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When people come to Shanghai, they usually don’t know what the city has to give. They may go see the Bund, look at a museum or two, and try to enjoy the local cuisine. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but Shanghai has so much more to offer. By all means, do the touristy things, but do the following as well.
Once nothing more than an industrial area devoted to airplane manufacture, Shanghai’s West Bund is now the city’s best alternative to the congested historic Bund. In an effort to turn the West Bund into an arts and cultural hub that rivals London’s South Bank, the city government has encouraged the rapid establishment of art museums and galleries along this lively waterfront. Among the picnickers and skateboarders are now the hippest artsy types who come here for the Long Museum, Yuz Museum, and other up and coming creative venues that will turn anyone into an art critic.
Every Friday from 11am-3pm, a wonderful thing happens on a little stretch of street just outside of the Huxi Mosque: local Chinese Muslims gather before their services to share the freshest Halal foods with the people – and sometimes dogs – of Shanghai. As cars beep their horns wildly to get through the crowd of hungry market-goers, tented stalls dish out everything from seasoned lamb kebabs to homemade sour yogurt. Bring plenty of cash, because even though the culinary treats are well-priced, you will want to try everything, and then try everything again.