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5 of Shanghai's Best Kept Secrets

Located on China’s central coast is the massive city of Shanghai. The city is not only the biggest in the country, but is also a global financial hub. With tourists and travelers flocking to the city’s main attractions like the popular Bund, Ya Garden and Xintiandi, the smaller, less popular attractions are often overlooked. These smaller attractions have over the years become some of Shanghai’s best kept secrets. Here are five of our favourite best kept secrets of this city:


1. Shanghai Chopsticks Museum

Established in 1988, Shanghai Chopsticks Museum houses a collection of chopsticks both curated and is owned by 83-year-old Lan Xiang, who also resides in his apartment above the museum. Having traveled around Asia since he was young, Lan Xiang collected over 800 different types of chopsticks, and often shares his adventures and hilarious stories with those who visit the museum. In all there are over 2000 pairs of chopsticks with some being extremely valuable like the pair that is glided with copper and silver, dating back to Tang Dynasty.

Entrance to the museum is free and is open Monday to Sunday from 9am to 6pm, but visitors need to make a reservation via phone before their visit. While you are there, you can also pick up Xiang’s book ‘Chopsticks in China’ which has been translated into English and French.

2. The French Concession

From 1849 to 1943, the Shanghai French Concession was a foreign concession in Shanghai. For much of the 20th century, the area remained the premier residential and retail district of Shanghai, as well as the centre of Catholicism in China. Since 1943, the area has gone through plenty of redevelopment and has become one of the most character-filled district with plenty of restaurants serving delicious foods, boutique hotels in vintage buildings and loads of shops. 


Source: Wikipedia

3. Mansion China Hotel 

Designed by French architect Lafayette in 1932, the Mansion China Hotel is located in the heart of the historic French Concession. Once home to Shanghai vice boss Du Yuesheng, the hotel was at the centre of the city’s opium empire and the scene of the city’s most indulgent parties. With elements of Old Shanghai seen in the architecture and decor, the hotel is adorned with old photographs and artefacts of days gone by.

4. Chonor Cafe

Even though this cafe is just a stone’s throw away from the tourist hub of The Bund, Chonor Cafe is a hidden gem in the midst of all the tourists, selfie sticks and traffic. Head up the an unassuming staircase dotted with elephant murals to the second floor into the quaint cafe. Try to find a spot on the balcony - even though it is limited - and take in a beautiful, unobstructed views of the Pearl Tower.

Serving both sweet and savoury delights including homemade cookies, yummy cheesecakes and a variety of vegetarian meals, as well as delicious coffees. Chonor Cafe is the perfect place to grab a light meal or slice of your favourite cake. With a decently priced menu and beautiful views, it is definitely a must-visit when in The Bund area.


Source: TracePattern

5. The Roof Top At Warehouse

Located in South Bund is The Warehouse. Known as a boutique, modern hotel and event space, The Warehouse also has an amazing bar called The Roof Top. As the name suggests, the rooftop terrace bar offers its guests an incredible view of the city's skyline and the Huangpu River. The bar serves some of the city’s most innovative cocktails and delicious bar food. The Roof Top At Warehouse provides the perfect cozy getaway while still being in the city. Head to the bar between 6 30pm and 1am.

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About the author

Ji Guo is a former professional travel writer. He's started several businesses in China and was born in Tianjin. Graduated from Yale University.


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