3 Days Shanghai Itinerary: Day 2| Tianzifang, Yuyuan Garden & The Bund
Following Day 1 of my Shanghai 3 Days Itinerary, in day 2, we visit some of the places of interests around central Shanghai – Tianzifang, Xin Tian Di, Yu Yuan Garden and The Bund.
Here are my other itineraries if you missed them:
Tian Zi Fang
Tian Zi Fang is a little less known area for as it’s development began fairly later than other areas. In recent times it has transformed itself into an artsy tourist area filled with cafes, bars, restaurants craft shops and boutiques. The highlight of Tian Zi Fang definitely has to be the quaint architecture here. Tian Zi Fang was once a residential area of the old French concession and there are some vestiges of French styles here.
There is also the ‘Shikumen’ which is a traditional form of Shanghainese architecture combining Western and Chinese elements that were constructed many years ago. Taking a stroll through the alleys and browsing through some handicrafts really makes it seem like taking a step back in time. You can also choose to chill with a beer or coffee at some of the hipster cafes and bars there too. Tianzifang will be quite a welcome change from the cityscape of skyscrapers glitzy buildings.
Getting there: Take metro line 9 and alight at Dapuqiao station. Take exit 1.
Lunch at Xiao Yang Shen Jian/Yang’s Dumplings
When planning my trip, one of the must-try recommendations from friends when visiting Shanghai was Xiao Yang Shen Jian, a chain restaurant that serves their specialty Sheng Jian Bao (pan-fried pork dumplings). Xiao Yang Shen Jian has branches all throughout Shanghai, so it isn’t too difficult to locate an outlet nearby. I have to confess that during my stay in Shanghai I visited various outlets around 4 to 5 times. The Sheng Jian Bao’s served at this franchise are huge dumplings filled with generous amounts of juicy pork.
After taking a bite of the crispy exterior, the ‘soup’ (more like pork broth) leaks out. One portion of 4 dumplings cost 8rmb (S$1.60) and you normally pair it with a soup. I tried the curry soup duck’s blood (6rmb/S$ 1.20) as it was one of the recommended items. The duck’s blood in this case is coagulated duck’s blood so it’s kind of like jelly or tofu. To anybody that visits Shanghai, be sure to have this must-try. A set of dumplings and soup at Xiao Yang’s is already quite filling and only sets you back by about S$3. What more can you ask for!
Xin Tian Di
Xin Tian Di’s Chinese characters directly translate to New World, and the place is an affluent shopping and entertainment district. Xin Tian Di and Tian Zi Fang aren’t far apart. They both used to belong to the old French concession with similar architecture. To compare the two, Tian Zi Fang can be said to be more hipster while Xin Tian Di is a more upscale area. The two are apart by around 3 kilometres and it is possible to walk from one to he other. At Xin Tian Di, there are quite a few malls fancy restaurants from all over the world, bars, cafes and galleries to browse. Xin Tian Di also has quite an active nightlife scene although I didn’t personally check it out. If you happen to visit Shanghai, here is the perfect place to appreciate both the historic and modern life of Shanghai.
Getting there: Take metro line 10 or 13 and alight at XinTianDi station.
Yu Yuan Garden
After spending the morning checking out Tian Zi Fang and Xin Tian Di, after a quick lunch at Xiao Yang Shen Jian, it’s time to see more ancient Chinese architecture at Yu Yuan Gardens. Yu Yuan garden is a famous classical garden and tourist hotspot in Shanghai. Besides the garden lies the Yu Yuan bazaar, full of small streets and lanes filled with restaurants tea houses and shops. With our time constrain and the entrance fee of 40rmb, we didn’t enter Yu Yuan gardens but chose to spend our time exploring the bazaar’s street food.
Unlike the more stone-base architecture we saw in the morning, Yu Yuan garden and bazaar had a more classical Chinese architecture, similar to those ancient Chinese teahouses you see in period dramas. We spent a few hours enjoy delectable goodies while enjoying the sights and sounds here till the sun started to set before heading to he next location.
Getting there: Take metro line 10, alight at YuYuan station, exit 1
From Yu Yuan Gardens we took a 15 to 20-minute walk to probably Shanghai’s most famous site- The Bund. This waterfront is widely regarded as the symbol of Shanghai and it is really easy to see why. Upon arriving there, Shanghai’s all too famous skyline lies directly across the Huangpu river and you can easily distinguish the prominent skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Tower and the Jin Mao Tower. If you are looking to take a cruise on the Huangpu river, you can consider booking from Klook as they offer one of the cheapest prices!
Just like every other tourists, our intention was to walk along the Bund to get the best photo opportunities. No trip to Shanghai is complete without a photograph with the famed skyline as a backdrop. While walking along The Bund, we got to see some of the famous sculptures as well as a whole row of old British-styled buildings left behind when the British left Shanghai and they are now occupied by powerful banks, trading houses and hotels. While the Bund can be visited at any time of the day, it tends to get packed on weekends when it turns to night as huge crowds of people flock over the catch the lighted up skyline. Do take note that the lights of many skyscrapers are switched off around 10 pm and the scene would not be as breath-taking after that.
With that Day 2 of my itinerary comes to a close following a day of exploring some of Shanghai’s older and cultural sights. If you haven’t yet read Day 1 of the 3 Day Shanghai itinerary, you can check it out here. On a side note, if you are thinking of including Shanghai Disneyland in your itinerary, Klook offers 1 day and 2 days admission ticket. Not a Klook member yet? Sign up now to get S$4.40 discount off your bookings!