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The bars and restaurants of Xintiandi are where rich, expat business people hang out at night. Don't join them, unless you have money to burn. A beer will set you back $10.
But, if you want to drink your money to the accompaniment of a blonde-haired, Chinese girl, rock band, this is the place for you!
Unique Suggestions: The only reasonably-priced place, I could find in Xintiandi was a little Japanese fastfood restaurant: soft drinks only.
Updated Apr 30, 2007
late january I have been in Shanghai walking on Najing Road. Suddenly a guy bumped into me and asked me friendly if everything was ok with me. Only late in the evening I found my wallet was missing and so they actually have stolen some Dollars and credit cards.
later at home i found out that my creditcard was being misused and a few thousand dollars have been deducted from my account. As a description caesers club was being mentioned on my account overview.
So please watch guys bumping into you, because actually they will lift your pockets!!
Written Apr 5, 2007
All of these are tourist traps. First off the shoe shine guys wait outside nice hotels. They walk up and squirt lotion all over your shoes, and then want to clean. My friend was standing at a crosswalk, and had a guy grab his foot and put it up on the shine box without my friend noticing. Don't think by not carrying cash you are exempt from this. The same friend was directled to a nearby ATM so he could be paid.
The tea ceremony is a scam also. I know a couple friends who decided to give it a shot. They did have a good time, at least until the bill came. When they had entered the building where the tea ceremony was being held they were taken to the top floor. They found out later that each floor had a ceremony, but every floor you go up the price goes up. When the bill came they were on the hook for over $175 U.S.
I happened to be there less than two weeks prior to Chinese New Year. The city was covered with people hustling. I found out later that was because they were trying to stock pile some extra cash because they were to have two weeks off for new year celebrations.
Updated Mar 20, 2007
This is actually an amalgamation of a whole range of scams we encountered- quite sad really!! We especially found it disappointing that the only people who wanted to talk to us wanted to rort us for money.
Some of the scams: young girls coming up to us (mainly my husband when they thought he was by himself!)and saying they wanted to practise their English- they really wanted to take us to a teahouse and then charge us an exhorbitant fee;young people from Xian who wanted to take us to show us their artwork;people wanting to exchange money; people wanting to sell us fake bags, watches etc; men throwing "polish" on my husbands shoes so they could then polish them;people doing a paper cut of my husband's profile;people begging.
One day we counted 32 people in 2 hours - the time it took for us to walk along Nanjing Road to the subway!!
Unique Suggestions: Smile and say no thanks. We did take pity on the shoe polish man and paid him money fro not throwing shoe cream on our shoes!!
Updated Mar 18, 2007
Since we joined a tour group, it is mandatory that the tour guide bring us to this place. be aware! they will tell you that you are getting the best deal when in fact you are not! they will say that because you are tourists they will give you a special deal but they are not! one of our companions bought a bracelet worth 100rmb and was able to see the same item at old shanghai st for only 10rmb! what a rip off!!
Unique Suggestions: pretend that you don't understand what they are saying and just roam around the facility. don't show too much enthusiasm because they will then pressure you more into buying.
Written Feb 27, 2007
I was in Shanghai in September, 2006. I was invited to the Caesar's Club. I was taken to the 7th floor. I had two cups of tea. The next thing I know I had a bill for $185. I protested through AMEX and they investigated for 3 months, but ultimately indicated I would have to pay the money. I highly recommend no one go to this place. Don't even go within 10 feet of the place. There will be Chinese women who will ask you to go there. They are not prostitutes but hustlers who seem nice and seem like they want to have tea, but once they get you inside you are in trouble.
Unique Suggestions: Don't even go inside. Take digital camera pictures or video of the people if they pester you.
Fun Alternatives: Go to the Shanghai walkway and check out the awesome skycrapers and have dinner.
Written Dec 22, 2006
Last weekend we went to Bonbon for drinks. It was a 150-drink-all-you-can deal and there were lots of young expats and b-school students. After staying til 3-4, we went outside to eat some brochettes just in front of the club.
