No need to travel far. Great outings are found in our own backyard
With the coronavirus under control in Shanghai, residents can once again go out and have some fun — shopping, dining, sightseeing or just browsing about.
The new travel trend of staying close to home isn’t necessarily bad. There is plenty to do and see here.
Among the popular “excursion” destinations nowadays are the array of night fairs that have popped up or reopened. And if you carry that idea away from downtown, it also means some pleasant times in interesting, more outlying areas of the city.
Here are a few of the less publicized night fairs that merit a look.
Seoul Night Fair
Hongquan Road in Minhang District is nicknamed “Korea Street” because of the large numbers of South Koreans who live in the area. Korean-style restaurants, bars and stores fill the street, and a weekend night fair there has been attracting larger-than-expected crowds.
Foodies in the city believe this is one of the best venues for finding authentic Korean barbeque and bibimbap, a mixture of rice mixed with meat and vegetables.
“I’ve heard about the night fair for a long time, but I never had a chance to actually visit before it was closed because of the coronavirus epidemic,” commented a netizen with the screen name Summer on Dianping.com, a Yelp-like review website in China. “And when it finally reopened, I didn’t miss the chance to visit. I was not disappointed.”
Many of the reviewers on the website singled out a food stall named Mary’s Snack Box for special comment. It is owned by a South Korean woman, whose spicy stir-fried rice cake with cheese and fish cakes are a hit with visitors.
Apart from snacks, the fair offers activities for all ages: a singing show on the central stage, fashion booths showcasing trendy South Korean styles and a children’s playground.
“There is also a South Korean supermarket nearby where you can buy things not commonly seen in the city,” said Summer. “It’s a nice place to browse after a snack indulgence.”
Address: 1F, 1078 Hongquan Rd, Jingting Tiandi Shanghai
Time: From evening to midnight every weekend
Daxue Road Night Fair
Near several universities and new technology zones in the city, Daxue Road in Yangpu District is considered a good precursor of new trends among the younger generation.
The 700-meter-long road has more than 40 bars, cafés and restaurants, most with outdoor seating and décor of flowers and greenery. The eateries serve as restaurants by day and bars after 10pm, joining the night fair and staying open until around 2am.
Small art exhibitions, street shows and even pet shows are sometimes also part of the night fair.
But nothing is as popular as the trunk market there. Vendors park their cars on the street and open up the trunks as sales stalls. Products, such as plushies, handmade jewelry and shirts are hung on the lid.
“I have to admit that I was more fascinated by the cars than the products,” says Victoria Chen, a student with Fudan University. “I would love to see more trunk sellers near the place where I live.”
Address: Daxue Rd (less than a 10-minute walk from Jiangwan Stadium Station of Metro Line 10)
Time: From evening to midnight
Zhujiajiao Night Fair
The Zhujiajiao watertown in Qingpu District is known for its large crowds during weekends and holidays. A night fair that will run to the end of this month adds to its attraction.
Stalls set up by nearby farmers provide snacks and handicrafts, many with nostalgic elements for older visitors.
A stall selling rattan-woven fans is quite popular. The owner said the fans are woven by local elderly people in their homes, preserving a folk art that may be lost with time.
“People don’t use these fans much anymore because they have air conditioning,” said Cheng Jing, a visitor to the night fair. “But in my childhood, summer meant a hand-held fan and a slice of watermelon. So this takes me back.”
Food, of course, is the main theme of all night fairs. Zhujiajiao is a paradise for meat lovers. Visitors are advised to try local specialties like braised pork and knuckle stew. Seasonal summer favorites include barbeque and crayfish.
Visitors will also find fresh farm products from Dehong in Yunnan Province, a county paired with Qingpu in national aid programs. Corn, tomatoes and various types of chili peppers are on sale.
Address: Zhujiajiao Town (about a 10-minute walk from Zhujiajiao Station of Metro Line 17)
Time: 4pm-12am, through the end of June
Jinjiang Amusement Park Night Fair
Perhaps the most popular night fair in the city is in Jinjiang Amusement Park, adopting a style made famous by Taiwan.
No need to fly all the way to Taiwan to enjoy oyster omelet, deep-fried chicken steaks, small sausages in large sausages and ice jelly. Among the other snacks on offer are steamed rice noodle rolls and stinky tofu.
The rides in this venue, the oldest theme park in the city, might seem out of date today, but the delicious food always draws in the public.
Address: 201 Hongmei Rd
Time: 4pm-10pm on weekdays, 11am-10pm on weekends