Your travel plans may have to wait, but with a little creativity, you can imagine you’re anywhere you want to be. As you dream of where your next trip may take you, our Bring Travel Home series will make you feel like you’re exploring another city in the world right now – from the comfort of home.
It’s been several years since my last visit to Shanghai – a lifetime when it comes to how dramatically a place can change in China. Consider that a 57–storey skyscraper can be built in 19 days while a major highway overpass can be demolished and fully replaced in 43 hours. A Chinese TV drama series I watched recently (more on that later) made me long to return to the city of my mother’s birth – to stroll through the historic foreign settlements, to eat my fill of street food, perhaps catch some “dancing aunties” showing off their moves in a Shanghai park and speaking Shanghainese, the distinctive but declining local dialect.
While you may not be able to feel the breeze come off the Huangpu River as you walk along The Bund, or have your tea served by a tea master or cháyì shī (茶艺师), there are other ways to escape the solitude of the pandemic and immerse yourself in the vibrancy of China’s most populous metropolis.