Shanghai, the 'whore of the East' had its heyday in the 1920s and 30s, as a playground for the wealthy and those with money to burn. Gambling, prostitution, drinking and jazz, the list of decadent pursuits and activities was endless. This all came to an abrupt halt with the cultural revolution and the city was relatively calm for a few decades.
Today, the influx of investment, tourists and trendsetters is helping to put Shanghai back on the map as one of THE places in Asia to wine, dine and hang out. Shanghai certainly has its finger back on the pulse and the feeling and atmosphere in this city at night is captivating, addictive and exciting.
While Hong Kong is generally recognized as the most fashionable city in China, Shanghai is fast catching up, and offers an arguably more selective, up to date and trendy selection of restaurants, bars and culture than its southern counterpart.
In a country where only a few years ago it was difficult to eat anything other than the national cuisine outside the major hotels, Shanghai now has a plethora of Continental and Asian restaurants, whipping up incredibly good food in great surroundings. Many of these places have award winning chefs, are fantastically designed and offer fabulous service.
The city's bar and club scene too, is stylish enough to rival that of any western city. New bars spring up every week, offering an incredible selection of watering holes for a city of this size. The bar scene is big enough to cater to all tastes too; Irish bars, German beers, cocktails and Martinis, house and garage tunes, New York soul, unique and funky Jazz are available throughout the city.
Many of Shanghai's most sophisticated joints are filled every night of the week with locals and foreigners ready and willing to realize that decadent spirit again.