Sophie Friedman

Correspondent

  • Shanghai, China, Asia

Sophie Friedman is a correspondent who lives in Shanghai and covers hotels and travel trends in Asia for Forbes Travel Guide. The American journalist has covered a range of travel-related topics including the development of the mountain resort town Moganshan, the Chinese fashion scene’s rising international profile, and the expanding craft cocktail and beer scene in Asia. She has written half a dozen Shanghai guidebooks and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the city. When not writing, Sophie loves cycling through the former French Concession and getting bargains on everything from Pellegrino to porcelain.

  • On June 26, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best golf courses near Shanghai?

    China’s titans of industry are crazy for golf, and there are plenty of greens within the city and nearby. These are my picks for three of Shanghai’s best golf courses.


    Shanghai Hongqiao Golf Club
    This leafy, nine-hole, 33-par course is about 30 minutes from downtown and just 10 minutes from Hongqiao Airport. This is a modest course for amateur golfers and those playing for fun rather than competition. Rounding out the facilities are a driving range, pool, and sauna.

    Shanghai Country Club
    Adjacent to Dianshan Lake, Shanghai Countryclub was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and offers an expansive, 72-par course. A pro shop, restaurant, billiards room, and reading room make it a great place to kick back after a successful round. I love how family friendly Shanghai Country Club is, with three tennis courts, a pool, a putting green that’s great for pint-sized golfers, and a three-hole practice course.


  • On June 26, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best golf courses near Shanghai?

    China’s titans of industry are crazy for golf, and there are plenty of greens within the city and nearby. These are my picks for a handful of Shanghai’s best golf courses.


    Shanghai Hongqiao Golf Club
    This leafy, nine-hole, 33-par course is about 30 minutes from downtown and just 10 minutes from Hongqiao Airport. This is a modest course for amateur golfers and those playing for fun rather than competition. Rounding out the facilities are a driving range, pool, and sauna.

    Shanghai Country Club
    Adjacent to Dianshan Lake, Shanghai Countryclub was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and offers an expansive, 72-par course. A pro shop, restaurant, billiards room, and reading room make it a great place to kick back after a successful round. I love how family friendly Shanghai Country Club is, with three tennis courts, a pool, a putting green that’s great for pint-sized golfers, and a three-hole practice course.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best golf courses near Shanghai?

    China’s titans of industry are crazy for golf, and there are plenty of greens within the city and nearby. These are my picks for a handful of Shanghai’s best golf courses. http://blog.forbestravelguide.com/shanghai-tees-off-with-world-class-golf-courses

    Shanghai Hongqiao Golf Club
    This leafy, nine-hole, 33-par course is about 30 minutes from downtown and just 10 minutes from Hongqiao Airport. This is a modest course for amateur golfers and those playing for fun rather than competition. Rounding out the facilities are a driving range, pool, and sauna.

    Shanghai Country Club
    Adjacent to Dianshan Lake, Shanghai Countryclub was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and offers an expansive, 72-par course. A pro shop, restaurant, billiards room, and reading room make it a great place to kick back after a successful round. I love how family friendly Shanghai Country Club is, with three tennis courts, a pool, a putting green that’s great for pint-sized golfers, and a three-hole practice course.
  • On June 23, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best antique shops in Shanghai?

    (c) T. Chu The best antique shop in Shanghai is deep into Pudong, on the far side of the Huangpu river. It’s a cavernous, damp, dusty warehouse packed to the rafters with trunks, toys, jewelry boxes, wardrobes, books, wood carvings, and a slew of other antiques. Near a rickety set of stairs leading to nowhere is a display of some two dozen stone Buddha statues. On one visit, I found a first-edition Chinese-English copy of The Swiss Family Robinson, a steal at 30RMB (bargained down from 70RMB).

    The furniture here can be refinished, repaired, and repainted according to your specifications. There are a few employees here, and you’ll find them in front of the entrance, sanding and painting pieces. This market does not cater to tourists but, as with every purchase in China, bargaining is still essential. To get the price you want and arrange for the item to be refinished and then delivered to your hotel, you’ll want to bring a Chinese speaker. If you can’t find one but you’ve got some moxey, you’ll be OK; come prepared with a calculator so you can show the number you want to pay and with your hotel address printed in Chinese. The warehouse accepts cash only and there are no ATMs nearby, however you should be able to pay a deposit first and then the rest upon delivery. The antiques warehouse is 1788 Ji Yang Lu, near Shangpu Lu, right next to Lingzhao Xincun metro station on line 8. When you exit the metro, go straight and make your first left down an unsigned side street; within a few minutes, you’ll see the warehouse entrance.

