Lonely Planet Shanghai Updates (August 2010)

When I first visited Shanghai 15 years ago,  I was not impressed. It was, in fact, my least favorite part of China. As one friend said, aptly summing up the sentiments of many foreign students at the time, “Shanghai can eat my shorts.”

But since then, things have improved exponentially. I sympathize with those who protest the destruction of many old neighborhoods in China, although the loss of old buildings is not nearly as tragic as the loss of a community way of life. But when you compare Shanghai in the mid-1990s – a soulless, gray industrial town – with what it has become today – a city with a heartbeat and a future – there is little doubt that it’s  headed in the right direction. That said, as a guidebook author, I can never get over how fast things change…


Xibo Grill (Eating/French Concession)  You’ll have to come to Shanghai to find a stylish Xinjiang joint, because this is not the type of place you’re likely to find in Kashgar (or, for that matter, the Xibo Autonomous County on the border with Kazakhstan). But who’s complaining? From now on, when you need a mutton fix in the French Concession, you know where to come.  (锡伯餐厅; 3rd fl, 83 Changshu Rd; 常熟路83号3楼; Metro: Changshu Rd)

Sayram Lake, near the Xibo homeland in Xinjiang

Hunan House (Eating/French Concession) The latest Hunanese to hit Shanghai, the Hunan House is an extension of Cotton Ding’s trademark French Concession villa bars, except, of course, that it serves food. With an intimate fine-dining atmosphere, this is not South Memory  – and certainly not Dishuidong.  (Tel: 3461 1377 ; No 2, Lane 49, Fuxing Rd; 复兴西路49弄2号; Metro: Changshu Rd)


Arugula (p168, Eating/French Concession) This has been taken over by the Hunan House

Little Face (p163, Eating/French Concession)

Little Face (p181, Drinking/French Concession)


So what’s in the news? According to City Weekend, another 35 new skyscrapers are planned for the Bund in the next decade. http://bit.ly/bMcQIX

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