Emilia Bergmans

Selling Shanghai

There is always something untapped to explore in Shanghai: new places open and others close every week, the city holds millions of interesting people from all over the world. The tour I have posted here is only a small piece of the puzzle... How could this not be a fascinating place to visit?


Emilia Bergmans - Self-protrait Emilia Bergmans

I'm Emilia, your guide in Shanghai and these are the things you definitely have to pay a visit during your stay in Shanghai.

Shanghai NOW
Immediately start documenting your trip by purchasing a Seagull camera (specialty camera of Shanghai); very popular with locals.

Set out for 1933, a new creative hub located in a very cool, old slaughter house. The organisation is still in the process of building their community, so there are always new surprises here! Their objective is to become an innovative cultural landmark with their concept based on design, lifestyle and learning. At evenings, experience the latest in Chinese hip-hop culture at the Shelter, a popular underground club where you can listen to Chinese kids rapping about dumplings instead of violence. If you are lucky, you can catch one of their great Antidote parties hosted by the most cutting-edge music producers and DJs.

Through the opiate smoke
696 Weihai Lu is not only an address, but a series of former opium storage facilities now housing an artist community with more than 40 artist studios and an increasing number of galleries. It’s not very polished which makes it fun to wander around. Most artists are very welcoming and open to show their studio and work. Afterwards, go to Ulumuqi Lu to indulge in some of the local street food. Word to the wise: avoid stalls with few customers, low turnover and that use recycled oil. Basically, anything that looks seriously dodgy. Once you have found the popular local stalls, enjoy some chuan (meat skewers) or cong you bing (scallion pancakes) and experience one of the best ways to get a taste of China.

The art of karaoke
The Museum of Contemporary Art is a great little museum and not as mainstream as many other contemporary art museums. At the nearby People's Park, take a walk around the grounds and you might see some parents try to find a suitable partner for their child by hanging pictures and personal descriptions in the trees or talking to other couples doing the same. This is a very local custom, and a unique experience to quietly observe.

At nights go to Partyworld aka Cashbox - the best place in the city for karaoke. In this place where even the most alternative of hipsters hang out, sing your heart out all night long and enjoy getting to know new people in the process!

Oh, my!
Check out the Propaganda Poster Art Centre. Their purpose is to communicate the process of the rebirth, especially in Chinese civilization. The owner, Mr. Yang Pei Ming, is very particular about displaying these posters as they should be seen - as great works of art. Take note of the cultural significance and the fact that they are nearly impossible to find anywhere else. To see the impact these works have had on present art culture, check out the Moganshan Lu neighborhood and keep an eye out for the galleries showing the most avant-garde of Chinese contemporary art. Take a break and dive into the youth culture tonight at Yuyintang; a small bar featuring live rock music by local and up-and-coming artists.

Tips to take with you
Very handy phone number: 106695882929 connects you to “guanxi” (relationships). Text the name of any place to this number, they send you the address, then reply “c” so you receive it in Chinese to show your taxi driver. Also, always take a business card of your hotel.

No way
The Bund
Yu Yuan Gardens
Pearl tower
Jade Buddha temple

Hairy crab: A local specialty not to be missed
available October - February and found at:
Fu 1039
Xin Jiulong Tang
Xinguang Jiujia
Ye Shanghai

Spots to check out
Jade on 36
Yongfoo Elite
Mansion hotel
Constellation bar

Taxi – 20 rmb
Bicycle – 30 rmb/day
Metro – 3-4 rmb

A day around town: 200 rmb