    If you’re looking for small knick-knacks or just want to browse, Dongtai Lu Antique Market, just south of Xintiandi, is much less of a trek. This is a market for tourists and the authenticity of many items is questionable, so while it’s an enjoyable afternoon, be sure to bargain hard. Among the wares you’ll find ceramic Cultural Revolution figurines, terracotta warrior statues, propaganda posters, and Chinese comics.
  • On June 23, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best antique shops in Shanghai?

    (c) T. Chu The best antique shop in Shanghai is deep into Pudong, on the far side of the Huangpu river. It’s a cavernous, damp, dusty warehouse packed to the rafters with trunks, toys, jewelry boxes, wardrobes, books, wood carvings, and a slew of other antiques. Near a rickety set of stairs leading to nowhere is a display of some two dozen stone Buddha statues. On one visit, I found a first-edition Chinese-English copy of The Swiss Family Robinson, a steal at 30RMB (bargained down from 70RMB).

    The furniture here can be refinished, repaired, and repainted according to your specifications. There are a few employees here, and you’ll find them in front of the entrance, sanding and painting pieces. This market does not cater to tourists but, as with every purchase in China, bargaining is still essential. To get the price you want and arrange for the item to be refinished and then delivered to your hotel, you’ll want to bring a Chinese speaker. If you can’t find one but you’ve got some moxy, you’ll be OK; come prepared with a calculator so you can show the number you want to pay and with your hotel address printed in Chinese. The warehouse accepts cash only and there are no ATMs nearby, however you should be able to pay a deposit first and then the rest upon delivery. The antiques warehouse is 1788 Ji Yang Lu, near Shangpu Lu, right next to Lingzhao Xincun metro station on line 8. When you exit the metro, go straight and make your first left down an unsigned side street; within a few minutes, you’ll see the warehouse entrance.

    If you’re looking for small knick-knacks or just want to browse, Dongtai Lu Antique Market, just south of Xintiandi, is much less of a trek. This is a market for tourists and the authenticity of many items is questionable, so while it’s an enjoyable afternoon, be sure to bargain hard. Among the wares you’ll find ceramic Cultural Revolution figurines, terracotta warrior statues, propaganda posters, and Chinese comics.
  • On June 23, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best antique shops in Shanghai?

    (c) T. Chu The best antique shop in Shanghai is deep into Pudong, on the far side of the Huangpu river. It’s a cavernous, damp, dusty warehouse packed to the rafters with trunks, toys, jewelry boxes, wardrobes, books, wood carvings, and a slew of other antiques. Near a rickety set of stairs leading to nowhere is a display of some two dozen stone Buddha statues. On one visit, I found a first-edition Chinese-English copy of The Swiss Family Robinson, a steal at 30RMB (bargained down from 70RMB).

    The furniture here can be refinished, repaired, and repainted according to your specifications. There are a few employees here, and you’ll find them in front of the entrance, sanding and painting pieces. This market does not cater to tourists but, as with every purchase in China, bargaining is still essential. To get the price you want and arrange for the item to be refinished and then delivered to your hotel, you’ll want to bring a Chinese speaker. If you can’t find one but you’ve got some moxy, you’ll be OK; come prepared with a calculator so you can show the number you want to pay and with your hotel address printed in Chinese. The warehouse accepts cash only and there are no ATMs nearby, however you should be able to pay a deposit first and then the rest upon delivery. The antiques warehouse is 1788 Ji Yang Lu, near Shangpu Lu, right next to Lingzhao Xincun metro station on line 8. When you exit the metro, go straight and make your first left down an unsigned side street; within a few minutes, you’ll see the warehouse entrance.

    If you’re looking for small knick-knacks or just want to browse, Dongtai Lu Antique Market, just south of Xintiandi, is much less of a trek. This is a market for tourists and the authenticity of many items is questionable, so while it’s an enjoyable afternoon, be sure to bargain hard. Among the wares you’ll find ceramic Cultural Revolution figurines, terracotta warrior statues, propaganda posters, and Chinese comics.
  • On June 23, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best antique shops in Shanghai?

    (c) T. Chu The best antique shop in Shanghai is deep into Pudong, on the far side of the Huangpu river. It’s a cavernous, damp, dusty warehouse packed to the rafters with trunks, toys, jewelry boxes, wardrobes, books, wood carvings, and a slew of other antiques. Near a rickety set of stairs leading to nowhere is a display of some two dozen stone Buddha statues. On one visit, I found a first-edition Chinese-English copy of The Swiss Family Robinson, a steal at 30RMB (bargained down from 70RMB).

