in all their urbanity. try some cheap streetfood like roasted chestnuts. walk around the old city, take photos of the granny panties hanging on electrical lines. try the subway at peak hours. get dirty water dripping onto your head, have people shove you onto trains, cut your queues, spit everywhere, stuff flyers into your bags, hound you to buy fake goods... that's the authentic chinese experience.

i apologise that i can't remember any names of cool places though, they all seem to escape at this point in time. i must be having some sort of shanghai specific memory loss.

check out Shanghaiist

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For clubbing I would highly recommend Attica, on the Bund, instead of Bar Rouge. The view is the same, but the place and crowd is much better. If you wanna see prostitutes and old western businessmen that haven`t been to a club in their life go to Bar Rouge then (you will also find westerners thinking they are in Ibiza or French Riviera crahing their champagne on the crowd).

Attica is a cool crowd, mostly foreign, maybe 60%, the music is cool and around 25-30years old average. Main dance fllor is House/eletcro and the small one is hiphop.

I would also recommend Mao, a bar/club, not too big (perfect size), with cool London house/electro sound. 100meters from there you will find Dragon Club, a tiny after parties place, opening at 3am until 8am. Owned by 2 Japanese, with Japanese DJs, the sound is just great, my favourite here (deep house). However the crowd is made of drunk guys who were not able to bring girls home, so....I would just go there for the music and the tiny atmosfere. I like it.

Bonbon is just shit, if you are 16 and you`re broke the go ! All you can drink (if you manage to reach the bar) for 100rmb....only drunk teenagers there, mostly foreigners.

For shopping go to Qipu Lu market and you can find some real stuff (you need to look for them hard but still), coming directly from factories. I am myself working in the garment industry here and I can tell you that factories do produce extra quantities of every brands, so they sell them on markets, so these are not copies. You will pay a bit more that for copies though.

For dinner....I would highly NOT recommend the Japanese restaurants as one of you said....the Teppanyaki, where all foreigners gather, because everything is all you can eat and drink for 20bucks....but never will you find a single Japanese there....I let you figure why. You have extremely good Japanese yakitori or tonkatsu places, but they are small and not well known. Otherwise many good Thai food here.

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watch your back if you go to qipu lu, lot's of uyghur's trying to steal your shit. i don't think it's worth the trek out there if you're only there for a few days. other cities have much better wholesale markets.

haha no one has mentioned windows - they have cheap drinks, but i wouldn't recommend going their unless you want to go to a college bar. they do stay open later thatn most joints so some people show up after hours.

oh yeah, JZ could be nice - it's a jazz club. there's a local male jazz singer that performs there every so often, coco, who's pretty decent. i don't know if it's still around or not.

and no, there is good japanese teppenyaki if you know where to go. 8 of my japanese friends from japan took me there. and there isn't good thai food, though i generally don't eat thai food outside of thailand and my house.

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