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Travel & Resources: SHANGHAI

"...broad-ranging, up-to-date information
on Shanghai's gay scene."
-- The New York Times

Utopia's Shanghai listings are sponsored by...

click here for GAY-SKY MASSAGE

Please help us keep these listings current and correct. Special thanks to andrew16, Shaunr, kanakana, Azthairub, Reetah, byronski, h2008bj, Fip, d1partyanima, rollin, nxala2005, billy-shane, buzifrancois, Boris, Ray M., Chou Doufu, TRW, Greg J., John, Joe G., and Jerome O.

SHANGHAI -- area code (86-21)

click here for ICON by ANGEL

General Information

    It is evident everywhere just how cosmopolitan Shanghai was in the past and has become once again. Tree-lined boulevards and ornately designed merchant shop fronts are testament to its former prosperity and its hopeful future.

    This is a city of contrasts--sleek skyscrapers rise next to dusty shophouses hoisting laundry out their windows; McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC have sprouted up on every block; peddle carts ply traditional sweets on the sidewalk in front of Cartier. Shanghai startles in its manic modernism. Neon-splashed Huai Hai Rd sports trend-setting world-class department stores, mega-restaurants, cathedral-sized banks and gleaming Metro stops. People's Park, with it's showcase museums, is a good spot to view the city's spaceport skyline, straight out of The Jetsons.

    Shanghai appears to be run by youth, staffed by youth, and patronized by youth. The population now exceeds 23 million (that's almost a million Utopians!). Nearly every gay you meet in China says they want to live here. The nightlife is constantly reinventing itself, but many venues have found consistent patronage from young, professional locals and expats. Shanghai has come to rival Hong Kong as the gay center of China.

  • City Weekend's LGBeat a pithy blog on Shanghai's gay and lesbian scene

    Navigating the local gay scene is easy with our interactive Utopia Map of Gay & Lesbian Shanghai:

click for our interactive map of Shanghai

Take a look at Shanghai's gay and lesbian scene...


Businesses


Organizations

  • Rainbow League Hip Hop Dance Group
      Email, 139-1711-1889. Meets bi-weekly on Sat from 3:30-5:30pm at D&D Dance Studio, 1/F Hongkou Football Stadium room 104, Hongkou Tiyuju (facing south, just beyond KFC).
  • ShanghaiLGBT
      Email. Shanghai's first group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered folks to meet and share information. With hundreds of members and events twice a month, it's a great way to meet new friends and catch up with what's going on in Shanghai.
  • ShanghaiPRIDE
      Organizer's of Shanghai's annual GLBT pride festivities.


      Click here for pictures and a report from the first ShanghaiPRIDE week 2009


Travel Services

  • Bright China Travel UTOPIA VERIFIED AUG 2013, UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2013
      136-0170-6205, email. Professional, licensed tour guide based in Shanghai who offers customised tour programs, car rentals, guide and interpreter services in China. Specialized in in-depth themed tours such as Jewish history in Shanghai, colonial architecture, Chinese philosophy and religion, Chinese gardens and so on.
    Shanghai Bund Party river cruise by BOYS TOWN UTOPIA VERIFIED JUL 2014
      The Shanghai Yacht Club, 3500 Bing Jiang Avenue Lujiazui PuDong Shanghai, email, +86 400-666-9060, 189-1815-1538. Metro Line 2 LuJiaZui Station, Exit 1, then ten minutes walk south along the Bing Jiang Ave. A private yacht cruise party for gay men departs every Sat. The Bund is a symbol of Shanghai and an epitome of Shanghai's leap into modernity. From the Oriental Pearl TV Tower you can see the riverside in Puxi, known as the Bund, lined with classic art deco skyscrapers from Shanghai's early boom as an international financial center. Across the river in Pudong is the space-age skyline of new Shanghai, including China's tallest building. This private yacht cruise affords stunning views of the city lights. See their website for tour details. Utopia Member Discount


Popular Spots

Accommodations

      Click here for Shanghai hotels and accommodations.


