WildChina > Podcast > Episode 5: Shanghai

For our fifth episode, we travel to the cosmopolitan metropolis of Shanghai to chat with WildChina guide, and Shanghai native, Florence Ma. From the ballroom dancing aunties of Fuxing park to the hottest Michelin-star restaurant in city, Flo guides us through the many facets of this dazzling city.

Once a mere backwater fishing village, the destiny and fortunes of Shanghai changed forever when the British opened their first concession here in 1842, followed soon after by the French and Japanese.

Shanghai today retains those charms in the tree-lined streets of the former French Concession and iconic banking houses along the Bund; at the same time, the urban bustle and multitudes of skyscrapers are a testament to Shanghai’s aspirations to be a major international metropolis.

Now the financial capital of China, Shanghai is a great place to check out the old, the new and the foreign in this worldly economic and cultural center.

Episode Overview:
  • 00:55 – A little about WildChina Shanghai guide, Flo
  • 04:28 – Shanghai’s main areas and must-sees 
  • 10:25 – Flo’s favorite places to take guests in Shanghai
  • 15:42 – Best hotels in Shanghai
  • 21:17 – Best food and restaurants in Shanghai
  • 24:45 – Mei’s closing statements on Shanghai

You can also listen to The China Travel Podcast on:

Episode 5: Shanghai
Episode 5: Shanghai
Episode 5: Shanghai
Episode 5: Shanghai
Episode 5: Shanghai
Episode 5: Shanghai
Episode 5: Shanghai
Shanghai Skyline

Shanghai’s Main Areas and Must-Sees:

  • Pudong district:
    The modern downtown, filming location for several films, Mission Impossible 3, Skyfall, Her
  • French Concession
    Historic landmark area, now representative of the chic, glamorous side of Shanghai
  • Fuxing Park
    Local gathering spot, unique for its ballroom dancing groups
  • Lilong
    Shanghai’s historic alleyways
  • Shikumen
    Historic stone-framed gate houses
  • Xintiandi
    Boutique shopping area, historic site of the Communist movement

Flo’s favorite places to take guests in Shanghai:

  • A walk through the French Concession to see the historic, nostalgic landmarks (ex. the White House castle)
  • The Bund (the Western bank of the Huangpu river). We know it’s a classic, but we still rate it as a must-see.
  • Pudong, and in particular the Shanghai Tower

Best hotels in Shanghai

  1. The Peninsula, Shanghai. Ideal location on the Bund, incredible views, great service and easy access to all fine-dining restaurants along the Bund.
  2. The Park Hyatt Hotel in Pudong. Great location, perfect for the more adventurous as it is one of the highest hotels in the world (the hotel occupies floors 79 to 93), good for a second visit to Shanghai (not our recommendation for a first-time visitor).
  3. Capella, Shanghai. Located in the French Concession embodying traditional Shikumen architecture and located in a charming neighborhood.
  4. Bvlgari, Shanghai. Amazing service.

Best food and restaurants in Shanghai:

  • Grandma’s Pork (braised pork belly with soy sauce) (外婆红烧肉)
    • Flo’s restaurant recommendation: FU1088 (福1088)
  • Duck Stuffed with Eight Treasures (八宝鸭)
    • Flo’s restaurant recommendation: Lv Bo Lang Restaurant in Old Town (绿波廊酒家)
  • Xiaolongbao (小笼包)
    • Dintaifung (鼎泰丰) for fusion-styled xionglongbao, with non-traditional fillings such as chicken and black truffle
    • Jia Jia Soup Dumpling (佳家汤包) for the local style xiaolongbao featuring the tasty broth inside
    • Nanxiang Soup Dumpling (南翔小笼包), said to be the original xiaolongbao and the most traditional type, with a more solid filling of mainly pork or a mix of pork & crab meat.
  • Michelin Star restaurants in Shanghai, the most famous being Ultraviolet
Episode 5: Shanghai
Episode 5: Shanghai

WildChina Day Experiences in Shanghai

Our favorite day experiences hosted by our tried-and-tested partners in this cosmopolitan city.