Exciting Shanghai Night Life

Saturday night is pleasant. Wendy and I hang out on the Bund. It was not easy to find parking lot there. I finally managed to pull my car over at the parking area at the intersection of Xin Kai He road and Zhuang Shan East 2 Road. It charges 10 RMB for the whole night. It is reasonable price but we have to walk about 10 minutes to where we want to go.

We went there because Wendy’s friend just opened a bar called Number 5 on the bund. It is located at the underground story in the old style building at No. 5 of Zhong Shan East 1 Road. We rushed in and found almost all foreigners in the city gathered in the 600 square bar. I am kidding. I said so because I seldom see so many foreigners in Shanghai.

The Bund is still the most exciting and attractive place in Shanghai. Check the great pictures in my friend Edward’s Onthebund Album. He owns great (expensive) Nikon SLR digital camera and takes professional pictures. (Remember? he told me about the album software JAlbum). The bar is located the left most building on the bund in his night picture.

Old Building, New Interior

Going out of the bar, we wandered among the buildings on the bund, with other friends. I came out an idea to visit every building on the bund one day. We came into the building near #5 on the bund – it is called Three on the Bund. The interior reconstruction has completed. I remember during the 6 months I work in the Bund Center, the 7-store building, which was built in 1916, was completely destroyed inside. There is only a shell left and all the floors were pulled down. I entered the construction site (Wendy always laughs at me when I enter a construction site to “inspect” the site. She said I am like a construction worker), I found the whole building is like a huge stadium that I can directly see the high roof. I worried very much at that time because the historical building had been completely destroyed. When I entered the building again, I was very sure the architect was right. Now the Three on the Bund has been transformed into a super high quality entertainment, art, shopping and dining center. The construction cost is reported to be 35 million USD.

A Whole New World

Wow. You know what, my heart beat quickly when I entered into the building. I never have such feeling before. There is an art gallery called Shanghai Gallery of Art on the 3rd floor of the building. The current exhibition is called Space anew. There are two 35mm film players there and there is a old man sitting there. I cannot understand what the art is (I never really understand art) but I am happy there is a place like this.

The Three on the Bund is definitely a place to visit in Shanghai. It calls for luxurious and decent life, which people in China have intentionally shied away for decades.

Xin Tian Di

The next destination was Xin Tian Di. I left my camera in the car. It is a pity that I didn’t capture the vivid life there. We had tea at a bar at Paradise enjoyed the singing of two girls. At night, if you really want to go to bars, Shanghai is a better place than many cities. The Number 5 bar’s owner, who is an America and living in Singapore, talked about Shanghai excitedly: “Oh. I miss Shanghai so much! I am back! I don’t want to go to Singapore!!!”.

I wrote about Night Life in Shanghai. Nightlife seems to be boring in that article. It is what I feel about the city at THAT time. When I go back to the heart of the city, I myself saw something I never realized before. Shanghai’s western style night life is exciting. The majority of this kind of lifestyle is still foreigners and ex-pats.

The Lake

Lying down near the lake of Xin Tian Di (called Taipingqiao Park), we stayed there for two hours, watching the reflection of beautiful building on the surface of the water. (Picture below)

shaghai-pcw-building.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-taipingqiao-water.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

At 1:00 PM, there are still foreign tourist coming to us and asked for direction. Different lives continue at different corners of the city – the big melt pot of different cultures and economic classes.

We went home near 2 AM in the morning.

26 thoughts on “Exciting Shanghai Night Life

  1. Carsten

    Amazing, Jianshuo !

    Jianshuo, you came home 2AM (didn’t went right to bed ?) and finished this article 10:40AM ! Take care that you don’t burn the candlelight from both ends.

    I know, when the spirit is there, you just HAVE to go to the keyboard !

    Maybe the Taipingqiao Gongyuan a “lover’s hangout”, like many other new public parks in downtown ?

    Like this – after 10:00PM every corner is occupied by a couple, star-gazing for the 3 (or if you’re lucky maybe 7!!) stars twinkling in the Shanghai sky, – kissing and hugging eachother…

    There IS a romantic city behind all the moneymaking in Shanghai, if oneself just open the eyes to see !

  2. WilliamW

    Very nice account. You’ll make a wonderful ambassador for Shanghai, Jianshuo. :) I bet many of your readers who have never seen the city will get a sudden urge to visit the place upon reading your article. Hehe…

  3. George Fei

    Wow. Three on-the-bund. My friend Tony is the IT manager of the company. Their company purchased many Microsoft products.

  4. Jian Shuo Wang

    Didn’t spend much money. The drink in the bar with live show is 35 RMB per cup of tea. I didn’t pay for others – the Threeonthebund, the park and the transportation.

  5. Lars Marius Garshol

    One of the nicest places I saw in Shanghai was M on the Bund. Exceptionally nice place with a great view, and the fact that it also sold Duvel (one of the best beers there are) clinched it for me.

  6. George

    Some more nice photos!

    Why is it that accountants – PriceWaterhouseCoopers – can afford the most attractive buildings?

  7. Nick

    JSW,

    I will be back in Shanghai next week I will check out the three on the bund. I usually dont go down their for dinner as I usually stay near you in Xu Jia Hua and its a long trip to the Bund.

