Also known as the “China Derby” this is one of the Chinese Super League’s major fixtures. The rivalry between Shanghai and Beijing is an obvious one, the two major mega-cities of China. The cultural capital versus the financial capital; old versus new.
It would prove to be a heated meeting, even in the rain as just the week before Shanghai played away to Nanjing, a match that was (and still is) filled with controversy, reported extensively by Cameron Wilson here. He also mentions that “This is no fake import of European football rivalry, the angst is built on ancient tribal spats which have existed for a very long time in China.”
We got a chance to sit behind the goal along with the Shanghai Ultras, a fanatic bunch of lively Shenhua supporters. Only season-ticket holders can sit in this area (we borrowed some from a friend who was out of town), and you must wear blue and yell and sing along as much as possible (the term “sha bi” is quickly learned). The atmosphere was seriously electrifying, with a team eager to turn around their troubled season (currently 13th place, with Beijing in 3rd).
A much added extra was the fact that Drogba had arrived in Shanghai earlier in the day, having recently signed a 2.5 year contract with the club, part of his entrance can be seen here:
Celebrations after 2-0:
The final score was 3-1 for Shanghai. Good night indeed.
After the match celebrations outside Hongkou Stadium (which included tearing up a Guoan mascot:
Full match recap + video highlights can be found on HERE (Wild East Football).
April 1st saw the kick off of the 2011 season of the Chinese Super League (CSL), the premier league of football in China. It was a decent match, ending in a 3-3 draw… but the main reason for this post the utter LACK of information on attending a match. The official Shenhua website is only in Chinese, and information in English is pretty much non-existent. So here you go:
They play at Hongkou Football Stadium (metro line 3 & 8), located at 上海市虹口区东江湾路444号 (map).
Tickets are available from hundreds of scalpers that hound you from the moment you exit the metro to when you finally reach the official ticket window. Official tickets are 50/80/100/150 depending on seating location for league matches (they have a stadium diagram, just point), and season tickets are [I think] 300RMB. I attended this weeks (April 19) Asian Champions League match versus FC Sydney (2-3, damnit) and tickets were priced up. Exact seat is stated on the ticket, but like everything in China, no one pays any attention to that (seating section does matter). Beers and sodas are available around the entire stadium for 5RMB, but you must have a paper cup if you want to bring the beer to your seat. Smokers: don’t worry, they don’t confiscate lighters… actually a security check pretty much just doesn’t exist. Official gear can be found all around the stadium as well, make sure to shop around and not just go into the first stall you see, there are more, you’ll just have to walk. Prices range from 100-300RMB depending on which team jersey (they have several) and what add-ons (sponsor, number, etc).
You can find more info on the Shanghai Shenhua (squad, fixtures, etc) here.
As for the quality of football and stadium atmosphere, of course it doesn’t compare to Europe (the last worthy football match I watched live was Feyenoord-Ajax in the mid 90′s, the rioting before/during/after the match resulted in fans being banned from each others stadiums the following seasons, so yeah, no comparison really), BUT, it ain’t that bad, and I must add that for the price of a beer in Europe you can grab a seat in China and watch 90 minutes of CSL football.
In my twenty-something years, I’ve hit up twenty-something different countries, and without a doubt Shanghai is the night city of night cities [so far]. I don’t mean that in the sense of things being open (NYC gets that one, minus that stupid curfew), or in regards to nightlife (although no complaints here!), but that the lights are blindly turned on and are in essence: blinding, and furthermore, the crowds disappear (which is a huge plus!).
Let me put it this way: Shanghai by day = *meh*. Shanghai by night: *BLAHM*!
This set of images is from 3 seperate shoots, the first 3 images are around my office building at the end of Huai Hai Road East. The following 3 images are of my quick trip to Pudong to pick up a package sent from the homefront (thanks Mom, there is nothing in the world like Belgian D&L mayonnaise!), while the final 6 were actually taken right after the previous post, at Peoples Square.
Compare image #2 above with the one below… same location 6 months earlier:
And from 4 months earlier [see my full post on the graffiti wall]:
This is the first post in my “Mission: Lunch” series, which will showcase some of the lunches I have had the [mis]fortune of having over whichever given week. This was a pretty damn good week… although I have to admit that some of these meals were prior to this past week, hopefully you forgive me. Also forgive the iPhone camera quality…
First, a little background information… I work in an office building called the Huai Hai Tower located on Ren Min Road and (you guessed it) Huai Hai Road, in south Huangpo.
View SHlunch47 in a larger map.
The first two images are from lunch a couple weeks back, when it was still warm outside. Kevin and I hit up a hole in the wall, this is ALL they served… tangyaun. With 2 choices, vegetable or meat. The meat ones were absolutely delicious, simliar to a dumpling with a pork gravy inside. While the vegetable ones looked kinda like tea leaves mixed with crude oil, and were sweet as hell (*update*, wikipedia has me to believe they were actually filled with a “ground black sesame seeds mixed with sugar and lard“).
The next two images are from another little place located on Yunnan South Road, just off of Ren Min Road… authentic spicy chicken hotpot (notice the chicken foot!).
While the last two are from a random restaurant Kanishk and I randomly walked into (for dinner, hence the beer!) somwhere around Linping Road in Hongkou. It was filled with locals, so you know it had to be good. There wasn’t a thing we ordered that wasn’t spicy (besides the rice), I’d have to say that the Hunan-style cuisine is by far my favorite. The last picture is of one of my favorite dishes, consisting of green beans that have a light crunch to them, cooked with chili peppers and mixed with shredded meat (in this case pork, but shrimp & beef are also used).