Where the city’s first cinema made its debut, W Shanghai—The Bund now steals the skyline show by exuding mesmerizing haipai, the uniquely local fusion of old with the new, the east with the west, reconfiguring colonial glamour into contemporary inspiration.
The many faces of Shanghai showcases the myriad facets of history, architecture, art, cuisine, and distinctive Manhattan of the East sophistication that make up China’s most cosmopolitan and fashion forward city. The exhilaration of unexpected encounters is reflected in daily hustle and bustle that infuse landmark features such as the French Concession, Nanjing Road shopping flash, downtown neon tsunami, continuous sprouting of soaring skyscrapers, and atmospheric lilong (hidden alleys). The iconic Bund symbolizes it all: on one side, the rich heritage of the mega metropolis’s Old World charm tinged with European elegance and on the other, the urban surge of the dynamic Pudong financial district.
On Shanghai’s unfurling menu of gastronomic pleasures, establishments from Michelin-starred to mom-and-pop, street snacks to molecular experiments are a gourmand’s fantasy. End the evening on a high note at an acclaimed cocktail den, where some the world’s best mixologist practice their flair and classic precision on table, not enough? Get cozy with tasting notes in a craft brewery. From a performance having conventional fan dancing or taichi on the Bund, whether a traditional tea ritual, or Chinese opera at Yi Fu Theater, jazz and ballet at the Grand Theater, there is something to add at every corner of this city. Art exhibitions, acrobatics, and even animated haggling at the city’s fascinating bazaars – behold the treasures overflowing at Dongtai Antique Market and the Flower, Bird, Fish and Insect Market, hardly a day goes where you not get captivated with the contrast this city shows.
Go with the flow in this city of constant motion – cruise along the iconic Huangpu River at sunset, or swept off your feet in a Shanghainese whirlwind of marvels, from the centenarian Jade Buddha Temple to the post-modern Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Find time to slow down and revel in tales of Shanghai’s ethnic tapestries and dignified legacies – preferably while serenaded by the legendary Peace Hotel jazz band evoking Golden Age nostalgia.