Simon Lichtenberg is the founder of the Trayton Group, which is based in Shanghai, said to be the most westernized town in China. It is certainly the center of trade in China, and where most of the growth and improvement has happened since the Chinese market has become more open. Simon was presented with the Magnolia Silver Award for his role in this development. Shanghai is often described as the town where ‘East meets West’, as there are so many cultures represented. Simon himself was born in Denmark, but moved to China in the 1990’s and studied at Fundan university. The Trayton Group are an international company that design, manufacture and sell high quality upholstered furniture. We asked Simon Lichtenberg ‘what are the 10 top things to do in Shanghai?’
‘My first suggestion would be to take a walk in the former French Concession Area’, he says. The French imported the trees that line both sides of the street, making it feel like a local neighbourhood rather than an area of a huge city with millions of inhabitants.
Simon also suggests going on the Bund Walking Tour. The most famous landmark in Shanghai, the Bund is a collection of stunning buildings you can have a walk around.
‘The Yu Garden and Bazaar are not to be missed’, he adds. It has all been renovated in traditional Chinese style, so it feels like ‘Chinatown’. The Huxingtig Tea house is located here.
Simon Lichtenberg also thinks the Moganshan Road Art District is worth a visit. Once full of factories and warehouses, it is now home to contemporary art galleries.
‘The Glamour Bar is a must’, he continues. Located on the sixth floor of the Bund, it looks out over the Huang Pu. You may see the sun reflecting pink off the Pearl Tower.
Simon tells me that the Xin Tian Di is one of the best restaurants in Shanghai. It is one of few buildings still in the traditional Shikumen red and grey brick.
According to Simon Lichtenberg, you cannot come to Shanghai and not take in a Birdseye view of the city from a skyscraper. Two possible buildings you can do this from are the Shanghai World Financial Center (88 floors) or the Jin Mao building.
‘The Tianzifang Taikang District is great for shopping, as it is full of street vendors’, Simon Lichtenberg informs me. They sell anything from traditional dresses to silver jewellery. Local Shanghai life at its best!
‘Antiques fans will love the Dong Tai Road’ states Simon. ‘Here, you can buy Mao memorabilia, porcelain, masks, rice buckets, anything, from the stalls and shops! Remember to bargain!’
Last but not least, have a cup of tea at Yongfoo Elite. The garden has fountains and swing chairs, and feels really tranquil. It also has a restaurant. ‘Many of my 2000 employees come here to unwind’, says Simon Lichtenberg.
So, there are Simon Lichtenberg’s ten suggestions. There is so much more to see though, so keep your mind and eyes open!