Fun activities at the 800-year-old Jiading district, in northwest Shanghai, one of the city’s newest and most exciting cultural and lifestyle centers
1. Fun fests
The Jiading district in Shanghai, China, may have officially turned 800 in January, but the anniversary celebrations continue at one of its newest developments, Xiyunlou commercial street. Here, 26 old villas have been converted into modern establishments, where you can enjoy a wealth of seasonal food and drink promotions until November 15. Also, the Shanghai Poly Grand Theater (www.shpgt.com), a cultural landmark, is staging programs to celebrate its 4th anniversary. Highlights include a concert by classical pianist Li Yundi on December 8.
2. Old meets new
Nanxiang town in Jiading is the purported birthplace of xiao long bao (soup dumplings). To enjoy some, head to Nanxiang Old Street. Visit either (or both!) of the street’s oldest xiao long bao eateries, Rihuaxuan and Changxinglou — and be prepared to queue.
3. Thrills and spills
Jiading in Shanghai is also known for the Shanghai International Circuit — the annual venue for the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix (f1-shanghai.com). Petrol-heads flock here each year to catch a glimpse of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in action. On November 18, the circuit hosts a leg of the 2018–2019 FIA World Endurance Championship (fiawec.com), which lasts a whopping six hours.
4. Sea of green
The town of Malu in Jiading is famed for its abundance of fruit, especially its Malu grapes. Immerse in nature and pick seasonal fruits — go for the grapes at Malu Vineyard (maluputao.org) from May to June. Elsewhere in the district, there’s Jiabei Country Park (jiabeicountrypark.com), a green zone made up of forests, farmlands and even rivers. Opened in 2017, it’s the perfect place for picnics and cycling. Eco projects in the pipeline will also further develop Jiading into an exciting green lung for Shanghai.
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Where to stay in Jiading: Planning a trip soon? You have a few new accommodation options to consider:
- Opposite Malu Vineyard, the boutique Yiwai Puyuan Hostel (28 Dazhi Rd) has bright, contemporary rooms, traditional Chinese pavilions and a quiet garden to relax in.
- For a more social ambience, the Peace House (2383 Cao’an Hwy) is a guesthouse with spotless rooms and a large communal area that houses table games and hammocks. I
- If you’re keen to pamper yourself, the new Hyatt Regency Shanghai Jiading (1366 South Yumin Rd) — housed in a huge building designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Tadao Ando — offers spacious rooms with panoramic views of Shanghai city.
This article first appeared in the November 2018 issue of Smile magazine.