    The furniture here can be refinished, repaired, and repainted according to your specifications. There are a few employees here, and you’ll find them in front of the entrance, sanding and painting pieces. This market does not cater to tourists but, as with every purchase in China, bargaining is still essential. To get the price you want and arrange for the item to be refinished and then delivered to your hotel, you’ll want to bring a Chinese speaker. If you can’t find one but you’ve got some moxy, you’ll be OK; come prepared with a calculator so you can show the number you want to pay and with your hotel address printed in Chinese. The warehouse accepts cash only and there are no ATMs nearby, however you should be able to pay a deposit first and then the rest upon delivery. The antiques warehouse is 1788 Ji Yang Lu, near Shangpu Lu, right next to Lingzhao Xincun metro station on line 8. When you exit the metro, go straight and make your first left down an unsigned side street; within a few minutes, you’ll see the warehouse entrance.

    If you’re looking for small knick-knacks or just want to browse, Dongtai Lu Antique Market, just south of Xintiandi, is much less of a trek. This is a market for tourists and the authenticity of many items is questionable, so while it’s an enjoyable afternoon, be sure to bargain hard. Among the wares you’ll find ceramic Cultural Revolution figurines, terracotta warrior statues, propaganda posters, and Chinese comics.
  • On June 23, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best free museums in Shanghai?

    Courtesy Shanghai Museum Shanghai’s two best free museums at the Power Station of Art and Shanghai Museum.

    Shanghai Museum is designed to look like an ancient bronze cooking vessel called a ding. The museum is home to more than 120,000 pieces ranging from ancient coins and seals to bronze and ceramic pieces. There’s intricately carved furniture, jade, minority art, and even a few pieces of foreign art. You could spend several hours getting lost in here. The museum can be reached by taking metro lines 1, 2, and 8 to People’s Square.

    Down at the former World Expo site is the Power Station of Art, Shanghai’s newest contemporary art museum. A complete 180° from Shanghai Museum, the Power Station of Art plays host to rotating exhibitions that bring the best of the West to the east. Past shows include an Andy Warhol retrospective, on until the end of July, Electric Fields, a loaner from Paris’s Centre Pompidou, and the 2012 Shanghai Biennale.
  • On June 23, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best free museums in Shanghai?

    Courtesy Shanghai Museum Shanghai’s two best free museums at the Power Station of Art and Shanghai Museum.

    Shanghai Museum is designed to look like an ancient bronze cooking vessel called a ding. The museum is home to more than 120,000 pieces ranging from ancient coins and seals to bronze and ceramic pieces. There’s intricately carved furniture, jade, minority art, and even a few pieces of foreign art. You could spend several hours getting lost in here. The museum can be reached by taking metro lines 1, 2, and 8 to People’s Square.

    Down at the former World Expo site is the Power Station of Art, Shanghai’s newest contemporary art museum. A complete 180° from Shanghai Museum, the Power Station of Art plays host to rotating exhibitions that bring the best of the West to the east. Past shows include an Andy Warhol retrospective, on until the end of July, Electric Fields, a loaner from Paris’s Centre Pompidou, and the 2012 Shanghai Biennale.
  • On June 23, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best free museums in Shanghai?

    Courtesy Shanghai Museum Shanghai’s two best free museums at the Power Station of Art and Shanghai Museum.

    Shanghai Museum is designed to look like an ancient bronze cooking vessel called a ding. The museum is home to more than 120,000 pieces ranging from ancient coins and seals to bronze and ceramic pieces. There’s intricately carved furniture, jade, minority art, and even a few pieces of foreign art. You could spend several hours getting lost in here. The museum can be reached by taking metro lines 1, 2, and 8 to People’s Square.

    Down at the former World Expo site is the Power Station of Art, Shanghai’s newest contemporary art museum. A complete 180° from Shanghai Museum, the Power Station of Art plays host to rotating exhibitions that bring the best of the West to the east. Past shows include an Andy Warhol retrospective, on until the end of July, Electric Fields, a loaner from Paris’s Centre Pompidou, and the 2012 Shanghai Biennale.
  • On June 22, 2013
    Sandra Barron is now following Sophie Friedman
  • On June 21, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the hottest upcoming concerts in Shanghai?

    Aerosmith many moons ago Shanghai has a growing list of hot upcoming concerts, with more big names being announced weekly.

    The biggest concert coming to Shanghai will be Shanghai Sonic, an offshoot of Summer Sonic, the legendary summer musical festival that takes place annually in Japan. Confirmed dates have not yet been released, but it will be sometime in August. On the agenda—though in China nothing is one hundred percent until it’s actually happening—are the likes of Suede, Carly Rae Jepsen, Aerosmith, John Legend, and MIA.

    On July 18th, the BBC Concert Orchestra is playing Shanghai Oriental Art Centre. The group will be performing pieces by Sibelius, Faure, Liszt, Verdi, and Saint-Saens. Tickets, RMB180-1,280, are on sale now. 

