5 Tips for Surviving Shanghai’s Scorching Heat

5 Tips for Surviving Shanghai’s Scorching Heat
By Andrea Scarlatelli , eChinacities.com

Shanghai summers are infamous. Ranking right up there in expats' list of “Favorite Things to Kvetch About” (along with polluted air and the lack of rainy day taxis), hot weather seems to take us by surprise every year. The humidity that makes you sweat even if you're standing still, the seemingly endless plum rains, the lack of sufficient air conditioning... Aah, it wouldn't be Shanghai without it! But don't despair quite yet - there are some basic ways to beat the heat that will leave you energized, refreshed, and maybe even enjoying these hot summer days.

1) Get in the Water
There's no better (and easier) way to cool yourself down than finding a body of water to splash around in. Unfortunately, Shanghai isn't exactly known for its pristine beaches. That's where Sunny Beach comes in, a modest stretch of sand situated next to the popular Cool Docks area. There are plenty of beach chairs on which to lounge and take in the sights, and a relaxed food and drink policy make it a bargain at 20 RMB per person.

If you're in the mood for some more active fun (and slapping up against a million other people in bathing suits), check out Dino Beach, Shanghai's one and only honest-to-goodness water park. It contains Asia's largest wave pool, a decent lazy river ride, and countless water slides to keep you busy for hours. Prices can get a bit steep, especially on the weekends, so I'd definitely recommend going during the week (which incidentally also helps with crowd control).

And lastly, if your main objective while staying cool is simply to show off your fabulous swimsuit and even more fabulous body, be sure to stop by one of Shanghai's famous pool parties that happen practically every weekend at various locations. Take a look here for the prime locations.

Sunny BeachView In Map
Add: Waima Lu, near Maojiayuan Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市外马路, 近毛家园路
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00am-10:00pm

Dino BeachView In Map
Add: 78 Xinzhen Lu, near Gudai Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市新镇路78号, 近顾戴路
Tel: 021 64783 3333
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00am-11:00pm

2) Enjoy a (Cooling) Spa Treatment
While trips to the spa are obviously wonderful experience year round, certain treatments just beg to be enjoyed in the stifling summer weather. Feet feeling rough from wearing all those open-toed sandals? When an ordinary foot massage just won't do, Diva Life offers their aptly titled “Ice Cream Pedicure”, which consists of soaking, removing calluses, exfoliating, moisturizing, and an aloe and cucumber lotion massage (250 RMB/80 minutes).

If, on the other hand, you've decided that your whole body needs a do over this summer, head to the popular SkinCity 5.5, where you can try out their Peppermint Body Scrub. Employees use eucalyptus and peppermint oils to exfoliate and soothe all over, helping your skin glow when you're lounging at the pool (398 RMB/60 minutes).

3) Eat Fresh
It seems like every time the weather turns warm, no one can stop talking about the “cool” foods that Traditional Chinese Medicine> (TCM) recommends for beating the heat. These include raw fruits and vegetables that naturally grow during the summer (such as spinach, eggplant, and mint), fish, and whole grains. So basically, all the healthy things you should be eating year round anyway! According to TCM, the best cooling foods are cucumbers, strawberries, and watermelon. The easiest way to enjoy these fresh ingredients is by throwing them all in a salad. Element Fresh's Shrimp and Papaya Salad is a good place to start – it contains grilled shrimp, papaya, edamame, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, and cashews (72 RMB). A cooling food powerhouse! And while TCM doesn't recommend eating anything too cold (this supposedly increases “dampness” in your body), we expats from the West can't conceive of a summer without some frozen treats! Anna Banana, the surprisingly successful frozen yogurt shop in Pudong, is a great place to indulge your sweet tooth while staying cool – just pick a flavor and add all the toppings you want (think cereal, fresh fruit, etc.).

Doubling (or tripling, depending on how much you normally drink) your intake of liquids is also recommended, but keep in mind that sugary drinks like soda don't count. Water and unsweetened teas are your best bets, while alcohol and coffee will work against you.

Element FreshView In Map
Add: Shanghai Centre, 1/F, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Xikang Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市南京西路1376号, 上海商城1楼, 近西康路
Tel: 021 6279 8682
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs, 07:00-23:00; Fri-Sat, 07:00-24:00

Anna BananaView In Map
Add: 88 Henan Lu, near Guangdong Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市河南路88号, 近广东路
Telephone: 021 6335 2662
Open: Mon-Fri, 09:00-21:00; Sat-Sun, 10:30-21:00

4) Go to the Mall
Whether you're there just to window shop or you have the credit card out and ready to go, the fact is malls are probably the coolest, most highly air conditioned places in Shanghai – after all, the more comfortable you are, the more you're likely to buy! This city has got its fair share of malls (see: Xujiahui) but some are a bit more... pleasant than others. For a glimpse into the life of the ridiculously rich, check out the IFC Mall in Pudong. It's usually overwhelmingly empty, so you'll have plenty of space in which to stroll around and peruse the wares. For something a little more downtown, try the Grand Gateway Mall, which will make you think you've died and gone to electronics heaven.

IFC MallView In Map
Add: 8 Shiji Dadao, near Lujiazui Huan Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市国际金融中心商场, 世纪大道8号1楼, 近陆家嘴环路

Grand Gateway MallView In Map
Add: 1 Hongqiao Lu, near Huashan Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市虹桥路1号, 港汇广场1651楼, 近华山路 

5) Take a Ride Around the Track
What could possibly be better on a hot summer day than whipping around a racetrack with the wind in your face? What about having a beer while you're doing it? All this and more is possible at not one, but two indoor go-kart tracks here in Shanghai. Both Stampede Karting and Disc Cart Indoor Karting have booze, food, and fast cars at your disposal. Prices run about 70 RMB per ride, but you can usually take advantage of the various specials they have running. So hop in and get your adrenaline running while staying nice and cool.

Stampede KartingView In Map
Address: Section C, Basement, 1288 Zhenguang Lu, near Meichuan Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市真光路1288号C区地下室, 近梅川路
Tel: 021 6139 5095
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-02:00

Disc Cart Indoor KartingView In Map
Address: 809 Zaoyang Lu, inside Changfeng Park, near Guangfu Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市枣阳路809号, 长风公园内, 近光复路
Tel: 021 6222 2880
Opening hours: Daily, 13:00-01:00 

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Keywords: summer fun Shanghai water park Shanghai summer Shanghai good malls Shanghai go-kart Shanghai


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