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Can you name the airlines that currently fly direct between Los Angeles and Shanghai? Hint: it's really easy because currently, there are only two and both are Chinese airlines. Okay, the answer is China Eastern and Air China. Such limited choice for such a high-traffic route, but soon all this will change as it was announced today that American Airlines has been given approval to pick up the route as well.
Previously, AA was codesharing the route with China Eastern, but that's just not enough and thanks to the DOT, American's LAX-PVG route will begin on April 5, 2011. It will be flown on Boeing 777s, boasting 16 First Class, 37 Business Class and 194 Economy Class seats. According to the press release, American is super excited to get over there and devour some xiaolongbao : "These new flights will enrich American's customer service offering to China and will expand American's schedule at Los Angeles International Airport, one of its five cornerstone cities."
American will be the only US airline flying the direct route, so expect some nice, fat flight specials on Shanghai flights coming up for spring! Just be sure to get your Chinese Visa sorted out before booking your trip.
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Today at 10am PDT, Apple's Steve Jobs stepped out on stage to give the company's autumn keynote address. Along with all sorts of product announcements like a smaller, touch-screen Nano, a fresh Shuffle and chic black Apple TV, Jobs also briefly detailed the newest additions to their collection of stores around the world.
The threeApple Paris, Apple in Covent Garden, London and Apple Shanghaihelped the company reach the 300 stores worldwide milestone, and they're already open. Considering how Apple's 5th Avenue store is one of the most photographed places in New York City and a featured location in guidebooks, we're not amiss in saying that the the new London, Paris and Shanghai stores will soon become as hot a tourist spot as any other landmark.
Already we gravitate to the glowing glass facades of Apple stores in international cities when we visit, and just to mooch off the free WiFi signal.
Foodies who will be in Shanghai from September 6 to 12 better make reservations now for the second annual Shanghai Restaurant Week.
An extra incentive to hit up the participating high-end restaurants is that you'll get a great deal: a three-course dinner will cost you 238 RMB, or about $35, and a three-course lunch will be 118 RMB, or $17.
But don't expect to be overwhelmed by options for authentic Chinese cuisine. According to CNNGo, most of the 28 participating restaurants skew toward Western cuisine or are in hotel venues, although few of the major Chinese restaurants will take part.
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A Barbie-tini in the Barbie Cafe
Last year, a Barbie Flagship store complete with Barbie Cafe, Barbie Boutique and Barbie Chocolate Bar opened in Huaihai Road in the Fashion District, but it's only recently that we've discovered that the two-storied, 35,000-square-foot place also contains a Barbie Spa. Order a Barbie-tini and a Barbie body scrub, and let's just hope that neither contains contains bits o' Barbie.
World Expo 2010 / Shanghai Travel / China Travel / Photo Gallery / Jaunted Reporting Live / Events / Video / → All Tags
When we arrived in Shanghai last week we told anyone that would listen that we planned on spending some time over at the World Expo. Immediately, everyone we told had the same ominous look on their face as they wished us the best of luck. Their grim look was followed by stories of heat exhaustion, endless queues, pavilion confusion, and yes, even folks faking disabilities to bypass long lines.
Could it be that bad? Worse, our Shanghainese friends promised. Don't even bother showing up on a weekend, if you go on a weekday get there at 7 AM2 hours before openingand prepare yourself for pushing, possible line cutting, and more. Then run to try and get a fast pass, or to make reservations at a couple of the most popular pavilionsChina & Saudi Arabia for instance.
Could it really be this nuts? We had just read how the daily visitor numbers for the Expo were lower than expected. However, our contacts informed us that every family in Shanghai had been gifted one ticket to the Expo, and maybe the visitor numbers we heard were tourist numbers, not local.
Ok, so we needed to devise a plan that involved checking out the Expo without losing our sanity. That meant, avoiding the morning "running of the expo".
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Karl Lagerfeld comes out for the Chanel finale in St. Tropez
Ever in pursuit of the latest fashion, the world turned its focus to the French designers last week as both Chanel and Christian Dior showed their 2011 resort collections on runways in two very exotic, very different locales. Considering the price of French luxury fashion, you could have a glamorous VIP trip to either of the cities for the price of an entire outfit; so which would you choose? Perhaps we ought to tell you what places had the honor of hosting the shows first...