    On August 20th, English electronic pop twosome Pet Shop Boys are performing at Shanghai Grand Stage. Tickets, RMB480-1,280, go on sale July 1 

    Shanghai’s annual JZ Festival is back this year with two days full of top-notch acts. This year, the outdoor portion of the festival is taking place over Mid-Autumn festival, with performances on Friday, September 20th and Saturday, September 21st. Included in the lineup are Mos Def and British jazz band The Brand New Heavies. From Tuesday, September 15th until Saturday, October 19th, there will be a series of indoor performances at venues around town.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the hottest upcoming concerts in Shanghai?

    Aerosmith many moons ago Shanghai has a growing list of hot upcoming concerts, with more big names being announced weekly.

    The biggest concert coming to Shanghai will be Shanghai Sonic, an offshoot of Summer Sonic, the legendary summer musical festival that takes place annually in Japan. Confirmed dates have not yet been released, but it will be sometime in August. On the agenda—though in China nothing is one hundred percent until it’s actually happening—are the likes of Suede, Carly Rae Jepsen, Aerosmith, John Legend, and MIA.

    On July 18th, the BBC Concert Orchestra is playing Shanghai Oriental Art Centre. The group will be performing pieces by Sibelius, Faure, Liszt, Verdi, and Saint-Saens. Tickets, RMB180-1,280, are on sale now. 

    On August 20th, English electronic pop twosome Pet Shop Boys are performing at Shanghai Grand Stage. Tickets, RMB480-1,280, go on sale July 1 

    Shanghai’s annual JZ Festival is back this year with two days full of top-notch acts. This year, the outdoor portion of the festival is taking place over Mid-Autumn festival, with performances on Friday, September 20th and Saturday, September 21st. Included in the lineup are Mos Def and British jazz band The Brand New Heavies. From Tuesday, September 15th until Saturday, October 19th, there will be a series of indoor performances at venues around town.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best bookstores in Shanghai?

    (c) Let Ideas Compete While shops and kiosks selling books and magazines in Chinese are all over the place, Shanghai doesn’t have too many English-language bookstores. The two best bookstores in Shanghai are Garden Books and the Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore.

    Garden Books, on Changle Road near South Shaanxi Road in the former French Concession has a good selection of English-language books, including travel guides, fiction and nonfiction, and a large section of children’s books, games, and puzzles. The ground floor has a well-appointed café and a cooler full of gelato, and the staff don’t mind if you bring a book to the café and flip through it as you sip.

    On the east side of the city, near People’s Square and East Nanjing Road, is the enormous Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore. True to its name, this multi-storey shop stocks a quite good selection of English-language books and smaller selections of books in French, Spanish, German, Japanese, and a handful of other languages. It’s a bit of a chaotic affair here, and signage is confusing. The large, colorful children’s section has a small area for English-language books for very young children as well as games, puzzles, and Chinese-English flashcards. Books for grade-school aged kids and up are with the adult English-language books, and here you’ll find a very good selection, including favorites like the Magic Tree House series and, of course, Twilight. Prices at Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore are much more reasonable that those at Garden Books.

    An alternative to these two bookstores are the street-side carts full of paperback books. You’ll almost always find booksellers outside exit four of the West Nanjing Road station (the intersection of Maoming Road and West Nanjing Road), and on Donghu Road, between Xiangyang and Fumin Roads. Books regularly found include The Lovely Bones, My Life in France, and any Sophie Kinsella novel.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best bookstores in Shanghai?

    (c) Let Ideas Compete While shops and kiosks selling books and magazines in Chinese are all over the place, Shanghai doesn’t have too many English-language bookstores. The two best bookstores in Shanghai are Garden Books and the Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore.

    Garden Books, on Changle Road near South Shaanxi Road in the former French Concession has a good selection of English-language books, including travel guides, fiction and nonfiction, and a large section of children’s books, games, and puzzles. The ground floor has a well-appointed café and a cooler full of gelato, and the staff don’t mind if you bring a book to the café and flip through it as you sip.

    On the east side of the city, near People’s Square and East Nanjing Road, is the enormous Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore. True to its name, this multi-storey shop stocks a quite good selection of English-language books and smaller selections of books in French, Spanish, German, Japanese, and a handful of other languages. It’s a bit of a chaotic affair here, and signage is confusing. The large, colorful children’s section has a small area for English-language books for very young children as well as games, puzzles, and Chinese-English flashcards. Books for grade-school aged kids and up are with the adult English-language books, and here you’ll find a very good selection, including favorites like The Magic Tree House series and, of course, Twilight. Prices at Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore are much more reasonable that those at Garden Books.

    An alternative to these two bookstores are the street-side carts full of paperback books. You’ll almost always find booksellers outside exit four of the West Nanjing Road station (the intersection of Maoming Road and West Nanjing Road), and on Donghu Road, between Xiangyang and Fumin Roads. Books regularly found include The Lovely Bones, My Life in France, and any Sophie Kinsella novel.