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Shanghai or Peking? If you only have time for one city.

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by von Rothbart, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Senior member

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    I've never been either and I only have time for one of them,so which city would you recommend? Even if haven't been either, which city would you pick? I am leaning toward one of them, but I want to hear your opinion first.
     


  2. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Peking is ideal if you want to see historical things like the Imperial Palaces as well as the Soviet-like edifices of the capital. Also, the Great Wall is nearby as are the Ming Tombs. The new Koolhaas designed buildings in Beijing are going up as well, though probably not finished now. [​IMG] Shanghai is much better for shopping and colonial architecture--the French concession is especially pretty with some rather grand mansions and townhouses. The city is generally more "cosmopolitan"--Shanghai people are known for their arrogance towards all the other Chinese cities since they believe other cities all contain bumpkins--and very Western. There's also a Silvano Lattanzi store in Shanghai. For a first trip to China, Peking is probably more ideal as it's like going to Paris or London.
     


  3. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim In Time Out

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    In one city, you will receive a surprise.
    In the other, they have many ducks.

    The "surprise" for me was that I could never again take Sean Penn seriously as an actor.
     


  4. Eason

    Eason Bicurious Racist

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    Shanghai is a much nicer place to visit than Beijing. My brother lives in beijing and it's too gray and polluted. Cheap, though. Plus, the touristy shit there is completely boring.
     


  5. Kengs

    Kengs Senior member

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    Shanghai has prettier women [​IMG]
     


  6. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Shanghai has prettier women [​IMG]

    As other Shanghai-nese people will tell you, they are all manipulative money-grubbers.
     


  7. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

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    You know it hasn't been called Peking for years, right?
     


  8. lurker

    lurker Well-Known Member

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    People in Beijing are more arrogant and insular than the Shanghaiese. Pollution is really bad in Beijing. Food and shopping are better in Shanghai. Shanghai is a really safe city though. But if this is your first time to China and if you don't get to come here often in the foreseeable future, then I think Beijing is better. At least you can do the typical touristy sites. Personally, I'd consider Shanghai city-wise is rather staid. Yes, there is the Bund, the French Concession but after a few hours walking around, they are not that special. It's a different story if you live and work here. Then quality of life in Shanghai is much better than Beijing.
     


  9. Jl24

    Jl24 Senior member

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    Shanghai for more modern culture and nightlife.

    Beijing for Olympics 2008 and the traditional culture.

    Personally, I opt for Shanghai, but it really depends on what you're looking for.
     


  10. BubblyMasquerade

    BubblyMasquerade Senior member

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    ITS FUCKING BEIJING.. and I would go to Beijing... Shanghai is much to crowded and rather boring imo.. I took me 5 hours to get from my hotel to the airport...which was only 16 miles away...
     


  11. maomao1980

    maomao1980 Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    People in Beijing are more arrogant and insular than the Shanghaiese. Pollution is really bad in Beijing. Food and shopping are better in Shanghai. Shanghai is a really safe city though. But if this is your first time to China and if you don't get to come here often in the foreseeable future, then I think Beijing is better. At least you can do the typical touristy sites. Personally, I'd consider Shanghai city-wise is rather staid. Yes, there is the Bund, the French Concession but after a few hours walking around, they are not that special. It's a different story if you live and work here. Then quality of life in Shanghai is much better than Beijing.

    The people of Beijing would probably say the same thing about the Shanghainese. Having said that, what you are far more likely to find is that the population in both of these cities are made up of just as many from other parts of China as those native to the city.

    Besides the other points on food, I do agree with you on all the other points.

    Since the OP is not of Chinese descent, it would not make much sense for him to visit the most Western city in country for his first taste of China.
     


  12. wiru

    wiru Senior member

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    Shanghai is probably a nice place to live. The touristy things are pretty low key. The architecture is nice, and it does have a great museum. The gardens at suzhou are a day trip. Beijing has much better sights. E.g., Mao's embalmed corpse.

    As for shopping, people will try to sell you Rolexes and Louis Vuitton bags in both cities.
     


  13. lurker

    lurker Well-Known Member

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    The people of Beijing would probably say the same thing about the Shanghainese. Having said that, what you are far more likely to find is that the population in both of these cities are made up of just as many from other parts of China as those native to the city.

    Besides the other points on food, I do agree with you on all the other points.

    Since the OP is not of Chinese descent, it would not make much sense for him to visit the most Western city in country for his first taste of China.


    Let me qualify my point on food. Yes, beijing cuisine is better than shanghaiese cuisine. shanghaiese cuisine is very sweet and greasy. But shanghai offers a lot more in terms of variety, options and authenticity than beijing in terms of the various regional and international cuisine here. But for a first time tourist in china, beijing's is probably better.
     


  14. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Let me qualify my point on food. Yes, beijing cuisine is better than shanghaiese cuisine. shanghaiese cuisine is very sweet and greasy. But shanghai offers a lot more in terms of variety, options and authenticity than beijing in terms of the various regional and international cuisine here. But for a first time tourist in china, beijing's is probably better.

    Beijing's food is only better if it's the "Imperial Cuisine". Otherwise, traditional Chinese rules dictate that Beijing cuisine--and all other Northern cuisine--is crude and peasant-like.

    Shanghai-nese cuisine is indeed, sweet, but it's not as sweet as Suzhou and Wuxi's cuisine. The regional Ningpo cuisine is fine if you like freshwater type things although it can get very salty and sometimes odd.
     


  15. maomao1980

    maomao1980 Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My point on the cuisine is made purely based on my own taste preference. To be clear, I prefer the more earthy, rustic taste that is more common of Northern cuisine. In terms of the variety offered, I still prefer Beijing as the taste of that city tends more to the heavily flavored style of cookings, such as Sichuan, Hunan, Muslim, Korean and other more spicy and salty Chinese cuisines. I always tend to think of the comparison between Northern and Southern style of Chinese food as similar to those of Italian and French styles. The former is much more simple in presentation, has high carb content, and is lacking in sophistication, where as the latter is more delicate, more time consuming to prepare, and is more suitable to high dinning. Both can be made to taste extremely good, but comes down to personal preference.
     


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