A capitalist Mecca with a communist past, Shanghai is perhaps East Asia’s most thrilling metropolis.
Name: Gareth Williams
Role at Skyscanner: Co-Founder and CEO
Why? I fancied exploring a city which was culturally very different to anything I had experienced before – and I heard the food was excellent.
Stay: In the very reasonably priced Astor House Hotel for a flavour of Shanghai in the 1930s. Former guests include Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein.
Eat: Noodles from street vendors at any opportunity and at any time of the day or night. Ordering from restaurant menus is a game of breathless anticipation regarding what might turn up. Crystal Jade in the South Block of Xintiandi does fantastic Dim Sum and “la mian” noodles.
Don’t Miss: The unbelievable Maglev train from Pu Dong International Airport to downtown Shanghai which goes 470kph and costs £3. Also check out the numerous food markets, the French Concession and enjoy high-rise cocktails in the Vue Bar in the Hyatt on the Bund. The garden area of Sasha’s on Dongping Lu is also a very pleasant place to spend an evening in the summer
Do Miss: Getting hauled into back-street lock ups off the Nanjing Road to haggle over the price of counterfeit designer goods – you will lose.
Top Tip: Choose restaurants with pictures on their menus to stand a fighting chance of not ending up with twelve desserts. And if you want a beer with your street noodles, it’s a tenth of the price of the same brand in a hotel.
Fly to Shanghai from: London Heathrow or Manchester.
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