Thursday, February 24, 2011

Visitor inflation

Nothing beats having your friends in town!

It’s getting warm out there –which is lovely! This spring is going to be fast and furious –there are so many things planned for the upcoming month that I believe my next free weekend, when I can bum around and do nothing, will be in May. This is of course both good and bad. We have lived in China for more than 4,5 years now, and considering that time we haven’t had that many visitors, until now, all of a sudden, when everybody wants to come at the same time!

We just had friends here from London, and on Saturday a new couple from Finland is arriving. When they leave there’s another one, and then my parents, my boyfriend’s dad, and then we have a weekend in Moganshan… and then I believe it should be summer?!

We are turning into real visitors pros. My London friend actually asked us if we had considered opening a travel agency for couples travelling to Shanghai. We have made a little travel kit for each couple, which includes metro cards, sim card, mobile phone, guidebooks, stomach pills and our own maps (where we have marked out our fave spots). We also tailor make the weekends so that they will suit each couple: when we had a pregnant couple visiting, we went to the baby market. When my London friend (who’s getting married next year) was here we managed to squeeze in a visit to Suzhou’s wedding street where she made herself a dream dress for 900 rmb! Considering the fact that a cheap wedding dress in London costs around 10 000 rmb, I think my friend was quite happy with her bargain. Our next visiting couple are food junkies aka health freaks, so we will spend a lot of time on food streets/at restaurants and also take them to try yoga, wake them up early in the morning so that they can see people practicing tai qi, etc.

Anyway, one thing that we are having a little bit of a problem with, now when there are so many friends coming over at the same period of time, is to take them out to restaurants/new spots. We obviously want to take them to our fave places, but it’s not fun for ourselves to go to the same restaurant four weeks in a row.

So, I was wondering if you guys would like to share your best travel experiences of Shanghai. Have you lived here? Travelled here? What was your best experience? Where did you do your best shopping bargain? Where did you eat your best meal? All recommendations welcome! We have a massive list, but since I will be playing the role of a tour guide this spring, I wouldn’t mind seeing some new places too.


Anonymous said...

Ummm - where's the baby market in Shanghai? I didn't know one existed.

Jonna Wibelius said...

purplegiraffes -Nihong Kids market is located at the northwest corner of Pu'an Road at Jinlin Road.

Anonymous said...

Di shui dong for spicy food lovers and
Element Fresh for the healthy people.

yan said...

Shanghai is one place we haven't been to, but if we do, we'll have to get one of your visitor travel kits! That's awesome!

misscoco said...

there is this run down place that sells the most heavenly porridge i have ever eaten. a really must go! and i love mr & mrs bund and a hidden tucked away jap resto that's superbly good too! i'll look it up if you'd like. and sweeteverafter cupcakes if your visitor has a sweettooth.

Emil said...

Check out

I went to Moganshan for some cycling last April, and met a guy, Mark (think he is Australian). He got a coffee shop up on the top and also take care of the lodges.

Though in March/April the weather can be a bit unstable.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Anonymous- thanks for the tips. I know of both restos. I think Element fresh is a bit overprices but their laffa bread salad is real nice! And they have a lot of healthy options over there.

Yan -hehe, sure, just say the word :)

misscoco -where is this hidden Japanese restaurant!? I am looking for a new japanese place. Please do share your secret spot!!

Emil said...

Btw, why dont take the train for a couple of hours to see some new places? With CRT going from Shanghai in all directions you can also experience something fun.

F.ex Nanjing, Hangzhou, Hefei, Wuhan etc etc.

Anonymous said...

I think you know this spot but New Heights in 3 on the bund is very nice for evening drinks with great view overlooking the river and bund.

胡崧 said...

Your friends look absolutely wasted in that pic.

They probably are...

Jonna Wibelius said...

Emil -Yeah, it's an option, but not possible when working every day. Sure, we could go during the wknds but at the same time, the wknds are kind of better in Shanghai. Spending the wknd in SH also gives me a chance to run to the gym or the yoga club for an early workout.

As for Moganshan -I already booked something, but I'll make sure to chech out the coffee shop!

Sichuaninsider -yeah, new heights is OK. I've celebrated NY there a few times.