For a traditional start to Year of the Dog, head to Longhua Temple, the largest in Shanghai. Locals and visitors alike converge on the historic pagoda on Chinese New Year Eve (15 Feb) to hear the traditional bells chimed by 108 monks – hearing them is said to bring luck for the following year. A cultural fix inducing prosperity? Sounds win-win to us.
Another top spot is tranquil Yu Garden, also known as Yuyuan Garden an ornamental enclave featuring waterfalls, rockeries and lush foliage. Hop along during the Lunar New Year holiday and watch the annual folk show and lantern festival, held to celebrate the coming of spring. With traditional costumes, live music and a bustling, communal atmosphere, this is real-deal Shanghai.
For fine dining with a New Year’s slant, the Peninsula Hotel’s Yi Long Court, has a range of delectable packages. As well as two, eight-course festive menus, Michelin-starred chef Tang Chi Keung will also be serving specially designed dishes, including the traditional casserole poon choi and customary lo hei, a dish which is tossed together by diners for prosperity. An elegant (and fun) way to feast with family and friends, book sharpish if you want to nab a table.
Finally, prepare yourself for the year ahead with a spot of luxurious pampering at the Peninsula Shanghai Spa. Inspired by 1930s Shanghai, the lavish haven is the ultimate spot to rejuvenate and renew – try the sleep therapy package, which includes an aromatic ESPA oil bath, meditative breathing lesson and hot stone body massage. And, exhale...
Longhua Temple / 2853 Longhau Rd / Xuhui / +86 21 6456 6085 / 7.10am-4.30pm daily
Yu Garden / 218 Anren St / Huangpu / +86 21 6326 0830 / 8.30pm-5pm daily
Yi Long Court / 2/F / The Peninsula / No 32 The Bund / 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Rd / Huangpu / +86 21 2327 6742 / lunch & dinner daily /shanghai.peninsula.com
Peninsula Shanghai Spa / 3/F / No 32 The Bund / 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Rd / Huangpu / +86 21 2327 6599 / 11am-midnight Mon-Fri, from 10am Sat-Sun /shanghai.peninsula.com