Bars and Clubs

click here for EDDY'S BAR, Shanghai

click here for BEAR TOWN shanghai


Discos


Fitness

    • Changning Swimming Team
        Email. They meet on Sun at 3:30pm at the International Gymnasium at 777 Wuyi Rd (near Zhongshan W Rd).
    • Hongkou Badminton Team
        Email. Meeting Thu 8-10pm at No. 60 Middle School, 323 Qingyun Rd (near East Baoxing Rd).
    • North Shanghai Swimming Team
        Email. They meet bi-weekly on Sat 2:30-4:00pm at Tongji University swimming pool.
    • Orchid Volleyball Club
        138-1813-3043, email. Gay volleyball club plays regularly every week.
    • Physical UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2013
        Branches of this gay-patronized health club around the city, but especially at Raffles City shopping center at People's Park, Utopia Map.
    • Pudong Swimming Team
        They meet Tue 7pm at the Pudong Swimming Pool at 3669 S. Pudong Rd (near Dongfang Rd).
    • Shanghai Huangpu Swimming Group
        Email, 138-1880-0238, 138-1880-0238. They meet Tue, Thu from 7-8:30pm and Sat 5-6:30pm at the Gezhi High School swimming pool, Beihai Rd (near N. Guangxi Rd and People's Square). Optional dinner follows each swim.


Karaoke


Massage for Men


Meeting Places

    • Da-mu-qiao (Great Wooden Bridge)
        Mid-street gardens on Zhao-jia-bang Rd (between Xiang-yang South Rd and Da-mu-qiao Rd), Utopia Map. Local guys. Beware of hustlers.
    • Jujiaqiao Park
        Intersection of Boshan East Rd and Jujiaqiao Rd, Pudong, Utopia Map. This tiny, yet very lengthy stretch of roadside greenery, wedged between apartment buildings and a roadway lit by neon karaoke joints, offers a nightly wildlife refuge, especially during warm summer evenings. Crowd is middle-aged to mature, friendly, and as usual in Chinese parks any sort of activity draws a cluster of curious interest from those here to "go fishing" (as the Chinese call it).
    • People's Square UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2013
        Near Xi Zang Zhong Lu and Wei Hai Lu, Utopia Map. Cruising area in city center, in afternoons and early evenings. Southeast part of the garden (close to Xi Zang Zhong Lu and Wei Hai Lu). Many hustlers, but also some gays looking for friends. 人民广场东南角花园, 近西藏中路,威海路
    • Raffles City UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2013
        Utopia Map. A good place to meet nice gay guys. Hang around the entrance to Pysical health club or the facilities 2/F-4/F. Some MBs.
    • Starbucks Coffee
        Most branches seem to attract trendy local and visiting gays, but especially noteworthy are the Starbucks at Citic and also Riverside Ave Park in Pudong, where you can cruise and enjoy your cappuccino with the most spectacular sunset view of The Bund across the river.
    • Xiahai Temple Park UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2013
        Hongkou, Utopia Map. Not far from Lai Lai Ball Room Dancing Hall (see under Bars & Clubs). This tiny park with dim corners attracts decidedly mature non-scene local men and the "archeologists" (Chinese gay slang) who seek them.


Restaurants and Cafes

      Everyone seems to sum up Shanghai food with two attributes: bland and sweet. If you want to try tasty local food, street-side stalls and shops are abundant, and fresh. Noodles are often still cut by hand. Don't miss the local street specialty, sheng jian, juice-filled, sesame-topped pork dumplings (see picture) fried and steamed in giant round pans. If you could pick one food to take with you to a desert island, and it wasn't Humboldt Fog, it should be sheng jian!


      THE BUND

click for our interactive map of The Bund

    • Saizeriya (no-frills Italian) UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2012
        429 Guangdong Rd, Utopia Map, 6311-2249. Conveniently located halfway bewteen The Bund and People's Square. This throwback cafeteria feels like a retro Edward Hopper movie set and serves food that's as good as any neighborhood Italian café in the US. Super cheap (and that can be a good thing for long-stay travelers in an otherwise expensive tourist area like The Bund) and do-it-yourself drink station.
    • Wufangzhai (dumplings and noodles) UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2012
        Utopia Map. Local workers' cafeteria with a large, round sheng jian dumpling pan covered by a wooden lid just inside their open window. Buy a voucher at the small counter inside. One order is four dumplings. Careful, these divine dumplings are little granades filled with steaming hot juice! Bite a little hole first and perfect the art of sucking to protect yourself and those around you. We warned you!

