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.
For all its cosmopolitan trappings, Singapore remains, at heart, a tropical island. The city planners determinedly preserved gennery and the high groves of concrete and glass, and for a complete escape from urban bustle there still remain patches of the jungle and mangroves that covered the island when Sir Stamford Raffles first established a trading outpost here in 1819.
In this era of 6,500-passenger mega-ships, any cruise vessel conveying fewer than a thousand voyagers is considered a small ship, including high-end luxury liners, deluxe expedition ships and the world’s riverboats. The focus on many small ships is the destination rather than the conveyance, the expert chat rather than the Broadway show, the watersport rather than the casino, the scenery and culture rather than the full-service spa and specialty restaurant. Passengers make a travel style choice, forgoing the options and pleasures of a resort-sized vessel for the deeper, more immersive experience of a yacht-scaled ship.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Air Tahiti Nui resumed service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Papeete (PPT) last week. To welcome travelers back to French Polynesia, Air Tahiti Nui offers fares starting as low as $775 round-trip from Los Angeles, and $789 from San Francisco (SFO). The airline also allows a free date change on all of its tickets.
Turkish Airlines, already flying to more countries than any other airline, announced its 10th U.S. gateway: Newark Liberty International Airport. Service will launch May 21, with four flights per week between EWR and Istanbul (IST). Beginning June 1, the frequency increases to daily.
Magdalena, a Maryland Bistro in The Ivy Hotel partnered with Uncle Nearest premium whiskey to create a Preakness-inspired cocktail ahead of this weekend’s event. The Laws and Lilies libation honors the contributions of Black jockeys in the early days of American horse racing. Emmanuel S. West, Jr., director of food & beverage, The Ivy Hotel, crafted the cocktail using Uncle Nearest’s 1856 Premium Whiskey.