Chanel, whose designer Karl Lagerfeld has taken his resort girls everywhere from the pool at The Raleigh in Miami to an airplane hangar in Santa Monica over the last few years, chose St. Tropez as both his muse and backdrop. Marching girls down the promenade along the ocean after a night of playing Pétanque with celebrities, Lagerfeld evoked the freewheeling, youthful spirit of the South of France and gave us yet another reason to add the jet-set playground of St Tropez to our bucket list. He even directed an entire mini-movie in the Côte d'Azur town, which you can view after the jump.
The largest world expo everin size, country participation and expected visitorshasn't even been open for two weeks yet and already we're hearing reports that it is totally worth all the trouble of getting a China tourist visa. Shanghai's 2010 World Expo still has many more months to go, since it closes on October 31, but rest assured that we'll get there to check it ourselves before then.
If you're planning on going to the Expo, you can already get a good sense of what to expect thanks to the pictures leaking out on the web and Flickr. That pavilions themselves are massive and impressive, to say nothing of the lines to enter them. And we heard that the Tokyo Pavilion is drawing some of the most attention because it's got a Toyota-made robor playing a Chinese folk song on a violin. What is this, Tomorrowland?
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When the Shanghai World Expo opens to the public on May 1a week and a half awayhundreds of thousands of Chinese and international tourists will pour into the park and its pavilions daily until October 31, when the Expo closes. With the Expo looking at entertaining some 600,000 visitors per day, China will be a huge destination for spring travel. Americans traveling to the country require a Chinese tourist visa to enter, a fact many are not aware of. We've gone through the process before, so allow us to walk you through, too.
How to get a Chinese tourist Visa, which you'll need to visit Shanghai:
· If you're a regular tourist to China, you'll be applying for the "Tourist (L Visa)." Download and print this application form.
More steps to getting a Chinese Visa, after the jump
Obama-Around-The-World / Presidential Travel / Barack Obama / China Travel / Shanghai Travel / Beijing Travel / → All Tags
Whereas Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie might be our Super World Travelers, there's no doubt that President Obama is our Super Business Traveler. After wrapping up a summer of whirlwind around-the-world meetings and appearances with his family in tow, autumn is marked by his huge solo visit this week to China.
Over the weekend, Obama landed in Shanghai after a quick visit to Japan and Singapore. Already in China, he has hosted a town hall-style meeting with Chinese students to discuss freedom of informationwith a small nod to Twitter, saying: "Well, first of all, let me say that I have never used Twitter...my thumbs are too clumsy to type in things on the phone." This came in response to China's past ban on Twitter, although access to the website was re-opened at university campuses for this special event.
Here's to unholy matrimony: Disney announced yesterday that China has allowed them to move forward with construction of a new park in Shanghai, its first new resort since 2005's Hong Kong Disneyland and its third in Asia. You thought the fight over EuroDisney was good? Wait till you see the Chinese version of "It's A Small World."
According to the New York Times, the park has been in the works since the 1990s when a mayor of Shanghai visited Disneyland in Anaheim and could take up to 6 years to build. At 1,700 acres, the planned park, in the city's Pudong district, will be slightly bigger than Original Flavor Disneyland but resemble the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World.
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While tourists who are free with their credit cards are a dream for cities, any metropolis with a thriving upscale shopping district will also have a black market equivalent doing just as well, if not better. Both buying and selling counterfeit goods is illegal in many countries, with recent court cases (Louis Vuitton vs. Canal Street merchants) backing up trademarks and revealing how the sale of counterfeit goods funds other illegal operations, like the New Jersey money laundering scandal of late.
We'll even admit to purchasing a fake for $15 in Rome's Piazza Navona, right out in the open, back in 2004. We haven't worn it yet, and we probably never will, seeing as how both brands and police have spent the last couple years reshuffling their legal and street teams in order to crack down on the vendors and buyers. And we want to keep you safe. If you're in a dangerous mood, then you might want to shop in these places, but after the jump, we've listed the World's Top Five Counterfeit Districts from which you should stay away.
What are you doing on August 8? Since it won't be 08-08-08 like last year, we're going to assume that you're not either getting married or attending a wedding, so why not hop to the opening of China's largest theme park? The Happy Valley park, just outside of Shanghai in Sheshan, the 900,000 square-meter (that's 9,687,520 square feet!) park will have discounted admission through mid-September, so it's alright if you don't rush on opening day.
For adrenaline junkies, the Happy Valley park will have a mine coaster, a diving coaster, and China's first wooden coasterthey're still making these things? called the "Fireball," which we'd hope never ends up as an actual fireball. That's it there in the picture above.