    I have not eaten at M but if you want a treat have dinner at the Grand Hyatt 56th floor when its a clear day and you can see the whole city. Its expensive maybe 600 to 800 rmb for two people but for a special occassion its worth it.

    No comments on Xin Tian Di? Its perhaps one of the nicest places in the city to go in the evening.

    Dont be suprised to find foreigners about late at night as the night there is our daytime so many people can not sleep early.

    Shanghai is rivaled only by Tokyo for Nightlife. So many places to go and see and experience. No matter how many times I go each time is better than the previous visit.

    If you have not visited its a must if you go to China.

  8. mathlete

    WJS,

    Is this the same “Number 5” that has a bar in Singapore with the same name??

  9. Lance

    I’ve been to M on the Bund in Nov of 2003 and the view was indeed awesome. But the food was not at all on par with the price. I spend 800 RMB for the dinner for two and there was no alcohol involved. (I gave a 100RMB tip. Should I have? I debated for a while but in the end I tipped. I’m still confused whether tips are expected at Western joints like M on the Bund.)

    Great place to take a girl for a date but the food is nothing to write home about.

    I’m going to Shanghai again at the end of this month and this time it may be for a long period of time. I’m looking forward to checking out 3 on the Bund. Last time I stayed at the Grand Hyatt (76th floor) and 88Xintindi.

    This time I’d ideally like to stay at the JW Marriot Exec Service Apartments, but that can get really costly.

    Comment on night life for the locals. It is indeed so sad that most of the native Shanghai/Chinese people are not being able to enjoy the benefits of these new nightlife attractions popping up left and right. It’s like Shanghai is a serving ground for the Western foreigners. I don’t like that.

  10. chen

    Lance, most of local people do not go to above places does not mean they do not have their own nightlife. It depends on how nightlife is defined. In fact, they go to other places where Western people rarely go. For example:

    – KaraOK “Hall”s. There are some large halls such as the famous “Qian Gui”.

    – Tea Houses (for example, the “Yuan Yuan Yuan”). Young people often spend their after-work hours there playing cards till very late.

    – “Grand Bathroom”s. As you can imagine, people go there not only for bath. Don’t worry, they are even very suitable for children and families. The shopping mall-like “grand bathroom” is a unique place which has almost all facilities you want – bath, dinner, sleep, swiming and bowling, watching show etc. BUT, when you doing these, you have to leave all your clothes in the store box.

    – Internet Cafe. They are getting larger and more comfortable. Some Internet Cafes have hundreds of seats and each occupies a large space. Young people go there to play online games, chatting and surfing. You can also meet firends, drink or even sleep there. Unfortunately, Chinese government has banned after-midnight operations.

  11. rachelmitchell

    I left China six years ago and I’m going back at the end of this Year. I’m so excited and a bit nervous too. It has changed alot. I really like your blog. How dóes your wife think about it? since between your job and your blog, there’s not much time left for her!

  12. Sophie

    Anyone knows the ‘Cotton Club’ ( huaihai x Fuxing Lu)? Does it still exist ? Is it still as ‘In’ than before ? Can anyone recall me the chinese name (in pingyin)?

    Anyother top addresses of place to be seen or place really exciting for food & entertainment lately (last time I came was in April 2004) and I couldn’t experiment every place of course…

    THXS 4 advices

  13. Tim

    Nice site…

    Is it impossible to add few details about the exciting places by night on Shanghai ?

    It would add to the containt of this booming city, and underline the opening state of mind of its occupants…

    Furthemore, we would be glad to visit back the site !

    Thanks for your site,

    Cordially,

    Tim

  14. Daniel Diogo

    I would like to know of a place caleed decadance in Shangai. I met the owner in Lisboa, Portugal for some brief and funny moments and i would like to see him again if ever go to Shangai.

    Any help will be apreciated.

    Tchau

  15. angie chong

    Hello Wangjianshuo,

    I have just come across your blog and read with great interest. Absolutely love the images.

    I will be visiting shanghai in Sept 06, from Australia and looking for someone to be my guide/translator. Someone to take me to the best restaurants, galleries, bars and teashops. My main reason for coming is to do some research on tea, and will also travel to various tea estates.

    Do you or any of your friends do anything like this. I will be travelling on my own, and without the language feel that a guide of some sort would be the way to go. ps. I’m a Chinese Australian….

  16. Jian Shuo Wang

    Do you want me to post a classified for you, and which is the email address I should use? Please give me a public one since I will need to publish the email address.

  17. Elsidig

    I am from Arabic libya

    I will visit shanghai for three days in 26 nov2006. I looking for lady can speak englis take me to shoping?

  18. Dione

    Hello Jianshuo,

    Came across your wonderful blog while looking for places to visit in Shanghai. My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Shanghai to spend our New year .. heard its going to be really really cold! We’re from tropical Singapore.. so not sure how we’re going to take the weather!!

    Any suggestions on where is a must go during winter and where to spend the new Year countdown? be there for 5 days :)

    Cheers,

    Dione

  19. SB

    This site is amazing, its the first place I come to now when I need to know anythign about Shanghai. I’m moving there shortly and want information about everything. This is the best place on the net today for that! Thank you and keep up the wonderful work.

    SB from Washington DC.

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