DURING THE 1920S AND ’30S, Shanghai was known as the Paris of the Orient — glamorous and decadent with a vibrant nightlife. A century later, Shanghai still parties hard. Most bars and clubs stay open until 3 a.m.; some don’t close their doors until 5 a.m.
The Long Bar, opened in 1910 as a British gentlemen’s club, remains retro but is now part of the elegantly restored Waldorf Astoria on the Bund. Find wildly expensive drinks and Hollywood A-listers at the packed-every-day-of-the-week Bar Rouge, with a bonus: amazing views across the Huangpu River toward futuristic Pudong. Speak Low boasts four boozy floors, each with a different vibe. Devotees of rare pours head directly to the top floor.
Among other favorites, Monkey Champagne hosts a young, fun, cash-rich crowd and DJs spinning a top-40 hip-hop mix. Shanghai’s oldest gay bar, 390, hosts a mix of gay and straight, resident and foreign patrons who come here for great music and affordable drinks.
Shanghai was a top destination for touring jazz musicians in the 1920s and ’30s … and still is today. Locals headline at small and glam Heyday; big names from New York (two shows a week) appear at Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai. With wooden tables, wooden chairs and black-and-white photographs of jazz greats on the walls, the House of Blues & Jazz attracts younger jazz aficionados. Step back into a 1920s speakeasy at The Jazz Bar at Fairmont Peace Hotel, catering to an older crowd — even the musicians are octogenarians.
The after-hours literary crowd heads to Madame Mao’s Dowry for poetry readings and the occasional open mic. During the day, it is a quirky shop stocked with Communist-era items like vintage Mao- style jackets and old propaganda posters.
Feeling peckish? Super-fancy Hakkasan, a Michelin-starred restaurant, offers creative takes on classic Cantonese dishes. For jaw- dropping views, reserve a table at Oriental Pearl Tower Revolving Restaurant. The buffet may not be 5-star, but the nighttime Shanghai skyline is. Grab a cab to Xintiandi, boasting old Shikumen-style townhouses converted to a trendy shopping and dining bazaar. Sample cheap, authentic street food at the night markets, including grilled seafood kabobs; rice and crayfish snacks; steamed buns (bao); and steamed, boiled and pan-fried dumplings. Changli Road Night Market remains hugely popular with dumpling-obsessed locals.
My husband and I arrived to The Water Club Hotel at the Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for our two-night stay and drove directly to valet parking. After the swift drop-off process, we took the escalator to the lobby to check in. With no one ahead of us in line, we were checked in and on our way to our room on the 30th floor in no time.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
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