        shenjian dumplings, Shanghai (c) by John Goss


      FRENCH CONCESSION

    • Cupcakes Cafe (cupcakes and ice cream) UTOPIA VERIFIED JAN 2014
        192 Wulumuqi Middle Road, Utopia Map, 139-1837-5377, email. Gay-owned treat shop right in the heart of the charming old French Concession. Clean and cozy shop is close to Hengshan Lu and Anfu Rd. A perfect place to treat yourself to a satisfying delight, including a rainbow of tasty macaroons. Open daily from 9am-9pm. 上海市徐汇区乌鲁木齐中路192号 Utopia Member Discount
    • Greek Taverna Milos (Greek food) UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2012
        No 1 Yueyang Lu (by Dongping Lu), Changning, Utopia Map, 6431-7751. Their 2nd floor patio overlooking the trees and park has to be one of the prettiest places to relax and dine in the French Concession. Authentic Greek cuisine and excellent service. Reasonable prices.
    • Lapis Lazuli (international fusion) UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2012
        9 Dong Ping Rd (just near the intersection with Heng Shan Rd), French Concession, Utopia Map, 6473-1021. Truly excellent food in a lovely, upstairs setting. Set lunch menues or a la carte dining.


      HUAIHAI GAYBORHOOD

click for our interactive map of the Hauihai Gayborhood

    • Jesse Restaurant (Shanghai cuisine) UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2013
        41 Tianping Rd (opposite Eddy's Bar and near Shanghai Studio), Utopia Map, reservations: 6282-9260. Foodie alert! A famous, small (dozen tables) restaurant serving excellent Shanghai specialties. Very friendly staff can make recommendations from the extensive menu. We recommend the fatty pork in sticky, sweet brown sauce; sweet, flavor-packed fried boiled shrimp; sensational chewy noodles braised in scallion oil; marinated vegetarian "chicken" with chili peppers; and thin-sliced preserved tofu with parsley). Service is fast. Although they may be able to squeeze you in on the spot, make a reservation to avoid standing outside on the street with the other stand-by hopefuls.
    • Xin Yuan Yuan (Shanghai and Chinese cuisine) UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAY 2014, UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2013
        Corner of Panyu Rd and Fahuazhen Rd, Utopia Map, 6280-3008. Foodie alert! This is where all the famous Hong Kong pop stars come for delicious and inexpensive Shanghai food. Large menu with pictures and the prices are super reasonable. Have a look at all the photos on the walls of dressed-down Chinese superstars enjoying dinner here. Surprisingly unpretentious, cozy little restaurant. It's all about the great food here.

        Comments from Utopians:

        "A real discovery. Typical Chinese eatery with great food and friendly staff." -- Luke R., May 26, 2014


      PEOPLE'S SQUARE

click for our interactive map of People's Square

    • Ciao Bambino
        740 Hangkou Rd, Utopia Map, 6080-0800. Corner café, located in the period art deco Langham Hotel, opposite the back side of Raffle's City, is a perfect place for afternoon tea. Large, cozy booths and a case full of scrumptious desserts like olive oil white chocolate mousse with lingenberries.
    • Jaja UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2011
        Utopia Map. One of two exemplary, and competing, Shanghai dumpling outlets (the other is opposite). Jaja serves incredible xiaolong bao (steamed dumplings) in bamboo baskets. Aside from the plain pork (Y$8+ per basket) and the costly pure crab dumplings (Y$80+ per basket), you must try the incredible pork and hairy crab roe dumplings (Y$18+ per basket). Bite first holding it in a spoon with your chopsticks to suck out the golden broth. You won't want to miss a drop! The shredded ginger in sweet, citrus-scented vinegar is the perfect condiment for this dumpling. Eaten with a bowl of shredded egg and seaweed soup to further heighten your taste buds. This combination is one of Shanghai's must-have foodie treats.
    • Yang's Fried Dumplings UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2011
        Utopia Map. One of two exemplary, and competing, Shanghai dumpling outlets (the other is opposite). Yang's serves excellent sheng jian (pan fried dumplings). This version has a thinner, softer skin than some of the doughier versions served elsewhere. Enjoy with a cold can of China's herbal alternative to Coke. As always with sheng jian, please try not to squirt your neighbors with steaming pork juice.


