An obsessive energy that touches all that happens on some of the busiest streets in the world, a culture scape that abounds with romanticism and sights and sounds that can thrill as they fill one up with wonder-if there ever were a confluence of the finest sensorial delights it would have to be in Shanghai and what better time to explore a city as multidimensional as one can find where modernity sits in complete harmony with tradition , where the past mingles in the ever changing present and where the night brings with it experiences that can take one across the moon.
One can indeed plan the most romantic getaway in a city as crowded as any cosmopolitan city of the West. Shanghai in fact will surprise anyone with the diversity of what it offers, being the right place for the most intimate and entertaining of cities, sublime and lavish, dramatic and muted all at once. Here are the top ten most exciting of places to discover together in Shanghai.
The Yu Garden
A poetry of design and imagination –the symmetry and aesthetics of one of the finest places in Shanghai could be the best place to take a walk hand in hand through its mindboggling array of well designed gardens. The Yu Yuan garden on most days is filled with tourists through its 20,000 square meters of inner and outer green houses. Created in 1556, the garden reminds one of the finest styles of design and creative styles from the past.
One can absorb the ethereal charm of fascinating flora as well as the best in Chinese cultural embellishments. Losing one’s self in the hidden alleys and walking under curved eaves could not have found a place more romantically appropriate. You could of course end the exploration with sipping a cup of tea served in authentic chinaware at the adjoining Huxington Tea House.
The Stunning Pearl Tower
The waterway that dominates the city giving it its gentle charm of course is the river Huangpu and at the Pudong area adjacent to the riverbank is this modern age relic-a TV tower that today has one of the most fascinating revolving restaurants from where one can view the mesmerizing lights of entire Shanghai.
The glittering diamonds seem to cast their own spell as you dine 463 meter high Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower. What a splendid way to begin one’s romantic sojourn in Shanghai.
Another classic walking promenade dotted with the exquisitely curated English and French architectural structures, stores and even more charming array of buildings that takes one back to the times of Europeans and their colonial past here in the orient.
The smoking lanterns, paved streets, twinkling lights from the shop windows will draw you in and the drama of finding the perfect gift can all happen here on the Bund. While at the same time you would be soaking in the marvel of this West Bank of the Huangpujiang River. You could dine at any of the posh bars and restaurants and spend the rest of the evening catching glimpses of the famed Pudong skyline.
Now here are two completely authentic shopping places that you will not get anywhere else in the world-the French Concession and its amazing setting, with quaint little shops selling the most urbane and chic designs that hit the fashion scenario as well as gallery owners and ex-pat designers who have quite a collection on display.
You could have a rather cozy lunch here savoring various kinds of dumplings and then perhaps hop off to a more Shanghai flavor of shopping at Dongtai Lu antiques Market where you can pick some collectible you would be proud to display in your home –be it rugs, Buddhas, wood carvings or little jade artifacts.
Qibao and Zhujiajiao Ancient Towns
If you have never been to a water town, this is a city that will make it seem all the more romantic. Walk through the tenements, quaint little shops and courtyards build many centuries back and relive the charm of an old world China with your beloved ,eating hot piping dumplings or buying tiny pieces of memorabilia as you go along.
At Zhujiajiao you may not have the typical commercialized feel of the more popular water towns but you will truly live those moments as a true Shanghai dweller would. The umpteen tiny bridges, well kept waterways and the scenic backdrop all make it a very charming outing for a couple.
The Jade Buddha Temple
A place where one can seek blessings at the feet of the ancient Buddha, that is at the center of the shrine and had been brought to Shanghai in the late 1800s.Seeking blessings here is an ancient ritual and most Shanghai dwellers come here for its peaceful and meditative atmosphere apart from finding so much tranquility and the right ambiance for seeking the Buddha’s blessings.
Huangpu River Cruise
A river cruise that deftly manages to showcase the best sights of Shanghai or the more leisurely night cruise with dinner on board which will last at least four hours-it is one of those outings not to be missed in Shanghai whose crowded roads you will be glad to leave behind for the silence of the river and its utterly gorgeous views of the city, the pagodas, the Pearl Tower and the Pudong area.
Shanghai Art Palace
A must see for couples who are ready to set up home and would love to pick up some contemporary art work as this is that part of town where the new age Shanghai artists thrive opening exhibitions every now and the and what you get here range from prints, oil paintings to sculptures-you will find it all here-at the 27 halls dedicated in to art held here in the Shanghai World Expo, China Pavilion.
From coins, chinaware, to calligraphy and relics, clothing, woven silks, paintings, sculptures, ivory and jade articles-all have all been gorgeously displayed across the four floored museum that touts of being one of the finest collections from China’s past. Walking its many galleries filled with wonder can be the perfect way to uplift the spirit and help appreciate the cultural vestiges of the past.
Buzz of the Shanghai Night Life
Apart from a whole lot of resto-bars that you may already have seen all cross this city already, this is one place which has for centuries been the converging point of the east and the west and huge investments in trade brought with it glitz and glamour and the best way to enjoy a slice of that is by visiting some of the night clubs along Heng Shan Lu and Ju lu lu districts where one could find karaoke bars as well.
Shanghai can delight one with its many surprising flavors and colors-the kind of place that will be etched in memory as the finest honeymoon getaway ever.