If you like to have your furniture custom-made, Shanghai is the perfect place.
The city had over 100 furniture factories in the 1930s, turning out art deco and post-Bauhaus modern designs in different type of woods and sizes. Shanghai's Concession-era legacy is rich in diversity, and it continues to thrive. Shanghai still has many manufacturers producing famous reproductions of Chinese and Western designs or their own contemporary Shanghainese designs. Bring your ideas to Shanghai: there are cheaper ways to make them come true.
Shanghai is one of the most important regions for silk production and export. You’ll be blown away by the endless variety of silk fabrics that are available in the market. Silk of various grades in satin, damask, organza, brocade, crape, velvet are all available for clothing or home decoration. Silk is one of the must-buys while in China, and in Shanghai you’ll find most variety. Why not have your duvet cover custom-made in luxurious silk?
But always bargain when buying silk. Shopkeepers will never give a 'Chinese' price if you have a 'foreign' face. Let your Personal Agent bargain for you that you can get the Chinese price and still keep the foreign face.
If you do not have the ideas to make your own furniture, bring your designer suits or shoes to Shanghai. There are many skilled professionals who can make the doppleganger of your favorit suits that you've splurged on back home. It usually takes a few weeks for shoes and a bit shorter time for suits. Please arrange shipping with your Personal Agent, in case your stay is not long enough.
It's hard to talk about Chinese culture and customs without mentioning tea, or drinking it.
There are many specialty tea shops all over Shanghai, as well as tea houses with styles as diverse as their tea. If it's an exclusive teahouse, a reservation is a must. Please ask your Private Agents to book your tea ceremony with a teamaster. Most tea houses sell their own tea and tea set that you can enjoy your own tea ceremony back home.
It's a safe bet to consider that Shanghai enjoys the most colorful night life in China. But if you've ever been out partying here, you'll be convinced that it's one of the most colorful one in the world!
The nightlife of Shanghai has a few orbits-Xin Tian Di, Fu Xin Park, Hen Shan Road, to name a few.
Xin Tian Di has its unique European appeal with abundance of traditional Shanghai architecture called Shi Ku Men, but inside you'll find ultra modern and extravagant renovations. This is a fashionable place to see or to be seen. Fu Xin Park has rows and rows of clubs, karaoke and bars, among them Park 97 that's been ranked as the best bar in China, with the price tag that matches ist fame. Although Hen Shan Road is losing its glitzy clientele to more trendy Xin Tian Di, this area still has more authentic Shanghai flavor.
The past seems to fast disappear in Shanghai, but take a stroll along the antique markets near Yu Garden, Jinling East Road or Dongtai to find bits of the glorious past. Although you might suspect many of them are to be fake, you might stumble onto some real finds in the most unassuming little shop with an old man, sitting behind his colonial era cash register that still works.
There are a few antique dealers who are sourcing, restoring, and selling antique cabinets, dining tables, chairs, beds, and chests—some of them with the seriousness of a scholar. There are many more shops that sell reproduction furniture or old opium pipes, vintage photos, rare books, and early-20th-century clothes.
As with any market in China, the first price is never final. Let your Personal Agent help you bargain. Locals always get better deals.
Chinese cuisine is more individualized and impulsive than Western cuisine. It’s common that cooks adjust the seasoning and ingredients, according to the preferences of their clients.
Shanghai cuisine, also known as Hu cai, is epitomized by the use of alcohol. Fish, eel, crab, and chicken are "drunken" with spirits and are briskly cooked/steamed. Salted meats and preserved vegetables are also commonly used to adjunctify the dish. The common use of sugar with soy sauce is also a notable Shanghainese style.
You must try the lion's head , which is a large pork meatball stewed with vegetables, and the sticky rice cake, nian gao, as well as a regional variant of chow mein that is made with Shanghai-style thick noodle. Lime-and-ginger-flavoured thousand-year eggs and stinky tofu are other popular Shanghainese food items, although many foreigners might find them strange to eat.
The stylish and body-hugging cheongsam or qipao of today was created in the 1920s in Shanghai and became fashionable thanks to the glamerous socialites and upper-class women who wore them.
The 1949 Communist Revolution ended the cheongsam trend in Shanghai, but the Shanghainese emigrants and refugees brought the fashion to Hong Kong where it has remained popular.
Recently there has been a revival of the Shanghainese cheongsam in Shanghai and other parts of China, also in the West. The Chinese actress Maggie Cheung also contributed to make Cheongsam fashionable in the West by showcasing it in Wong Kar-wai’s film, In the Mood for Love.
To have a perfect fitting cheongsam, we recommend to have them custom-made with the fabric of your choice.
Shanghai snacks can be traced back to as early as the Southern Song Dynasty. The snacks became more exquisite in taste when Shanghai began to grow into an important commercial city during the early Ming Dynasty. Shanghai’s status continued to grow and was listed as a trading port by the Qing Dynasty. During this time, various regional snacks were assimilated, refined, and developed, resulting in the unique Shanghai style. There are a wide variety of Shanghainese snacks; however four stand out as must-haves for locals: baked sesame pancake, deep-fried dough sticks, soybean milk, and sticky rice dumpling. These four, along with dozens of pastries, buns, stuffed dumplings, rice and cakes, make up the plethora of snack foods available to try. Different from the sweet-tasting style of Canton/Hong Kong, or the spicy flavors of Sichuan/Chongqing; Shanghai snacks are famed for being light, fresh and tasty, making them a connoisseur’s favorite.
Chinese massage can involve a number of different techniques. The closest thing to a Western-style massage is called Tui Na. In a Tui Na massage, the soft parts of the hands are used to massage chi meridians and pressure points. There are a number of schools of Tui Na that specialize in joint injuries or simple chi manipulation. Practitioners of a particular school may specialize in a particular area, but are often competent in several areas.
Chinese spa treatments can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Individual treatments are faster and less expensive than a full day treatment, but full day treatments often address several health or relaxation issues. Chinese spa treatments are closely tied to traditional Chinese medicine, and focus on strengthening and manipulating the chi, or life force.
Many Chinese spas require an initial consultation with a Chinese doctor to ensure that the spa treatment meets individual needs. By diagnosing the condition of your chi, the entire spa treatment can be tailored to help with specific problems and conditions.
There are approximately 50,000 Chinese characters, known as Hanzi in Mandarin. Most of these symbols are composed of two or more characters, and each of these symbols or combination of symbols have their own individual meaning. However, sometimes the same characters can have different meanings, depending on the context and the pronunciation. Because of these factors, learning Chinese symbols can seem like a daunting task, but with a little practice and patience, anyone can learn how to read and write Chinese characters.