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6 Experiences You Shouldn’t Miss in Shanghai 

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China, 6 Experiences You Shouldn’t Miss in Shanghai

Shanghai is China’s biggest city and financial hub. It is the living definition of hustle and bustle. Home to more than a quarter of the nation’s population, Shanghai offers one of the largest English teaching job markets in the world.

Teaching in China attracts many highly qualified and experienced teachers given the upbeat market. Salaries and benefits are wildly attractive and highly competitive. Attrition rates are also low given the appealing career prospects across private and public institutions.

This Chinese city is a melting pot of East and West culture; embracing modernism while entrenched in its deep history and culture. It is no surprise that Shanghai is home to many English-teaching expatriates, many of whom, have also settled comfortably in this cosmopolitan city.

To teach English in Shanghai has its perks; with a good pay package and affordable city-living, living on a teacher’s salary does not compromise any authentic Shanghainese experience. Here are 6 experiences you should not miss while you are teaching and living in Shanghai:

Live to eat, eat and live

Shanghai offers a diverse culinary experience! From cheap street food eats to fancy international restaurants and chains, everyone is spoilt for choice. Shanghai cuisine is renowned for its sweeter flavours which is easier on the palette compared to other Chinese cities that are big on spice and vinegar!

A typical Shanghai classic is Xiao Long Bao, or also known as soup dumplings. Soup dumplings are Chinese comfort food, filled with delicious pork, vegetables, or seafood, steamed in a broth held together by a delicate skin wrapping. Like sushi, there is also a ‘correct’ way of eating soup dumplings, but unlike the Japanese, there is no judgement if you decide to enjoy soup dumplings the way you prefer. We suggest popping the whole thing in your mouth for an explosion of flavour, but careful, they come out piping hot!

Dive into Shanghai history

If you are a Mission Impossible fan, the Bund is probably a familiar scene! The Bund is the landmark of Shanghai, where the new and old embraces each other. The colonial past of Shanghai remains largely intact and is on the Western side of the Huangpu River, called Puxi.  On the Eastern side, pulsating skyscrapers line the Pudong shore, showcasing the economic powerhouse Shanghai is in China and the world.

You may enjoy the Bund on foot and enjoy shopping along the way, or take a boat ride and indulge your senses in an architectural marvel. Alternatively, if you want to impress your visitors or just spend a day by yourself, have a drink at Hyatt Hotel Bar, Cloud 9 in Jin Mao Tower. There, you can get yourself a meal and drink on the 87th floor and be in full admiration of the Shanghai cityscape.

Shop till you drop!

Shanghai’s shopping scene caters to any budget! If you’re out for a good bargain, or looking for local crafts, or even hankering for any internationally renowned brands, shopaholics are in no lack of choices.

A trek, yes a trek, down Nanjing Road will satisfy any shopping desires. Experience China’s version of New York Times Square, where shopping malls line up left and right of Nanjing Road while street artists entertain you among the bedazzling city lights. Nanjing Road stretches 5.5km and connects the Bund to Jing’an Temple, Shanghai’s oldest Buddhist Temple.

Love coffee or not, Nanjing Road is home to the world’s largest Starbucks. The Reserve Roastery features 3 coffee bars nestled within an area of 30,000 square feet.

Tian Zi Fang and M50

Tian Zi Fang and M50 are famous clusters for the Shanghai art scene. These two spaces are Shanghai’s first-generation projects catered to develop the creative scene and build communities of artists. Over the years, Tian Zi Fang and M50 have attracted some of China’s top artists who have also called either place home and established their way of life and business through galleries and museums.

Tian Zi Fang is an alley of bohemia, art, and everything not-so-mainstream. It is Shanghai’s art district with lots of alley-style shopping, bars, and boutiques. Lane 210 features many artist studios and Lane 274 is the main shopping strip.

Zhu Jia Jiao

One of the top weekend getaways destinations in Shanghai is Zhu Jia Jiao, much like Venice.  This ancient water town was established 1700 years ago with archaeological findings dating some 5000 years back.

History encapsulated in Zhu Jia Jiao. The entire village is connected by 36 bridges, each uniquely built with stone or wood. Fang Sheng Bridge is probably the most famous one. It is also the longest, largest, and tallest stone bridge in Shanghai, spanning 70 metres and was built in 1571.

Easily accessible by bus and train, Zhu Jia Jiao is free to all who enter but entrance fees apply to key points of interest. Guided tours are also available for first-time visitors to Zhu Jia Jiao.

Travelling to other parts of China

China is huge. It spans 9.5 million square kilometres with 687 cities. The total population is over 1.4 billion, and Shanghai itself with more than 27 million residents. Due to its sheer size, China shares its borders with Asian countries such as Mongolia, Korea, and even Vietnam. This makes each Chinese province unique in its culture and heritage with lots of room for exploration.

From Shanghai, gain access to roads to the rest of China and immerse yourself in the vast opportunities this country offers.  Alternatively, go down the path less travelled and explore rural China.

Teaching in Shanghai is more fun than you think given the expanse of China. For a life-changing career, consider teaching English in Shanghai.

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