Breakfast at Sense 8

Breakfasst at Sense 8

Shanghai is justifiably known for its delicious street breakfasts, but sometimes you need to elevate things a little, right?

Breakfast at Sense 8

Welcome to the fold, then, Sense 8 – a Canto restaurant that’s discreetly tucked down a Xintiandi alleyway, but once inside is anything but discreet.


Shanghai Early Morning Adventures

When the summer temperatures inevitably soar, the residents of Shanghai know that an early start is the only way to go about their business without fear of heatstroke. It’s a habit energetic visitors should consider adopting, since whilst most museums and galleries don’t open until mid-morning, some of the city’s most endearing neighborhoods are up and moving hours earlier.  Ready to dive in? Check out a few of our favorite early morning Shanghai endeavors below.

Park Life

Lu Xun Park

Hands down the best people watching in the entire city, Lu Xun Park in Hongkou is entirely untroubled by tourists and is in full, riotous swing well before 7 a.m. in the warmer months.  As well as ubiquitous Tai Chi troupes, expect an impressive array of talents to be on show, from weight lifting to swordplay and ballroom dancing –  all set to a soundtrack provided by enthusiastic accordion players and saxophonists. A quirky slice of local life that is genuinely uplifting to behold. Lu Xun Park is located at 2288 Sichuan North Road in Hongkou District, and is open from 6 am-11 pm.

Meet the ‘Four Heavenly Kings’

Shanghai Breakfast


China’s High-Speed Trains. Which Class?

High Speed Train

China’s train network really is a thing of wonder: the country boasts more high-speed rail than the rest of the world combined. And if zipping between megacities at 300 kilometers per hour wasn’t impressive enough, the fact they almost always arrive bang on time makes them an invaluable option for those that find themselves stressed out by seemingly endless delays on the country’s domestic flight routes. In fact, before you sit back and relax, you have just one decision to make. Which class? To help kick off your journey in the best possible way Bespoke presents a primer to picking the seat that is best for you!

Second Class

China Train Second Class

The lowest pricing option, second class offers up your bog standard, garden variety train seat. Nothing to get excited about here, but then again it’s probably better than you expected. Whilst they’re comfortable enough, these carriages can feel a bit cramped when trains are full to capacity, especially for those that end up in the dreaded middle seat (exact positions cannot be chosen). Those that enjoy their personal space and/or are traveling with more luggage might want to consider bumping themselves up a grade or two.  (Sample price: Beijing to Shanghai approximately 555RMB)


The Great World

The Great World

The Great World of the past. Pic credit: Chinese Posters.

Turning one hundred years old is no mean feat, so Bespoke’s hearty congratulations go out to the lovely Great World building near People’s Square that was built in 1917. Now, whilst you’ve no doubt whizzed past this grand old dame countless times (and seen the bright white spire that looms over the elevated highway) you might not know that back in her youth she was a bit of a goer.

Opened as the city’s premier ‘entertainment complex’ and later taken over by corrupt-policeman-turned-mob boss ‘Pockmarked Huang’, the Great World was said to be teeming with life of every kind – contemporary accounts tell of everything from opera performances and tightrope walkers to fortune tellers, pickpockets and pimps!

As decadent as it sounds, the building has known hard times too, most notably when a bomb was accidentally dropped on it in 1937 at the start of the conflict with the Japanese with huge loss of life. While the building was repaired, it never really got its mojo back and lean years lay ahead.


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