Hitting The Bund the first time was a really magical part of my trip. After getting my dumpling fix in the morning, and the amazing Yu Yuan and City of God Temple in the afternoon, continuing our walk along the way to The Bund could not have been a more perfect way to catch the brightest rays before the sun went down.
We happened upon an exhibit celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Fissler – a pots and pans company. All of the art in the ritzy Three On the Bund Hotel was made of pots, pans, lighting, and accessories with the Fissler designs as the star of the show. It was FREE, which was awesome, and really cool art to happen upon. Who knew you could make a wicked drum kit purely out of pots and pans? Perhaps my parents when I was at a very, very young age…
I had had Shook! Restaurant on my mind since the dreams of Shanghai began, so we walked over to the address on The Bund (literally the top of the Bund – we were at the bottom end). No bother at all – I was glad to see the architecture along this arguably most famous part of Shanghai!
Once we arrived (around 4:30) we were told that there was a wedding and we wouldn’t be able to dine on the rooftop terrace. Sad face. We would, however, be allowed up to the roof to take a peek if we wished. All Smiles!
It was great to see the view, but we hadn’t eaten since the couple of dumplings in the morning, so on our long walk back to the hostel (4 subway stations with a transfer) we stopped at a Mom n’ Pop restaurant to have some grub.
The noodles were topped with veggies and the teensiest bit of beef plus tons of shredded potato. The fried rice was the better bet (well done, B!). When eventually got back to the hostel we showered and changed quickly and headed to the hostel bar to see if we could pick up a bigger crowd…
…and we did! We met a couple of girls from Australia, and B had a friend meet us from back home, and we enjoyed a very small amount of Bijiu (or “Chinese Death Liquor” – read this description as I can only imagine how spot on it is!). Next. we tried to get a cab outside our hostel. Wrong idea. 5 foreigners even in an SUV taxi that would fit the whole lot was apparently unimaginable by most of these taxi drivers. The Chinese-speaking boys got dismissed a handful of times before I tried my luck. I had one rejection (once we were already IN the cab!) then a success. We were off the The Bund to see the Oriental Pearl Tower light show and hit up Bar Rouge!
…or so we thought. I had been so excited to see the city lit up. Our tragic taxi saga had gotten us to The Bund just in time for the light show to end at 10:30. Fear not, however, as unlike my sad soup dumpling story, I did end up seeing the bright lights of the Bund, just on night 2 of Shanghai.
Bar Rouge, as seen in this photo from another rooftop terrace on The Bund, also has a dresscode. While most of us were just fine, B was wearing flip flops and was denied entry. That, plus the RMB 100 entrance fee (less than $20…come on guys!) was apparently a deterrent.
We were back up on the roof at Shook! Restaurant where we were now too LATE to get a drink on their terrace. It seemed like we couldn’t win. The other girls we were with knew of a club in a different area of the city, so we piled into another cab and headed off who knows where to a random Shanghai nightclub.
LINX Nightclub Shanghai seemed to be a little more forgiving with the dresscode. B could have purchased a pair of dress shoes for RMB 200 (under $40), but instead he decided to run around the corner where he actually managed to find a pair of running shoes he haggled down to RMB 30 (less than $6 Canadian, so for the American it must have been the steal of the century). He managed to get into the club and dance it out in…interesting style. I, however, managed to have my champagne dreams realized by a table of Italians celebrating a birthday within about 30 seconds of entry. Talk about luck! I also started talking to a very handsome guy in a pretty formal suit, who several minutes into the conversation alerted me to the fact that he thought I too was being paid to be there. Mmm…nope. What was he talking about? All the well-dressed (and sometimes overdressed – see above) foreigners were models from Italy, England, Russia, and the Ukraine. Everyone who wasn’t Chinese beyond our crew and a couple of tables was actually paid to party at this club. It seemed like it was missing the mark so after a few confetti tosses, champagne glasses, and dances we were outta there and back on our way to the hostel.
But of course, not before making friends with a monkey. The little guy seemed terrified of the world around him but we had a little moment when I let him sniff my hand and shake my…well..finger. The guy wanted to take us somewhere else to “see more monkeys” but we high-tailed it outta there.
What a way to end our night – models, monkeys, and midnight street food. These stands were set up right by the place where we had purchased delicious dumplings that very same morning. Making rice bowls and noodles, you could choose your meat and veg and they’d cook it up for you in a wok under your watchful eye. Day one was incredibly full. I slept well, then day two’s adventure began.