Shanghai in 3 Days

China Shanghai

This time I went to Shanghai at short notice and wasn’t able to do a lot of planning; but we did achieve a reasonable amount and tried quite a number of interesting things.

Accommodation

Shanghai Airbnb Accommodation

There are many aspects to shanghai; you could experience both an old and new city at the same time. We stayed at an Airbnb accommodation in the middle of a shopping district. To give you a very quick reference, it’s right next to West Nanjing Rd Station (each red dot is a subway station). The we stayed around the blue line area, but that’s not the ENTIRE shopping street; the shopping district continues, pretty much almost all the way down past the last subway station before The Bund.

shanghai shopping map

I’m pretty happy I stayed in that district, because it was just so convenient. Apart from the high end department store, it was also close to Sephora, Uniqlo, H&M and most importantly, what I’ll show you later, the amazing small local eateries.

shanghai shopping district
Image Above: West Nanjing Road (shopping street) during the day

West Nanjing Road Shanghai shopping district
Image Above: West Nanjing Road (shopping street) at night

Food

Food in Shanghai

I have to say, one of the thing I look forward to the most when I go to China is the food. Chinese people are all ABOUT THE FOOD! And it’s fantastic! While there isn’t a really big coffee culture, I have to say it’s getting better. Let me introduce you to a few things that you HAVE to try in Shanghai.

Chinese Crepe Jian Bing

Chinese Crepes. NOM NOM NOM! It’s a savoury crepe and people tend to have this with their soy milk as their breakfast. It cost $4 RMB and it’s oh so delicious. While there aren’t as many Chinese crepe makers as there are convenience stores, but there are still an abundance of them around.

Mini wonton Food in Shanghai

I can eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days straight.

It’s hard to say what’s a “good” mini wonton place because it’s different taste for everyone, but I had the one above here and it was pretty packed when we went.

Mini Wonton location in shanghai

Marble Egg in Shanghai

Thankfully, you don’t have to go far to get this Marble Egg, you can get it from most convenience stores. I think it’s everywhere because it’s something EVERY Shanghainese would eat, and it’s cheap and delicious. So naturally, it’s a favourite.

Sure, there are lots of other very traditional Shanghainese dishes, but you’d have to go to proper restaurants to try those and the list would be ENDLESS. But let me tell you one thing about typical Shanghainese food, specifically Shanghainese: There are a lot of bones and shells. You’ll see lots of mini snails, mini prawns, little crabs, boney chicken & duck. Like this dish:

River Snails delicacy in shanghai

This is not a delicacy, it’s a street food and can be ordered at restaurants. If you’ve never tried, I’d suggest to not attempt this without the help of a local. Mostly so that a local can show you which part can be eaten, and which can’t.

Attractions

Considering we had limited time, I didn’t get to go to that many places, but I still got a chance to hit a few attractions. I won’t show you the typical stuff you’d find on TimeOut or Trip Advisor; these three places I’m going to show you are place you won’t think of going when you’re in Shanghai.

Feng Jing Old Town

About an hour and half outside of Shanghai city is a city called Feng Jing.
You can get there by bus and it’s a place most residents of Shanghai would know about, so you should get good directions when you’re lost.
It’s not one of those places you’d think of going if you’re not a local (I had to go with family), but I have to say I really enjoyed the atmosphere. It wasn’t full of tourists and people were more relaxed. I didn’t get a chance to walk the entire town, but it’s not small.Feng Jing Old Town near Shanghai Chinese Old Towns

IMG_5188

chinese old heritage towns

Considering I spent the first decade of my life in Shanghai, I couldn’t go pass these delicious Stinky Tofu.
Yes, I do think they are delicious. 

stinky tofu food in china street food

Don’t worry, if stinky tofu is not your thing, you can find lots of other delicious and acceptable things to try.

People always say Chinese are bad drivers, because we do crazy things on the road. Well, I beg to differ; we’re just quick thinkers and very adaptable. I mean, look at this guy here, how else do you want him to move these enormous and awkward sized card boards?

 chinese riding a scooter

Jing An Temple

Jing An Temple shanghai attraction

If you REALLY want to feel what it’s like being a typical Chinese, then you should visit a popular temple like the Jing An Temple of Shanghai.
Going to the temple and say your prayers to the various Gods are no longer JUST a religious event, it’s now a Chinese culture.

03

When you do get a moment to breath through the smoke of incense, or the heat of all the people, look anywhere and you’d be able to admire the work of art around you.

