Pairs, a rockin’ duo from Shanghai, are touring Korea this October. We were going to interview their lead singer about his influences and inspirations but then realised we’d rather find out about what Pairs get up to while living in China’s second-largest city. Y’know, just in case we decide we like them enough to want to visit them on their own turf.


This may be the worst write up of ‘What’s Hot in Shanghai’ ever, but it’s what I like. There’s heaps of other websites for good food or banging clubs or sightseeing death traps, but here’s what I recommend if you find yourself in Shanghai.

Mr. X

Some people don’t like this place, which proves that some people are morons. Mr. X is heaps of fun; they lock you in a room and you have one hour to figure out clues and get out. In one room, we had to crawl under lasers and then slide out pieces of a wall and drag a chain across a room and then crack a safe. Shit was awesome! I sucked at the Morse code bit, but I was pretty good at watching people listen to it. You need a group of people, at least 3 I think.


Most people like good bars, but I don’t get them. I don’t understand the thinking behind wanting to go to a bar that’s packed full of idiots you don’t know. It’s hard to find a seat, guys try and talk to you whilst you’re pissing, the bartender forgets your drink and you can’t hear a word the person you went with said. That’s why I like Beni’s between 12pm and 8pm. They have 2 for 1 jugs of Tiger and they give you free peanuts, but the best part is that there is no one there between those hours. They let you put on your own music if you have your iTouch, and once they let me put a karaoke machine behind the bar for a night so my friend could sing John Farnham there the next day.

The Park Hyatt lobby at Shanghai World Financial Center

It’s in that iconic Shanghai skyline building that looks like a bottle opener and is on the 86th floor, maybe 87th – 80 something. Your ears pop in the elevator and you feel a bit dizzy. But then you walk out, pretend like you’re a big shot,  sit in the bar and look out over all the beautiful pollution that Shanghai has to offer! If it’s a clear day, you can see a huge amount of the city and there are free telescopes there to stare through. The drinks are expensive, but it follows the unwritten rule that the higher the bar, the higher the price. The best part is the toilet. It greets you when you walk in, is heated and has the world’s longest door. I spend most of my time in there just hanging out with the paper towel guy asking him how he gets a toilet smelling so good. Well worth a look!

Century Park

This park is huge! Too huge. Once my friends were somewhere and I asked one of the employees where that section was and they said they didn’t know because the park is too big. Not sure if that is actually a testament to the size of the park or the stupidity of its gardeners. If you go there, hire a four-wheel bike slash car beast and ride around chasing other bike slash cars. You can have some amazing fun smashing in to them – even better if there is a school excursion there and all the high school kids are rollin’ around. Bring your own roll cage and take no prisoners. Also, throw popcorn at the seagulls and then hire a boat and smash up other boats. You can photobomb a heap of wedding photos, too.

China Post

Any China Post office is an amazing place. It’s like a trip back in time – like seeing how post offices used to be run 40 years ago. You can stick stamps on with glue made from the world’s sickest horses. Once I saw a security guard there and he was vomiting on his own shoes. Why didn’t he move his foot? Because he’s a legend and he’s guarding the post office. Then he started burping really loudly. Every time I go and pick up a package, I get a note a week later saying that my package is ready to pick up. China Post are the best trolls in the history of trolling. Spend a day in there and see how they use an abacus and how many people are sending goods in hessian sacks.

See Pairs at Strange Fruit in Hongdae  or on .