      OTHER AREAS

    • Da Qing Hwa Dumpling
        Several branches of this kitschy, but tasty, eatery exist in the city. We tried the one in Jing'an Dist (6289-9999, 6289-6666), not far from the Jade Buddha Temple. This restaurant has to have the gayest men's bathroom in Shanghai (pay a visit, if only to wash your hands)! The staff are all wearing "Chinesey" period costume but the waiters are totally cute so the effect is more charming than camp. Chunky wood furniture (how many forests were killed to furnish this place?). The place was full of locals rather than tourists (a good sign). Great and unusual dumplings come a dozen to a plate, fried with a crispy crepe-like skin so you have to pull them apart. Best of all, you can have a huge feast for four at only Y$100 (about US$12)!

    • Dong Zhi Jie Restaurant (Chinese) UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2013
        88/6F Zhapu Rd (near Tiantong Rd). Gay people only come here on weekend evenings, from 9:30 pm till late. You can see close to one hundred gay people having dinner then. 东之杰餐厅,地址在乍浦路88号6楼,靠近天潼路
    • Table No 1 by Jason Atherton (modernist fine dining) UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2012
        The Waterhouse, South Bund, Utopia Map, reservations: 6080-2918. Foodie alert! Modernist fine dining at its best in the casual, ultra-cool setting of The Waterhouse boutique hotel in the trendy Cool Docks area. Seating options include chef's table, individual tables, or their shared dining table concept where you can enjoy a convivial meal with other diners. As with the best of modernist cuisine, the focus here is on flavor, texture and temperature using the freshest seasonal ingredients, prepared and presented to delight the senses. Dishes may also be ordered in "sharing portions" so that you can dine family style with a group of friends. From the freshly baked breads served with seaweed garlic tapenade and pork confit in duck fat, to hearty entrees such as succulent beef cheek with snails in bone marrow or pork belly served with lentils, root veggies and crispy pig skin, Table No 1 is one of Shanghai's food delights. Fine dining prices.


Saunas and Fitness for Men



Shops and Salons

      OTHER AREAS

    • Dontai Road UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2012
        Utopia Map. Charming old neighborhood with small shops and street vendors selling "antiques" and Chinese gifts. More authentic ambience than Yu Yuan garden area.
    • Perfect Tan UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2012
        19 Rong Hua West Ave, Block 2, Unit 102 (near Carrefour Gubei), Utopia Map, 6219-2225, email. Perfect Tan runs a professional indoor sun tanning salon in Gubei and uses the latest and most advanced tanning equipment from Europe. Walking distance from Carrefour Gubei and the salon has ample parking space. Equipment from Sportarredo, a premier tanning equipment manufacturer for more than 25 years. Both vertical booths and lying beds housed in individual rooms for your privacy. Shower facilities are also available. The first tanning salon to introduce high pressure tanning in Shanghai. The MasterSun 360 high pressure tanning machine will satisfy intermediate and advanced tanners and help them to achieve their desired, longer lasting tan in a much shorter time. Gay and lesbian-friendly. Utopia Member Discount
    • Qibao Village UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2012
        Easy to get to by taxi, just on the outskirts of downtown near the ring highway. This somewhat Disneyfied neighborhood of old shophouses along a boating canal is less touristed than Yuyuan Gardens and a great place to see the masses enjoying hundreds of food stalls, unpretentious knick-knack shops, tea rooms, and mini-museums dedicated to unique aspects of traditional folk culture such as cricket collecting and weaving. Graze at the many food stalls offering specialties that are getting rarer in the big city. Lots of photo opportunities and you'll probably be the only foreigner amongst the throngs, so you're an attraction as well!
    • Shanghai Sex Toy Market UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2012
        4/F Kai Xuan Men Dasha, 428 Tianmu Zhong Lu (by Wu Zhen Lu), Utopia Map. Take the escalators up to 4/F where you will find more than 20 small shops offering every kind of pleasure aid imaginable along with quite a few that are unimaginable. 凯旋门大厦保健品市场, 天目中路428号, 近乌镇路
    • Tianzifang UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2013
        Taikang Rd, Utopia Map. A traditional "stone gate" neighborhood that has been conserved and transformed into a vibrant district of art galleries, fashion and design boutiques, and sidewalk cafés. Residents still live here, so you can also observe the daily routines of Shanghai's common folk. Offically declared the "Intellectual Property Protection Experimental Park," it is an enjoyable way to see young products by young artists and designers or simply to have a taste of bohemian café life.
    • Xintiandi UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2013
        At Huangpi Rd and Taichang Rd, Utopia Map. Shanghai's trendy dining and boutique shopping area housed in renovated traditional heritage buildings. A great place to people watch in the afternoons and evenings. Oodles of gays, of course.



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