Grant Pearce, Editorial Director of GQ Asia Pacific, gives us his guide to his second home
My First Impressions Of Shanghai
The first time I went there was in 1999. My first impression of Shanghai was that it was an interesting cross between old world and modern China. I think the thing that impressed me the most were the buildings on the Bund. It takes you back instantly to another time. At that time it was original, it’s wasn’t so developed. It was such an eye opener to see that grandeur, that scale… One of the first amazing impressions was a restaurant called M on the Bund. It’s actually owned by an Australian woman. Her restaurant is in an old bank building with a beautiful terrace that overlooks the river. It was such a romantic experience.I really enjoy living in Shanghai. It’s such a dynamic city as there is always something happening there. It just surprises me all the time.
Best Place To Buy A Suit In Shanghai
Wow – that’s a good question because there are a lot of interesting new tailors that are starting to emerge in a contemporary way. There is one called Allen Xie and he’s kind of got a very sophisticated and quite showy identity, but it’s a very cool brand. The other one would be Gent Space, which now has two stores in Shanghai and they’ve got a really beautiful aesthetic and they have a lot of well-tailored suiting as well as ready to wear. Another one is 10 Corso Como for lots of unique buys.
Best Place To Go For A Cocktail
A view of the Bund is very special in Shanghai. The rooftop bar at The Peninsula Shanghai is fantastic, there’s also a restaurant called Mercato that has a really cool vibe. I always order the same thing which is a vodka martini – shaken (laughs). There is also a wonderful little restaurant called Ginger By The Park, which is in the French Concession. It’s just a fabulous experience. It’s more of restaurant, but it’s a fabulous experience and amazing food.
Best Place To Spend 24 Hours
Shanghai is a big city and quite hard to get around, so you really have to pinpoint the area where you want to spend your time. But the former French Concession, is a beautiful area. It reminds you of Paris. There are lots of little stores in that area. It’s a big precinct. It’s a very worthwhile experience to go through those streets. You get a flavour of the real Shanghai.
The Dish To Try Before You Leave
The dan dan noodles in Shanghai are amazing. It’s a very traditional Chinese dish. It’s typical noodles, but in a sesame and chilli oil stock. It also contains preserved vegetables and comes with a bit of a kick. It’s fabulous.
Best Place To Buy Art
There’s a market, which has quite interesting art in it. It’s in the French Concession. I just happened to come across an artist in there and he’s amazing. He specialises in portraiture. I bought a stunning painting from him.
Best Souvenir To Take Away From Shanghai
Well, I think finding something local that has been made by artisans would be perfect. I’ve seen some really lovely jewellery makers working with rough stones. There are also some really beautiful tea shops and the teapots are quite fabulous. They would make a great memory of Shanghai.
Suggested Itineraries

Alaskan Wildlife Adventure

Alaska United States of America North America

  • Jetboat into the wilds of Alaska

  • Hike and take photographs on Spencer Glacier

  • Take a flight to Tukta Lodge while spotting moose, bears and eagles

  • Visit Katmai National Park, home to the largest population concentration of brown bears in the world

  • Go on a kayak tour of Tukta bay

When to go:

ideal length 9 nights

Classic Bali

Bali Indonesia Asia

  • ​​​​​Sunset seafood dinners on the shores of the Indian Ocean
  • Holistic rejuvenation next to a Balinese sacred spring
  • Explore ancient temples, ruins, water palaces and traditional villages
  • Learn about Balinese art and go boutique shopping in Ubud
  • Go hiking on Mount Agung from your base at Amankila

When to go:

ideal length 10 nights

Classic Cambodia

Siem Reap Phnom Penh Cambodia's Coast

  • Witness Angkor Wat’s majestic stone carvings and bas-reliefs
  • Enjoy a champagne breakfast overlooking Srah Srong – the 900-year-old man-made lake
  • Watch an evening performance of ‘Phare, the Cambodian Circus’, set up by returnee Cambodians from the refugee camps
  • Take in the sights of Phnom Penh on a fun guided Cyclo ride
  • Spend time helping out with local community projects at the island resort of Song Saa

When to go:

ideal length 7 nights
Destinations Featured in the Article
China wildlife, Panda bear sleeping, Sichuan Province, Bifengxia nature reserve


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