I’ve been told that everything is handmade, and some of those things have been there for hundreds of years.

Jing An Temple

If you don’t have a tour guide with you, I’d say read up on some rules before going in.
Beside the usual rules at religious buildings, here are a 3 things I was told since very young:

1. You should never buy, or light up someone else’s incense for them.
Incense is an extension of someone’s respect for the Gods, so you should let that person show it themselves.

2. Don’t blow out the fire on the incense with your mouth. Do it with your hand.
I believe it’s dis respectable to blow it out with your mouth. 

3. Don’t ever stand on the door ledges. NEVER. EVER.
I was never told the reason behind this one, but I’m going to guess that it’s probably to do bad luck.

Jing An Temple 03

Shanghai Antique Market

shanghai antique market dong tai antique market

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have an unhealthy passion for antiques. I don’t know much, but I just really like looking at antique stuff.
So no doubt, with a few hours to spare, I HAD to check out the antique market in Shanghai.

shanghai antique market

antique market in shanghai

Long story short, it’s not great as an antique market, but it’s a great place to get souvenirs if your friends are into this kind of stuff.
Everything is fake. Even that painting cost $5,000 RMB it’s a fake; but check it out anyway, you might find lots of things to take home for friends.

Unfortunately, I didn’t walk away with anything, but that was because luggage space was limited and I just did not have the energy to bargain.
If I did feel like bring things home, I’d probably go for one of these cars. While I wouldn’t say they are very “Chinese”, you are more likely to get a cheaper price here than anywhere else.

shanghai antique market

Or you could try one of these, but then not everyone is into the figurines.

figurings chinese antique market

So, that’s my 5 days loosely documented.

It’s hard for me to describe or recommend Shanghai; I spent my first decade there so there are a lot of things I still remember and love, yet I rarely go back and I hardly recognise some of areas I frequented but have been completely redeveloped.

Although I might not go back for a while, I definitely look forward to the next time I get to have some more mini wontons…

For other inspirations to travelling in China, check out these sites:

Oh Happy Day

This Is Glamorous

Reiss

The Glamourai

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Happy Hump Day! (Real vs Fake)

It’s no secret that I worship Stella McCartney like the design goddess she is. So after studying all her stuff inside out, it wasn’t hard for me to see the resemblance between a Witchery bag and the original Falabella shoulder bag. Happy Hump Day!

 

Top: Alexa Drawstring Bag $99.95 {Witchery}
Bottom: Falabella Shoulder Bag US$1,000.00 {Stella McCartney}

I can say a LOT about this, but I’m going to keep it simple and short. Even though the Witchery bag is one tenth of the price for this particular bag. It won’t deter me from purchasing a real Stella bag.

The Work Pants

Years ago, I’ve established a work look for myself, which derives from pure laziness. Conceptually it’s quite simple, navy suiting with a white shirt. Sounds easy to find? It isn’t.
It’s kinda of like looking for the perfect ‘Little Black Dress’. It takes YEARS.

I have a million ideas about what a perfect work outfit would have to be like; and I have seen thousands of great work outfit, but I always get stuck on the pants. I know what I want out of a jacket, not saying that’s an easy task but I’ve hunted that down already. Pants, however, is more difficult. Thing is, it took me a looooonnnnggg time to find out what my preferred shape for pant is. I always thought wide leg that cover your feet makes you look so much longer and taller. Like this one here:

miroslava-duma-stockholm-streetstyle

Source via Pinterest

But let’s be honest, not all of us are fashion icons and sit front rows at fashion shows; so that means I probably can’t pull this look off as well as Miroslava. On top of that, I wear heels at work, but change to flats for my journey home. You only need to be walking home in the rain with wide leg pants ONCE to know it’s not always convenient and flattering.

How do you decide on something if it’s flattering or not?

Do you ever catch yourself in the reflection from a shop window, and think: ‘Holy sh*t! I look good!’ Then you turn around and look for someone to high5 and validate your new found confidence and realised no one gives?

Well, point of the story is to show that’s usually how I decide how I look in something. Let me make it clear that I don’t usually wear outrageous stuff and prance in front of shop windows just to make a decision on an outfit. I know I really don’t have any scientific references to this, but I think our brain doesn’t immediately register our reflection in the shop window as a true reflection of ourselves, so our immediate reaction to the reflection can be considered as the most genuine reaction.

