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40 tips about Shanghai you can't find in any guidebook II

21. Try locally brewed beers

Boxing Cat Brewery, a popular expat hangout serving American comfort food, often has three or four brews on tap such as Right Hook Helles or Donkey Punch Dunkel. Paulaner Brewhaus is a locally-launched German-themed chain with both light and dark brews on tap -- good enough to get the approval of many a German expatriate. And for your “off the drinking track” brew, head to Ganlanba, a restaurant by Century Park in Pudong, which serves Dai cuisine (a minority from Yunnan), as well as light and dark homemade beers.

22. Do good

Volunteer to help sort donated clothing for needy people in Anhui which is the best place to experience Huizhou culture for your China vacation deals and other provinces. Leading with the principle that most of us use only 20 percent of our things 80 percent of the time, the River of Hearts charity solicits used clothing and then distributes it to the neediest in China. They regularly require volunteers to help with organizing the donated goods. Sorting parties are held regularly.

23. Taxi al fresco

Why look out a cab window when you can see everything first-hand from the back of a motorcycle? Motorbike taxis tend to congregate outside most major subway stations around rush hour. The Science and Technology Museum stop on Metro Line 2 is a safe bet. Even though you’ll agree on a price in advance, and expect to pay roughly twice the amount you would for a normal taxi, that is the cost of convenience and the exhilarating feeling of wind whipping through your hair.

24. Sip, sniff and swirl

Learn the secrets to your own palate at Napa Wine Residence. Winesign is a unique interactive wine tasting program which helps you predict exactly which types of wines fit your tastebuds. At this twice-weekly program (RMB 260 per person) guests are led through an entertaining blind tasting of six wines. Using remote control devices, guests indicate their top wines. At the end, everyone receives a print-out which describes their preferences and lists wines which fit them precisely. Check website for full details.

NAPA Wine Bar & Kitchen, 1-2/F, Wine Residence, 57 Jiangyin Lu, near Huangpi Bei Lu, 6318-0057

25. Shanghai high tea

Perhaps the best, and surely the highest, afternoon tea in town is at the Park Hyatt, with a view from the 87th floor down onto all of Pudong and Shanghai. The pastries including scones, a mini-bagel with salmon and a flaky egg tart, are not just stunning and delicate, but uniformly delicious. Other good options around town are the newly opened Peace Hotel, the Peninsula Hotel and the Portman Ritz-Carlton.

26. The Shelter part II: KIN

One of Shanghai’s best known DJ’s and club owners, Gary Wang (founder of The Shelter) and his partners have launched a hip urban boutique and casual café called KIN. Head here for their delectable sandwiches, homey desserts and Gary’s own recipe for tonkatsu ramen.

KIN, 65-5 Maoming Bei Lu, near Shengping Jie, +86 21 6217 3355

27. Tea time

Drink endless rounds of tea and enjoy a buffet of snacks like nuts and fruit at this beautiful traditional Chinese teahouse filled with carved wooden furniture and even a fish pool. It's complete with a crucial modern update: Wi-Fi and plenty of outlets for surfing or freelancing your afternoon away.

De He Teahouse 2/F, 135 Jianguo Xi Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu, +86 21 5468 1117

28. Hustle at a billiards club

The Baowai poolhall in Changning district is hopping seven nights a week with Shanghainese of all ages shooting pool the breeze.

Baowai Zhuoqiu Club, 3/F, 738 Dingxi Lu, near Niuqiao Lu, +86 21 6280 1533, 10 a.m.-midnight, RMB 45 per hour for a table

29. Snack on Shanghai street food which should be tasted to color your popular China tours in Shanghai.

Eleanor Roosevelt famously advised: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Nothing wrong with the tried-and-true xiaolongbao, but if you want to take your taste buds (and stomach) off the beaten path, check out the array of fried things on offer on the food street at Lane 209, Fanyu Lu and in the surrounding area.

30. Shanghai live music

Check out live rock, metal, punk, folk and just about all types of music from local bands as well as international acts at some of the top venues in town for performances. Check listings for weekly live acts.

