Travel Log: Shanghai in January

Hello and happy Friday!  I returned last weekend from another two week work trip to Shanghai, which was busy as usual but I did have a few opportunities to get away from the office and hotel that I want to share with you today.  I've shared photos from my two previous trips to Shanghai here: Traveling the World: Shanghai last June and Traveling the World: Shanghai Part 2 last October.  This time, I will show you a few more new and exciting places and adventures.

First up is Saturday afternoon tea with my colleagues.  Afternoon tea is very popular in Shanghai, and you can choose an English style tea house or Japanese style tea house.  People in Shanghai love to gather with their friends and chat for a couple of hours over tea and a tiered tray of desserts or snacks.  We went to a Japanese style tea house where we were able to get both dessert and sushi on our tiered tray!

After tea, we were still hungry and in need of something more substantial.  The answer was to head to a famous dumpling restaurant called Nanxiang Mantou in Yu Yuan (Yu Garden).  Nanxiang Mantou is known for their soup dumplings (xiao long bao).  There is a window on the ground floor for takeout, but we headed upstairs for table service.  My advice is to go early (we arrived at 4pm, and were seated right away), because this restaurant gets packed at dinner time and the wait can be several hours.  Try the large soup dumplings filled with pork and crab, and drink the soup with a straw.  The smaller dumplings are available with an assortment of soup fillings: pork, crab, shark fin, vegetable, etc.  Try to get a group together so that you can try multiple flavors like we did: see the stack of bamboo steamers below!

After our dumplings, we took a walk around Yu Yuan to see the decorations in progress for Chinese New Year.  The Garden itself was closed in the evening, but you can walk across the little lake or around it to enjoy the lights and decorations.  There are also lots of shops in this area where you can buy all kinds of souvenirs.  It was raining a bit while we were walking around, but otherwise we had a very pleasant evening!

Snow White, the Prince, and the Seven Dwarves...something I was definitely not expecting to see in Shanghai!  =)

Another evening our team went out for hot pot after work.  Hot pot is a great group dinner option, because you can try all kinds of meat, seafood, tofu, and vegetables.  Everyone can pick something they like to eat.  The soup starts out as just water, and becomes more flavorful as you cook your meal.  You also get a variety of sauces to mix together to your desired spice level.  I love hot pot in the winter, but I had never seen this type of pot before and was so intrigued.  The bottom held the charcoal, and there was a vent flap on top to control the flame.  The pot was also painted with a beautiful floral design!

My coworker and I decided to visit the Shanghai World Financial Center a couple of nights before we left Shanghai for drinks with a view.  The Park Hyatt hotel is located within this building on floors 79 to 93, and there are a couple of bars and restaurants on floors 91-93.  We were fortunate to be able to get seats right by the window overlooking the Jin Mao Tower and the Pearl Tower. The Shanghai World Financial Center is the building on the left in the photo below (taken from a pedestrian bridge as we walked toward the tower), also known as the "bottle opener" because of its shape. 

I also took this lovely photo of the Pearl Tower from a pedestrian bridge that connected one of the malls to the Financial Center.  It is such a striking building, and I love the multicolored lights at night.

This is the million-dollar view!  First up is the Jin Mao Tower on the right, with a view down on the river with the Bund all lit up (and so tiny!) below.

Shifting the view slightly to the right, you still have the Bund down below, the Jin Mao Tower and the Pearl Tower in the center.

Another closeup of the Bund, with one of the dinner cruise ships passing through on the river!  I want to try to take a boozy dinner cruise on my next trip next month, and am hoping we can get away from the office early enough one day to do it!

What a gorgeous evening this was, with the clear air and an AQI (air quality index) around 70.  It was such a treat to be able to take the super-fast elevator up 91 floors to this amazing view, and I am so glad that I can share these photos of my travels.  If you are thinking of visiting Shanghai, please don't hesitate to drop me a note to ask any questions.  Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


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