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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Chen


Updated: May 8, 2021

Shanghai always surprises me with new things every time I visit. The evolution of the city is similar to the appearance of those female pop stars nowadays- with the new technology, they just look differently each time, which is sometimes hard to keep up for outsiders.

What are my discoveries during this recent Shanghai trip?

1. Cafe and selfie

The number of cafes in Shanghai seems multiply quickly every other while. These cafes are not just meant to serve coffee. Rather, with bookshop, fashion goods and even salon in one space (well, salon in cafe is really something I cannot get. Imagine that one expects the fragrance of coffee upon stepping into a cafe yet instead the air is filled with smell of colorant….!), cafes are to offer a multi-experience as more is more being the trend.

Most cafes I visited in Shanghai are nicely decorated with personality. Therefore, they have also become perfect spots for selfie. Very often I saw two ladies as a group to take pictures for each other in cafes- very organized and skillful. I guess in a way this cafe phenomenon also contributes to the rising of KOLs in China, who have become a new economy and gave birth to many young millionaires by promoting products on their social media accounts.

2. Artistic experience

Feel like breathing some cultural air? Open apps and one will find tons of cultural and artistic activities in Shanghai anytime. I attended Sofar Sounds event and an exhibition dedicated to the famous architect Tadao Ando this time. What amazed me is the quality of these events- the organization, flow, content and even the quality of the audience are much more elevated than expected! Special recommendation to the shopping mall and the egg-shaped bookstore downstairs of the exhibition, which is also designed by the architect.

Safar Sounds at Shanghai Bund, Jan 20, 2017 ©FashionwithAttitude

Sofar Sounds- stand for Songs from a Room, launched in 2010 in London of the intention to create an alternative music experience with intimate settings. The venue is always disclosed 24 hours before the performance.This beautiful voice is captured in the event I attended this time.

My most favorite work from Tadao Ando- The Church of Light and The Hill of the Buddha. Both well illustrates the architect’s idea to seek for the balance between nature and architecture.

3. Food food food

I always believe that the best way to understand a city is through food. It is with no surprise that a cosmopolitan like Shanghai would attract the best cuisiniers. Yet what impresses me is the variety of food and restaurants (I can find the almost authentic Taiwanese food here for my nostalgia) and the good value between the creativity/quality of the cuisine and the price one has to pay! I have to confess my stress in this trip- this is truly the first time I feel a pity to have only one stomach in this gourmet journey. How sad it is!


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