A guy approached us to ask our help to translate the address on his phone, apparently it was the police. It turns out that this guy's credit card was taken by the waiter! He ordered a bottle of champagne in the bar, which is normal, handed his credit card and after two hours he was still waiting there--no waiter, no champagne, and NO CARD!
The waiter seemed 'official' ie. working with the club and he didn't think anything was amiss until dread overtook him while waiting for the order that never arrived. Sadly he did not have a calling card so we were not able to get his contact details, since we wanted to know if we could help him out and if he eventually recovered his card.
Fun Alternatives: There's lots of other nice clubs like 97, Zapata's, or Barbarossa's.
Written Dec 12, 2006
Xin Tian Di is a new hip and trendy entertainment and shopping district in Shanghai. Upmarket restaurants and shops are packed neatly into a square, targeted at Western visitors to Shanghai. The ambience is more European than Chinese. Restaurants serve French, Italian, Cuban and other cuisine. There are two Chinese restaurants - Crystal Jade Palace and Din Tai Fung which serve quite good Chinese food. The ubiquitous Starbucks has its presence here. The fashion shops sell designer clothes which are exhorbitantly priced and on par with boutiques in Paris and London.
There is really nothing Chinese about Xin Tian Di from my perspective as an ethnic Chinese Singaporean travelling to China to immerse in Chinese culture.
Unique Suggestions: You can visit Xin Tian Di, but do not buy anything from the shops - they are exhorbitantly overpriced.
Fun Alternatives: If you want to have a meal at one of the Western restaurants, be prepared to pay RMB 200 - 250 for a 3-course set dinner. For that amount of money, there are much better restaurants elsewhere. I do not recommend having a meal at Xin Tian Di. If you want to chill out, have a cup of coffee at one of the many bars or cafes for people watching.
Updated Nov 25, 2006
I was invited to a CAESARS CLUB on Nanjing Lu (a bar close to Sofitel on the 7th floor. (The 5th floor of the building has a foot massage parlour and the 6th floor has a restaurant). I had ordered 2 drinks there. Next thing I knew my table was full of food that I had never ordered. On trying to explain that I had not ordered any food and would not be paying for it, they feigned ignorance to English. Next when I returned from the bathroom there were 20 more empty glasses of ‘whiskey’ added to my table. Then 3 goons came with an exorbitant bill for the food & 22+ drinks WHICH I NEVER HAD. They physically abused and threatened me to pay up the demanded ransom while they tried to chock me. Ironically these goons (true businessmen that they were) brought in a calculator with them to try and bargain the right amount of extortion from me ! We went back and forth with the 'right price'. There was no way out for me but to pay and leave.
On returning to my hotel, I reported this to the manager. He in turn called the cops and sent his staff members with me to identify the bar. After much negotiation between the police and the crooked owner, I atleast got a 'partial' refund of my loot. He still insisted that he had to deduct his 'expenses' from the loot! When I tried to file a report with the police, conveniently they did not speak any English. Through an interpreter I was informed that if I did not have any photographic evidence they were unable to take any action against these thugs. Obviously this was not the first such incident and the cops know about such palces and their dealings.
Written Oct 31, 2006
Two well mannered and well groomed Chinese students approached me in a park, and struck up a conversation with me in English. They were very friendly and told me they were from out of town and on a tour of Shanghai with their school.
They invited me to attend a tea ceremony at a local tea house. It turned out to be a scam and I was presented with a bill for over $120.
Here's the clue, when the students ask you your name and you tell them, and then they say that that is their own name, you know you are about to be scammed.
Attached is a picture of the two students that scammed me. They told me their names were Andy and Fifi. This occured in May, 2006.
Unique Suggestions: Beware of anyone striking up a conversation with you. Attached is a picture of the two that scammed me. After this happened to me in Shanghai, I traveled to Beijing. In Beijing, at the Forbidden City, I was approached again by two students using the same technique.
Written Jun 5, 2006
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