Shanghai (4)

Wednesday 04/10


We go to the nearby IAPM Mall for lunch. We eventually try the famous delicate, hand-rolled xiaolongbao (dim sums) of Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese chain, highly recommended by Marie-Isabelle. Din Tai Fung is known internationally for its xiaolongbao, prepared in bamboo steaming baskets. They are indeed great, especially the ones with pork and hairy crab. It’s nice to watch the preparation of these xiaolongbao, which are made to order behind glass pane.

We then take 5 Ofo rental bikes to go near the Bund. It’s the first time we manage to rent 5 such bikes. Claire told us recently that it could be done with an international credit card. And the perseverance of Isabelle did the rest… It’s such a great feeling of liberty; the greatest advantage being to be able to take / leave the bikes wherever and whenever you like. It’s so convenient: when you want to walk (or when you’re tired), you leave your bike and walk (or take a metro for a few stations) and then you take another bike elsewhere. It’s so easy (as I explained in a previous post on Beijing). The only thing is that we need 5 smartphones (and 5 different phone numbers, so we had to use also our Belgian ones), so we have to carry Florence’s iPad with us. We are excited to have succeeded in hiring such bikes. It’s so cool!

The weather is unfortunately still cloudy and grey. We haven’t been lucky so far with the weather in Shanghai. It’s a pity for the pictures. Especially for the view (of Pudong) from the steel Waibaidu Bridge on the Suzhou Creek, where we stop our ride.

We go to the (short) pedestrianized, cobblestone Yuanmingyuan Road, which is “like a smaller, more condensed version of the Bund” (as per the Lonely Planet). It is also lined with a mishmash of colonial architecture.

We then go to the Rockbund Art Museum, housed in a magnificent building, which focuses on contemporary art, with rotation exhibits (and no permanent collection). Again as per the Lonely Planet, it is “one of the city’s top modern-art venues, with sublime building’s interior and exterior”. The problem with this kind of rotation exhibits is that you never know what you’ll see and in this particular case, we were not particularly lucky (or we didn’t understand…). One of the “shows” is ‘Already Unmade’, a performance conceived by choreographer Andros Zins-Browne (based in Brussels), which is presented as a solo durational performance, in the middle of the public. Strange… The other show is even stranger, with 2 girls performing movements while trembling… We are all puzzled.

We take again Ofo bikes to go to Pudong, to see the Shanghai History Museum. The kids ride very well, in this city, even in the dark (the bikes don’t have light). We try to cross Huangpu river, either taking the bridge (but we realize it’s a bit far) of taking the tunnel (but it’s forbidden to the bikes). We thus take the ferry (in Hongkou), which brings us to the north side of the Riverside Promenade of Pudong. We walk on this nice path to the museum, which is located in the iconic Oriental Pearl TV Tower (there are big waiting lines to the observatory).

The Shanghai History Museum recalls the war of opium, the foreign concessions, the everyday life, as well as the old trades of Shanghai; life-sized models of traditional shops are staffed by realistic waxworks. There is even a reconstruction of an opium den. It’s an interesting visit. They never fail to remind us of the most famous Chinese inventions: paper making, compass, (movable type) printing and gun powder.

It’s late when we exit the museum (9pm) and the best option is unfortunately the nearby Mc Donald’s.

It’s great to be in this area at night, with all the towers illuminated. What a sight! We walk with our “nose in the air”.

We take the metro back to the apartment, which we reach at 10:30pm.


Thursday 05/10

Today it has been 80 days that we’ve been traveling and we are only in Shanghai. Phileas Fogg was quicker than us…

We start with homeschooling.

Around 1:30pm, we go for lunch, on the Ofo bikes, to Green & Sage Organic, a great place where we eat nice salads.

We then go to the Propaganda Museum. The location is a bit “clandestine” – it occupies the basement of a residential building. This display of propaganda posters offers a stunning perspective on the 30 years of history following the establishment of a new China. It is an interesting visit; it enables us to visualize and get a deeper insight into an important part of the Chinese history. As we say, a picture is worth a thousand of words and this is particularly true here.

The kids go back to the apartment by metro while we take Ofo bikes to go to an art gallery in the French Concessions (Art Labor), which unfortunately no longer exists. We then bike to some shops (Madame Mao’s Dowry and Gardens Bookstore where I try to find guidebooks on Japan).

We find a nice bakery (still not so common in China), where we buy nice (olive, walnut, organic) breads. After a lot of enquiries, Isabelle manages to buy yeast in a small shop (to make bread).

We prepare dinner for the kids; Isabelle and I indeed go out tonight, to a very nice restaurant: Mr & Mrs Bund.

The restaurant is located in The Bund 18, an historical building that feature some of Shanghai most famous nightlife spots. Since we think that the East Nanji metro station is still closed, we go to a nearby station and then take Ofo bikes to reach our final destination. Not so easy for Isabelle with her dress and high heels…

I booked a table at 11pm, for the late night dinner. We first go to the top floor of the building for a drink at the Bar Rouge, which is one of the most famous clubs in Shanghai. It sets the standard for Bund nightlife with its terrace view, classy, sleek interiors and iconic French-Shanghai identity. It’s such a spectacular view and such a nice feeling to feel the vibe of this energetic city. We even take pictures (including selfies) on this beautiful terrace. We have the same question on our minds though: are we the oldest ones here…?

Mr & Mrs Bund is a “Modern French Eatery”, by Shanghai-famous chef Paul Pairet. We enjoy a great dinner. The restaurant is not as busy as we expected.

We go back home by taxi.

2 Replies to “Shanghai (4)

  1. “The kids ride very well, in this city, EVEN IN THE DARK (THE BIKES DON’T HAVE LIGHT).”

    Tu as décidé d’achever ta mère? !?! 😉

  2. “and then take Ofo bikes to reach our final destination. Not so easy for Isabelle with her dress and high heels…”


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