You haven’t met rich until you’ve met China rich. The country mints a new billionaire every five days, and these tuhao, as they are called, sure know how to spend their money. A country once built on the foundations of Communism has become a Capitalist wet dream, and at its center is Shanghai. If you think it’s hard to spend RMB1 million in the city in a day, clearly your plane hasn’t landed yet.
Hire a Limo
Price: RMB27,589 for 16 hours ($4000)
Why bother with one of Shanghai’s many forms of public transportation when you can afford to hire a personal limo for the day? Shanghai Limo Service offers climate controlled cars that will cost you $2000 for eight hours. But this is going to be a long day, so book them for 16 hours and buckle up.
Treat yourself to some traditional Chinese medicine
Get yourself ready for the day with some ginseng root, a traditional Chinese medicine staple that promises its consumers virility and a boosted immune system among other supposed health benefits. It is said that ginseng is most powerful when it grows in the wild into the shape of a man. One ounce of the panacea has been known to cost up to $20,000. Make sure you buy enough to have some now and save more for later.
Price: RMB414,442 for 3 ounces ($60,000)
Get a bespoke suit made
Price: RMB70,000 ($10,150)
Take on the city and look good doing it. China has long been known as a destination for tailored clothing, and since 1953, Ascot Chang has been providing customers with bespoke suits using top quality fabrics and unparalleled stitch work. If you go for the best, you’re looking at about RMB70,000.
Pick up some Jade for a souvenir
Real jade is not only one of the world’s most expensive stones, it is also a popular souvenir to pick up in China. The metamorphic rock has an illustrious history in the country and is often found in the tombs of ancient royalty. To find real jade in Shanghai, your best bet is to look around the shops at Yu Gardens. The quality dictates the price, and unfortunately, with RMB166,407, you won’t get anything near the best quality available. For that, you’re looking at over 27 million dollars (what one jade necklace auctioned for at Christie’s in Hong Kong).
Lunch at Bo Shanghai
Price: RMB3360 for two people ($487)
Bo Shanghai, by celebrity chef Alvin Leung, epitomizes Shanghai and gives a nod to the city’s colonial history. Here, Leung takes on Chinese cuisine using traditional French preparation techniques. Each of the eight courses represents one of China’s eight great regional cuisines, giving diners a gastronomic tour of the country all in one sitting.
Drink a few cups of Da Hong Pao tea
Price: RMB48,856 for two cups ($7086)
Da Hong Pao is a variety of oolong tea grown in Fujian province’s Wuyi mountains. Legend has it that the mother of a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) emperor was cured by the leaves from the Da Hong Pao bushes. Six of the original bushes remain today, and the tea from them can sell for as much as $35,436 per ounce. Typically, one ounce of leaves will make 10-15 cups of tea, leaving you with a bill of around RMB48,856 for two strong cups.
Helicopter tour of Shanghai
Price: RMB9998 for two people for 35 minutes ($1450)
These days, it seems like everyone is taking aerial photos of Lujiazui with a drone. But why waste an opportunity to see the real thing, not just the photos? Take a ride in a French-made EC135 helicopter above all the best sights for 35 minutes, enjoying unparalleled views of Century Park, the Huangpu River, and more. The trip departs from the Gaodong Maritime Salvage Airport, and tickets are sold on site.
Spa treatment at the Peninsula Spa
Price: RMB6560 for two people ($950)
You’ve already done quite a bit today. You deserve a break. Unwind at the Peninsula Hotel’s Peninsula Spa. Get a full retreat experience lasting 3 hours 50 minutes for RMB3280 per person. This uniquely soothing journey begins with an energy balancing massage and is followed by a hydrating facial.
Dinner at Ultraviolet
Price: RMB10,000 for two people with drink pairing ($1450)
Ultraviolet is not only the most unique dining experience in Shanghai, it may very well be the most unique dining experience the world over. This high-concept restaurant admits only 10 guests each night for a multi-sensory dining experience that combines sight, sound, and smell with taste. Creator Paul Pairet has artfully engineered every second of the dinner to make sure that the food tastes as good as it possibly can.
Bottle service at M1NT
Price: RMB159,000 for 50 bottles of Dom Perignon ($23,050)
50 bottles of champagne may seem like a lot for one night of drinking, but it’s nothing compared to what some Chinese fuerdai (second generation rich) are consuming. In China, social life is all about face, meaning how you appear to the world. People want to do things that give them face and avoid things that cause them to lose face, and few things give you more face than demonstrating just how much money you have. It doesn’t matter if you actually drink the champagne. The most important thing is that other club goers see that you’re able to order 50 bottles. And if those other club goers also order 50, you better order 50 more.
KTV at MuseK
Price: RMB10,000 per room ($1450)
No Shanghai night is complete without a trip to KTV. Forego the typical singing room experience for a night of luxury at MuseK. The vibe here is more personal nightclub than jaunty singalong with friends. Each room comes decked out with leather sofas with built-in touch screen song selectors, a personal bartender, cameras for “make your own music videos,” and personalized TV monitors. The magnum opus of the complex is a flashy, deep-space-techno themed room that looks like your own private spaceship. So until humans can vacation on Mars, you’ll have to settle for this.
Crash at Hotel Massenet
Price: RMB73,800 for two nights ($10,700)
Hotel Massenet is Shanghai’s most expensive boutique hotel. The designers have cleverly redeveloped a collection of 1920s colonial mansions near Xintiandi into 14 ultra-luxury villas, some with gardens, all with private butlers and garages. Villas must be rented out as a whole and will cost RMB73,800 for two nights.