Shanghai is beyond what most people can wrap their heads around. You think, “I’m just in a big city with the hustle + bustle.” False. You’re in one of the world’s largest + most international cities. With about 23-24 million people, exploring even just a small area of this sophisticated, modern city can make you feel like a speck of dust in the universe but simultaneously making you feel like part of a larger global community.
Lauren + I took our last full day in China to spend exploring this exotic city. She’s the best because she is totally game for walking a few (or five) miles for a tasty treat or meal while getting lost and finding beautiful hidden sites to photograph. We logged 30,000 steps, which is good because our day revolved entirely around food. Bonus points: we made it back to the train station all by ourselves.
- We trekked to the Sumerian Coffee Shop for jasmine matcha lattes just outside the French Concession.
- We then made our way to People’s Park where we did a fair amount of people watching and then treated ourselves to amazing cocktails and tapas at Barbarossa, a Moroccan Tapas bar in the center of the park.
- As we headed to who knows where in Shanghai, we stumbled upon the most zen corner of heaven. With the greenest grass growing through slabs of rock, lime green willow trees, lily pads and vibrant purple flowers, we were definitely outsiders to the locals who were enjoying this space of fresh life.
- As we walked through the corner park, we stumbled upon a modern tea house with submerged tables, abundant succulents, + the most zen vibe I’ve ever experienced. No english was spoken, but thankfully ordering was on an iPad and I knew what to get. We shot a goofy VR experience of ourselves feeling super fancy. I’ll share this at a later date.
- We explored the neighborhoods + streets of the gorgeous french concession as we searched for the BEST ice cream in the world. Almost five miles later, we found it! What Is Your Flavor? ice cream shop was well worth the hike. We both got dark chocolate almond (filled with candied almonds and cocoa nibs) and salted caramel (topped with fresh fleur de sel) in waffle cones. Sounds sweet? It wasn’t. Rather it was the most savory ice cream in the world. The cone was crisp and buttery and all the flavors balanced each other out. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, head there and then take a selfie with your ice cream just like the locals.
- After recovering from our ice cream coma, we hit the concrete again to go to Tian Zi Fang market. This market is full of little souvenirs, street food, + kitschy shops. We walked around for a bit before grabbing a bite at the Chinese equivalent of Denny’s, then magically caught a cab back to Hongqiao Train Station. I’ll spare you of our snapchat videos and face swaps because at this point, we were happy, content, + full of awesome food and loonier than any looney toon could ever be.