31. Root for the home team

Swill some beer and cheer along with thousands of your closest friends at Hongkou Soccer Stadium, proud home of the Shanghai Shenhua Football Club.

Hongkou Football Stadium Station, 444 Jiangwandong Lu, near Huayuan Lu, Metro Line 3/8, RMB 50-200, schedule and tickets: 400-810-1887 (9 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

32. Hair care

Get your head massaged, hair washed, ears cleaned, shoulders rubbed, plus a blow dry all for the tidy sum of around RMB 30-40 at hair salons all over town. Look in the window of neighborhood salons for groups of ladies and gents with great piles of suds atop their heads and attendant massage therapists at work.

Prices are generally clearly marked in the window; the cheapest price is usually for the massage and shampoo, sans haircut.

33. Visit your local mah jong parlor

Grab three friends and head to one of Shanghai’s thousands of mah jong parlors. Most are open 24 hours, so you can stay as long as you like, though we recommend you go home and bathe/sleep around the 12-hour mark for your top 10 China tour packages.

Dong Duo Que Guan, open 24 hours, 3/F, 1333 Huaihai Lu, near Changshu Lu, +86 21-6431-4013; private rooms available from RMB 25-48.

34. Fish for your dinner on Chongming Island

Dvir Bar-Gal, photojournalist and Shanghai historic tourguide, recommends casting your line out at Chongming Island’s ecological park on the Southeast end of the island, where you can take your catch home with you (starting from RMB 16 per kilo). With an artificially abundant lake, even novice fishers are likely to get a bite. “You might be able to milk a goat there too” says Bar-Gal. Random.

Yindong Ecological Village, Baichen Gong Lu, near Beichen Gong Lu, Chongming Island, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., +86 21 5943 6276; Buses to Chenjia Village departing from Wenshui Road Station (Metro Line 1) and Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Station, (Metro Line 2): RMB 12, entry: RMB 20, net and pole rental: RMB 10, boat rental: RMB 10

35. Go postal

Dvir Bar-Gal reckons that “the best kept secrets are best because they are in fact secrets.” Still, he points us toward the roof of the Shanghai Post Museum for “stunning views of Suzhou Creek and the Bund” not to mention the funky Baroque clock tower.

Shanghai Post Museum, 250 Suzhou Bei Lu, Wednesday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., RMB 10, +86 21 6362 9898

36. Watch a burlesque show at Chinatown

Billing itself as the first burlesque show house in Shanghai in over half a century, this shrine to cheeky showgirls and show tunes is located in a 1931 Buddhist temple. Watch the singing and dancing show while sipping a classic cocktail and imagine a trip of China back in time to the city’s days of decadence.

37. Channel the lovechild of Rambo and Jackson Pollock

Per Weicheng Paintball Shooting Sports Center’s website, they mean business: “Feel the rush of a forest full of enemy combatans [sic] and a hail of gunfire. It will leave you breathless.” Grab your gun, get out of the city and start shooting.

38. Something borrowed, something blue

Buy fabulous, flamboyant, frilly discount wedding dresses, tuxedos and all kinds of formal wear at the wholesale wedding market. The upper floors of this giant mall are filled with two types of shops: photography equipment and wedding wear. The dozens of wedding boutiques are bursting with gowns and suits in every shade and style. The quality goes from secondhand and samples to high-quality labels and they also offer custom tailoring services.

Be prepared to bargain.

39. Visit the oldest mosque in Shanghai

That would be the Fuyou Lu Mosque on the outskirts of the Old City, which dates back to 1870 and at one time served as the headquarters of the Shanghai Islamic Board of directors. Pop around the corner for some Halal eats at Zhengzong Lanzhou Niurou La Mian.

40. Wear your PJs

Although Shanghai authorities have tried to eradicate the practice for the 2010 Expo, local residents are still holding on tightly to their PJs as outerwear tradition. Make sure your nightclothes are up to seeing the light of day, then throw them on and hit the streets like you were born here. Bonus points if you can find a small fluffy dog with a pink tail and/ or booties to walk while you’re at it.

If you want to know more, you can contact with China travel agents.

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