With all its hidden lanes, its incredible contrasts and interesting history Shanghai is a mekka for explores. And even though we consider ourselves "local expats" we only know a tiny bit of good old Shanghai.
So when Culture Shock invited me to come for a guided tour around the heart of Shanghai's French Concession to learn, explore & have fun, I was super keen. Even though I continuously remind myself to explore new things here I definitely have my habits, my routines and my very favorite spots! Meaning, I seldom just stroll down a new Shanghai lane or bike to a new Shanghai area. But this Saturday myself and Leon got a change to do just that!
The Culture Shock Experience
It was a wet & grey Saturday morning when we met up with Alan, our Culture Shock guide at the Andaz hotel in Xintiandi - so when he offered us complimentary lattes and morning treats we knew we were in good hands for the day. We got introduced to our co-bikers: a Dutch couple visiting Shanghai and we got given our bikes for the day. We were happy to see that these bikes were super new and much better quality than our own old Shanghai bikes!
Before taking off we got our safety instructions as well as covered up in our complimentary rain ponchos: Rain or Shine, Culture Shock will make sure you get your value for money!
Our first stops were of historical character and I'm sure if Leon was writing this post, he'd share some interesting facts with you. I forgot the facts and will just share that we had such a cool stop in the beautiful Fuxing Park where our awsome guide Alan gave us an introduction to Wushu - A form of traditional Chinese martial art which he himself trained intensely when he was a kid in China. With my passion for yoga, I loved learning some Wushu poses / strikes!
The Saturday weather cleared up just as our guide invited us for a local carb-heavy late-breakfast / lunch snack. We enjoyed the fried snacks & warm soy milk with the locals at the side of the road and from here we headed to an area with very old and very traditional Shanghai residence style: lilong residences. The most known ones are referred to as the Shikumen - a certain type of architecture and building style.
All the way through the local Shanghai lilong maze, our guide shared small stories & funny Chinese superstitions which neither tourists nor us "local expats" had heard of before.
Before we knew of if 3-4 hours had passed by. The Saturday weather had turned into blue sky & sunshine and we finished the day in one of the local Taoist temples. Per Taoist tradition we burned incense in memorial of our ancestors and prayed for each of our individual "right path" in life =)
Culture Shock Details
Culture Shock offers different type of tours around Shanghai with several languages available! It's truly a great way to get to see a bit of local Shanghai and actually getting interesting information a long the way in regards to what you see. The best part of my day was definitely the guides input with facts, stories & activities!
For booking, check out the Culture Shock Website and contact them directly so they can make a tour perfect for you and perhaps your Shanghai visitors: +86 131 277 321 65 firstname.lastname@example.org!