1. The Food
Shanghainese food was AWESOME . The xiaolongbaos were the best I’ve ever eaten, and the guoties (gyoza for the Japanese-eating folk) had soup in them!! Kinda like a panfried xiaolongbao, but the soup and the meat taste different from that in the xiaolongbao. In Singapore both pretty much taste the same, and the guoties are dry. I highly recommend Xiao Nan Guo (小南国) on Donghu Road (I think? Or else it’s the road between Donghu Road and Fenyang Road) and Su Zhe Hui (苏浙汇) on Maoming Road. Su Zhe Hui is written in old Chinese. The English name is Jade Restaurant (lol no link right?!). The Scallion Oil noodles are also a must try, especially at Xiao Nan Guo!!!
HK food wasn’t all that awesome. Not that it wasn’t good – it was, but we can get similar food at a similar standard in Singapore. The shaola is AWESOME however!! And so is their beef soup he fen!! And let’s not forget Yung Kee’s pae dan. YUMMM.
2. The Sights
In terms of physical scenery, China won hands down. Mom and I took tours to Suzhou, Hangzhou and Zhou Zhuang. They say 上有天堂，下有苏杭, but for me Zhou Zhuang took the cake! The Venice of the Orient is truly beautiful, and seems more unspoilt than Venice itself. The latter seems to have become a bit too commercialised – I mean, they don’t even use their waterways for transportation anymore, and there are tourist traps at every corner. In Zhou Zhuang, you really get to see the farmers ferrying their vegetables on the canals, the old-school fishing nets they use to catch fish to eat, and women washing their clothes in the canal. It’s really lovely. The bridges and cobblestones are all the original ones too – it was truly a trip back in time!
The human scenery, however, was much better in HK. Mwahahahaha. Every trip on the MTR was a visual feast. The girls and boys in HK really know how to dress and carry themselves well.
I lost my camera in Shanghai!! I don’t even know HOW it happened. After dinner at 1221 – don’t go there btw, food’s expensive and nowhere near Xiao Nan Guo or Su Zhe Hui’s standard – I thought I remembered putting it in my bag, but I must have left it on the taxi. BLARGH!
The people in Shanghai REALLY spit all over the place. Wear covered shoes when you walk around there.
Shanghai shopping isn’t great. The layout of the shops is very bad, for one thing, and the international brands are more expensive there than in Singapore. Local Chinese fashion isn’t really what the average Singaporean would wear either. The local boutiques along Changle Road are a little more in keeping with Singaporean tastes, but they’re extremely spaced out along the road – which means you may have to walk quite a distance past karaoke bars and such before coming to the next 10 small boutiques. And they’re not cheap either. Expect to pay the same price as the pricier boutiques in FEP (think Black Clover). Dresses average 60-80 bucks per piece!
Hong Kong shopping is FABULOUS, however! I didn’t manage to go to the local boutiques along Fa Yuen Goi – spent 2 days doing outlet shopping and 1 day dashing around Causeway Bay and IFC to check out international brands that were unavailable in Singapore or were on sale. Zara and Mango seem to have a slightly different (and better) range there. I saw the most AWESOME pair of Louboutins in Citygate outlet mall, but sadly they weren’t on sale!!! Way too pricey for me. Mom agreed they were probably the most awesome pair of heels she’s ever seen too! Beware of shopping branded in IFC before checking out outlet malls however! The same range of Kate Spade that was on sale in the outlet malls was selling at full price in IFC.
6. The Elusiveness of Delifrance
I spent 1h trying to track down Delifrance in Times Square. Hahahaha! I wanted to see if they had the Ham Cheese Croissant that seems to have become extinct in Singapore. I didn’t find it, however. ;p The unit number is B225A. I think I was wandering around the wrong level actually, come to think of it. I’m always very disoriented in places that have Level G as well as Level 1.
7. Egg tarts!!
Lord Stow’s egg tarts from the Excelsior Bakery claim to hail from Macau and they are AWESOMELY lovely. The egg custard melts in your mouth! yum!!