I have a confession to make: I slacked on my travel blogging explorations while in Shanghai. As it was my birthday, and Damien Rice happened to be performing in town, I chose to give up a day of adventure for a much-needed day of music. While I’m in the States, live music is a big part of my life and it’s the thing I miss most (other than my family) while traveling. To have one of my favorite musicians coincidentally performing in Shanghai, and on my birthday no less, was too good to be true.
It just so happened that Quintet was also only a ten minute walk to the Orchestra. It was too convenient! Upon check-in, we were taken to our lovely, chic room.
With comfortable beds, desk, flatscreen TV with ample DVDs, and a large bathroom with huge bathtub, Quintet B&B offered us just what we needed for our one day in Shanghai.
Their breakfast was filling and fantastic; it was of restaurant quality. We were given a few different choices, and ultimately I settled for a mushroom omelette with tomatoes, bacon, green salad, and fruit salad.
After wandering a bit, it was time for my unintentional back-to-back Damien Rice concerts! With tickets to the evening show from a friend, and a surprise birthday gift from my parents to the afternoon show, I was psyched. To be able to hear some of my all-time favorite songs from up close, in a venue with amazing acoustics, in Shanghai, was that little bit of comfort that I needed 4 months into my East Asia trip. It’s also pretty awesome that I ended up on stage for one of my favorite songs — can you spot me below? Hint: I’m the only blonde…
While I understand that most of you will not be going to Shanghai to see a Damien Rice concert, I highly recommend checking out the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. It is a beautiful venue famed for it’s classical music performances.
If you only have one day in Shanghai and aren't seeing Damien Rice…
While we didn’t have much time in Shanghai, we did make it a priority to visit the Bund, the famous waterfront area in Shanghai stretching one mile. Historical buildings — once important banks and financial offices — line the river facing Pudong, Shanghai’s most modern district featuring the Oriental Pearl. Until World War II, the Bund was a the major financial center of East Asia. Since then, major hotels, bars, and other institutions have taken over the area.
Located in the heart of it all is Hotel Indigo, where we were invited for afternoon tea. We were guided to the Quay Restaurant on the 6th floor and directed to a table overlooking the Bund. Unfortunately, it was a smoggy day, but the view was fantastic nonetheless!
We were each given a teapot steeping with the tea of our choice. They were light, flavorful, and had great anti-oxidants.
With the tea came access to Hotel Indigo’s delicious buffet of delicious tea treats. Unlike the afternoon tea set in Hong Kong at Intercontinental, this tea set consisted of only sweets, so go with a sweet tooth! Aside from the buffet there’s also a refrigerator full of various milks, fresh juices, cold muesli, and fresh fruit.
This was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon in Shanghai — avoid the heat, sip some tea, have a snack, and take in the beautiful surroundings both inside and out.
From Hotel Indigo, we had direct access to the boardwalk on the Bund. Without great weather, the views were unimpressive. We had heard though, that the view of Pudong was a must-see, and so we walked around the area until it turned dark and floods of people started to gather.
Around 6:30pm the lights iconic of most Asian cities began to turn on, particularly that of the Oriental Pearl. We spent quite a bit of time watch the buildings flash messages and change colors before heading back to Quintet B&B for the night. The contrast between the old and the new in the Bund is quite striking, and a sight most definitely worth staying out for.
If you're visiting China, stop briefly in Shanghai, if not only to see The Bund.