Amber, Shanghai Breakfast Tour Guide
Born and raised in Nottingham, UK. My mother is from Nottingham (UK) and my father is from Penang (Malaysia) that’s why I look mixed Asian and western. Studied Chinese at Leeds University and did my year abroad in Beijing. After graduation I did an internship in Suzhou and now living in Shanghai, working as a Shanghai Breakfast Tour Guide. My partner is Chinese and so I live in China “like a local” – eating predominantly Chinese food which he cooks (very well!!) and experiencing Chinese traditions such as Chinese new year, marriages etc.
What’s your ‘other job’ and what do you love about leading food tours?
Currently working on a start up (Smart Panda China) helping expats living in China. So after you physically moved to China we aim to answer your questions and help you settle into living in China as quickly as possible. Things such as opening bank accounts, getting a mobile number, shopping online, even taking taxis can be tricky without speaking Chinese and so we want to be that contact who you can turn to for help!
If you are visiting or living in China it is important to understand how eating is an important aspect of life here and I enjoy introducing traditional, local Chinese foods as a Shanghai Breakfast Tour Guide to people who would not have tried it otherwise! It is easy to want to go to the larger chained restaurants that have English menus, however many of the local places are just as nice and more authentic.
What is the one restaurant that you recommend to every visitor?
Yunnan style food in a pleasant setting. Consistently good food and service.
38 Gaoyou road (near to Fuxing Zhong road)
Where do you go when you want to escape/travel outside of SH/BJ?
We often go back to Suzhou (where my partner’s parents are) and walk around the gardens and lakes there. For those who enjoy hiking I fully recommend Huangshan (Yellow Mountain near to Hangzhou) – the view is beautiful!
What’s the best thing someone can do/read/buy to plan their trip here?
When I first arrived in China on my year abroad I bought a Lonely planet book of China and I found it was very helpful with introducing things to see and do and the local transport info of that place (as every city/province is slightly different) – particularly useful for backpackers or people looking to travel around China. Coupled with Tripadvisor you can easily plan a good itinerary of what to do, eat and see in China.
What’s the first thing you eat when you’ve been away for a while?
I enjoy eating jiaozi 饺子 (northern style boiled dumplings) – Dongbei food is always very hearty, cheap and with generous portions so great for larger groups. There are several chains of
东北四季饺子王 Dongbei four seasons dumpling King dotted around the city – a couple of the central locations can be found here http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/search/city/东北四季饺子王.