So what do I want out of my the go-to of work pants? The if I really wanted to I can put a tee on with the pants and go for smart casual pants. To ensure I get absolutely what I want every time, I know I have a few requirements:

1. Must go well with construction boots, flats and heels
2. Can easily match with other shapes or types of clothing
3. Must not be too fitting to allow room for a big lunch
4. Must make legs look longer!!!!!

So this is how my perfect Work Look would look like:

The Work LookStella McCartney Velez Trouser £340.00 {Selfridges & Co}

A tailored jacket that sits JUST above the hip, and tapered pants ending at ankle length. Believe it or not, tapered pants at ankle length suits quite a number of body shapes. I find that it really can go with a variety of tops or shoes. It’s season and weather friendly.

While not everyone (me) has pockets deep enough to purchase those Velez Trousers above, there are so many options out there with similar style. I purchased mine from Zara few summers ago, and to this day I still think it’s my fail safe outfit. No regrets.

If you have never tried these shapes before, I must urge you to try these as soon as possible. It’s something that I’ve recommended to my own mother who is 3 size larger than me, who also would like to elongate her short and round frame.

work pants

1. Slacks $29.95 {H&M}; 2. Stitch Cigarette Trousers £22.00 {Topshop}; 3. Slim Pencil Pant $99.95 {Seed Heritage}
4. Sateen Full Length $99.95 {Witchery}; 5. Dannie Pant $127.90 {J.Crew}; 6. Double Cloth Pant $129.00 {Country Road}

Happy Hump Day!

Since the moment I started caring about men’s fashion, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend amongst young, seemingly fashionable men; they would wear slim tailored suits (presumably made somewhere in Asia), and they would carry a Country Road canvas tote overnight bag.

First of all, I love Country Road. I would pretty much buy everything from them. Including the canvas tote, which I happen to have one in baby blue.

Secondly, I understand that sometimes, not everyone can afford a nice leather messenger bag from Gucci. So you use what you have, which happens to be a Country Road canvas tote bag.

Finally, in certain situations brief cases just won’t do. Some of us carry our phones and iPads to work; others have to carry a 15″inch laptop. So sure, Form Follows Function.

Then this seemingly random and whining post is set to reach out to those guys who has the means to buy nice stuff, yet choose to pair the lovely canvas tote bag with their beautifully tailored slim cut suit because they think it looks great together. No. I know you never asked for my opinion. But it gots go.

Trust me when I tell you this, it really doesn’t look great. Let me give you 3 other options:

Happy Hump Day!

Top to bottom: Messenger Bag $38.99 {Amazon}; Leather & Felt Backpack $1849 {Mr Porter}; Leather Backpack $401 {Mr Porter}.

See how I proposed the $401 backpack after showing you a Leather & Felt Backpack that costs $1849?? Now the $401 seems really reasonable doesn’t it?

While men find women who wear sneakers with suits totally confusing, I find the the suit with the overnight bag tote-lly confusing.  (I’m sorry about the pun, I just had to do it.)

If you agree with me, join the crusade to abolish this fashion faux pas. If you don’t, check out my other totally topical men’s fashion posts here.

Loafers

Okay, I’m generally late to the game. Most people might think loafers are like sooooo 2012, well, I was like soooo young and tender back then I really didn’t know what’s good for me. Well, now that most people are kind of over it, I think it’s time for me to step in.

Since that time a random lady claimed I looked 17, I have been trying VERY hard to look the part. Ya know, because #YOLO. And I consider loafers to be kinda and sorta mature looking; a type of shoes I’d associate grandmas (I KNOW I’m not the only one out there who thinks like that!!).

Well, it’s either I’ve gotten used to them, or those shop assistant in Zara has made them HOT. Thankfully, they are still around for us dorky kids to purchase.

LOAFERS

 

Zara: Soft Slipper {US$69.90}; H&M: Loafers {HK$149};
Witchery: Blair Loafer {AUS $149.95}; Harrods: Kitty Flat {£545.00}

Bloody Expensive Accessories

Sometimes I look at things I cannot afford. Like Cartier, Hermes, the room in Hotel San Regis.

Le Sigh.

Well, that’s why I often waste my days on 1stdibs thinking about what happens when I win that $60 million jackpot….

EXPENSIVE ACCESSORIESLeft to right, top to bottom.

