Following my previous trip to The Bund, I headed south along the Huangpu river to further my exploration around Shanghai on foot.
This is me walking with Voon Ping following closely behind, he's a friend of a friend who was my ex Master coursemate and also best friend to a family friend of mine (have I confused you yet?); he came all the way from Zhan Jia Gang (2 hours from Shanghai) for a tour in Shanghai and we met up.
Such is the small world, it's creepy sometimes.
On the way, we walked through this old street of Shanghai, called Shanghai Old Street (like duh!)
Here you find shop houses on both sides of the road, and a tiny road which many food stalls that leads to more residential flats.
The houses here are even more runned down then the ones I saw at Tai Kang road.
At a glance of it, I couldn't quite get how they can actually still stand, on the second floor!!
What's worse, it's next to this mesh of wired and cabled lamp post.
Talk about safety. -.-
Below this lamp post was where I had my crayfish (I still want to call them mini lobsters, cause they're so cute).
Pretty (red) aren't they?
It's sinfully unhealthy though.
How they cook these was to put them through hot used and reused cooking oil over and over again (whenever it gets cold, they'll just deep fry them again, it' horrible).
But mind you, it's really delicious.
"Hey, you look good"
We decided to take away some and have a feast in Starbucks. :D
Playing with food
And amazingly, even my weak stomach (I had six food poisoning in the past two years in Malaysia from Roti canai and Kuey Tiao) can handle it with ease, so it should be clean enough.
Just don't think about it. (Nicolekiss' rule of thumb to Eating Around The World guide)
Anyway, as we ventured further. We finally arrived at the infamous Yu Garden (Yu4 Yuan2).
A classical garden located in Anren Jie, built in 1577 by Ming Dynasty government officer named Pan Yunduan for his parents. In 1760, rich merchants bought Yu Yuan Garden and spent more than 20 years reconstructing the buildings. Severely damaged during the Opium war, it was restored in 1956 and opened to public in 1961.
Can you spot the starbucks?
When I saw the place, I thought it was mighty impressive. It's like a small confined city of its own, with its own houses inside a little great wall. It'll take you through several buildings and arches before you can actually arrive at the small central garden itself.
Must be some pretty rich merchants.
Some random dragon statue in front of a restaurant
I managed to grab myself some pretty decent snacks here.
Soup in a bun (pao) with a straw.
Careful, it's hot. Don't sipped too fast, because I did. T_T
This photo makes me look like a goth.
And and and... I got found some smelly tofu!!!
Being adventurous, despite being full, I want to try everything they have there which I have never tried before in my life.
In spite of its taste, looks and price (ok, maybe not really price). In this case, it's smell.
It didn't taste that bad, it fact, the pungent smell wasn't as bad as I had imagined it to be. Maybe it wasn't the really bad (or good) ones, and the taste of smelly tofu was said to be really good, melts in your mouth and heavenly flavour, a heavy constrast to its odour.
Well, at least that's on item off my to-try list.
Here, you find Shanghai's BEST xiao long pao (mini soup in pork dumpings).
Highly recommended everywhere, by everyone, on every guidebook, it's said to be worldly known. Name precedes its taste, I decided to investigate Nan Xiang ManTou Restaurant of its infamous Xiao Long Pao.
First you divide the dough
From the window, you can have a clear view of the chefs preparing for these soup dumplings. Each doing one task, at a speed so fast it puts me to shame.
Then you put the flesh paste in
Finally you wrap them up
Unfortunately, in order to have a taste of the xiao long pao in this restaurant, even just to take away, you have to endure a ridiculous long queue that could last for hours (reminds me JCo donuts in Malaysia) any time of the day, any day of the week.
I decided to skip it because first, it was getting late; second, shallow as it may be, it didn't look that good at all from what I have observed. I mean, the skin of the dumplings looked like they were too thick, too quickly done, which has put me off in queuing an hour for a 5 yuan serving.
Walking off, I decided to catch a cab to head back to XinTianDi (near where I stayed, a very happening place) to buy some movie tickets and dinner with VoonPing.
When I saw this.
It was wiggling on the road, just letting off two of its passengers, so adorable!! OMG. It looks totally like those tuk-tuks in Thailand. (I shall refer to them as Shanghai tuk-tuk from here) I hailed it down and haggled a price before hopping anxiously on with Voon Ping to experience the olden days of travelling in Shanghai.
It was really fun. I love the ride, instead of seeing everything facefront, you are looking at Shanghai, on the road through the back end. A total different sight to offer.
I managed to take a photo with my Shanghainese tuk tuk driver before heading into XinTianDi for dinner.
Uncle so cute even posed with me.