When the noise, grime and mayhem that otherwise characterises Shanghai gets you down, head for this flower market. It's a refreshing change to wander around the aisles of this huge indoor bazaar that still retains a whiff of old-school charm about it, not to mention the scent of a multitude of exotic blooms shipped in from who knows where. And at festival periods, even Christmas, the upper floor is reborn as an all-singing all-dancing plastic tat wholesaler - just what you need for those last-minute decorations...
225 South Shanxi Rd, near Yongjia Rd. Look for the trail of floral debris and turn into the car park. Nearest metro - Shanxi Nan Lu (Line 1)
About as weird as it gets in Shanghai, and that's saying something. It’s basically a ghost train that passes under the Huangpu river and transports you from Puxi to Pudong. The walls of the tunnel blink with psychedelic neon lights and the air fills with strange noises; there’s even a bit that’s meant to be a volcano. It might not be quite worth the cover charge but it’s five minutes of utter silliness in an otherwise business-obsessed city.
Enter across the road from The Bund (Waitan) - nearest station Henan Zhong Lu (Metro Line 2)
If you're in Shanghai for a flying visit and aren't brave enough to tackle the back street restaurants, this joint serves up top quality Chinese food and is foreigner-friendly too. It is a little more expensive, and perhaps not quite as authentic, but we can't all be gastro-purists.
1221 Yan'An Xi Lu, by Pan Yu Lu, +86 21 6213 2441 - Taxi it from Yan'An Xi Lu Metro (Line 3)
Don't expect to see much football, rugby or cricket in this American sports bar. Do expect the best burgers in town. Good value on weekday lunchtimes when you can get soup, a main course and a coke for only 45RMB (about £3)
257 Tongren Lu, walkable from Jing An Temple Metro Station (Metro Line 2) Tel: 021-6247-2400
Home to Shanghai Shenhua football club, on match days Hongkou stadium reverberates to the drumming of the team's most loyal fans, the ‘Blue Devils’. It also hosts concerts from the like of... er... Celine Dion and Sarah Brightman. Next door is a magnificent entertainment complex with snooker, pool, bowling and karaoke (known here as KTV) all under one roof.
Hongkou Stadium Metro Station (Line 3). Fixture lists found in some English language magazines and newspapers
Dedicated to the modernist author Lu Xun, this park is one of Shanghai’s best and boasts a boating lake and a landscaped garden. It also houses Lu Xun’s tomb and a museum that considers his works. Elderly people gather here to exercise, sing, gossip and cause havoc much as teenagers do in the West. European visitors may hold their noses up at the artifice and the keep-off-the-grass attitude, but it’s one of the few large open spaces normal people have access too.
Walk from Hongkou Stadium Metro Station (Line 3)
Set at the very centre of the city, this is the place to come and people-watch. Canoodling couples, exercising elders and gawping tourists everywhere, watched over by the resident flock of strangely pristine white doves.
People's Square Metro (Lines 1 and 2)
Steak on a stick. For 75RMB, about £5, you get a non-stop flow of barbequed flesh delivered to you at your very table. Die-hard meat afficionados starve themselves for a whole day preparing themselves for a night at the Brazilian. There is an extensive salad bar but frankly, if you're a vegetarian then stay away. This is for carnivores only.
Right outside Jing An Temple station (Metro Line 2) - 1649 Nanjing Xi Lu. Tel +86 21 6255 9898 - Wise to book
They want to build the tallest building in the world here; they already have one of the top five in the shape of the Jin Mao tower, standing 88 stories high. But most striking of all, Pudong harbours the symbol of modern Shanghai, the space-age spheres and spike of the simply bizarre Oriental Pearl Tower. Love it or hate it, it's hard to ignore it.
Jump off Metro Line 2 at Liu Jia Zui. You can visit the Jin Mao and the Oriental Pearl towers for a price - 50RMB at least.
Shanghai is a city where East meets West, and nowhere more so that on the waterfront. On the westside, Puxi, stands a row of grand colonial buildings that still have the power to dominate the view despite the skyscrapers surrounding them. Check out the ceiling inside the dome of the HSBC building - they clearly had the Sistine Chapel in mind.
Ask a taxi driver for 'Waitan' or else get off Metro Line 2 at Henan Zhong Lu and walk east down Nanjing Lu.
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