Hermes Vintage Silk Scarf: $630

Victorian French FONTANA Emerald Diamond Wasp Pin: $46,000

Art Deco CARTIER Diamond Sapphire & Platinum Bangle Bracelet $65,000

Hermes Birkin Bag 35cm Matte Pink Crocodile Pink Bougenville Por $84,999

Chanel “China Doll” Handbag $23,500

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS NEW YORK Emerald and Diamond Brooch $72,000

35cm Hermès Shiny Braise Porosus Crocodile Birkin Bag Handbag $98,500

CHANEL Runway Hula Hoop bag VERY Limited Edition S/S 2013 NWT $14,990

Suits & Sneakers

It takes a certain kind of men to wear sneakers with suits; and it takes a certain level confidence to pull it off.

It’s almost like every other fashion trend, it takes a fearless fashionista to break a non conventional idea and turn it into a widely accepted trend. Sometimes, the trend is so easy to catch on because it makes sense (like Bieber’s hair, you know it makes sense); while other trends takes a while to warm up to.

Like this one: Suits & Sneakers.

suite & sneakers 01

Image Source (L-R): 1. 2. 3. 4.

First of all, suits and sneakers have actually been around for a while now. It’s definitely NOT a new thing, but this trend is taking a while to catch on. To some people, it’s something that should NEVER catch on. By some people I mean Ryan Gosling.

While I this may not be my (or Ryan’s) first preference to pair with a nicely cut suit, sneakers & suits combo really shows off just how cool the wearer is. In fact, how confident and comfortable he/she is with him/herself. I think there are quite a few tricks to wearing sneakers with suits: To make it understated, you should pick classic shape and colour sneakers. That is, white, black, grey chucks or vans. Like these ones:

sneakers

1.  2.  3.  4.  5.

Once you start to stray from those colours and style, you are really stepping into the experimental territory. Or Steve Jobs territory.
But if you happen to go for a pair of sneakers for its comfortability (I’m talking about new balance sneakers here), I think there is a key word to bringing that look home: Contrast.

Essentially, you want people to know that you wore that sneaker with the suit purposefully, so you need to bring a lot of attention to your shoes (even though logic tells you to do otherwise). I think, there are two ways of achieving that contrast.

One of the first is colour. If your suit is black and your sneakers are red, then it will draw attention.

Secondly, roll that pants up or make sure there is a cuff on that trousers. Think of the cuff as a frame, framing the sneakers before moving onto the rest of the outfit. So you’re really contrasting the sneakers against the suit by separation. Like this guy here:

fashion for mature men

Source

He might not be wearing sneakers, but he sure makes those yellow shoes look good.

Here are just a few combos that I think you should consider if you ABSOLUTELY have to wear these new balance sneakers with the suit. Remember, don’t forget to roll those trousers up!!

suite and sneakers styles for men

1. BOGLIOLI Suit {$1447}; 2. Jil Sander Shirt {$316}; 3. Pierre Hardy Sneakers {483}.combination02

1. Paul Smith Suit {$1509}; 2. Burberry Prorsum Shirt {248}; 3. New Balance Sneakers {$137}.combination03

1. Paul Smith London Suit {$1152}; 2. Gucci T-shirt {$291}; 3. New Balance Sneakers {$168}.

All of the items from this post has been selected from Mr. Porter (one of my absolutely favourite for menswear). I admit, the exquisite pieces are not often affordable. But I still read their style guides and journals almost religiously. Spend a few minutes (or hours) browsing through the contents of the web page. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Kate Spade Saturday

 

So I might be late to all this, because after all I’m NOT a hardcore Kate Spade fan. But I am a fan.

Well, now there is a Kate Spade Saturday! Well, it’s obviously the more casual line considering it’s got “Saturday” in its name.

Here are just some of my favourite items. KATE SPADE SATURDAY

1. Skinny Jeans; 2. Sunnies; 3. Half Circle Bag; 4. Short Glasses; 5. Linked In Bracelets; 6. Slippers; 7. Full Circle Bag.

How cool is the splatter pattern???? And how cool are those glasses? I can’t get over it. I’m not usually into patterns and colours, but I’m soooooo into these.

Happy Hump Day!

Hey guys, haven’t shared any Hump Day posts for a while now. While I browsing through one of my fav Australian brand Country Road I came across these pretty cute patterned socks.

I don’t really wear fancy socks. But I seem to like the idea more and more!

Happy Hump Day pollka dot socks

Girls: Tiny Dot Socks {J.Crew}; Boys: Polka Dot Crew Socks {Country Road}.