Subject: Shanghai contribution
I have noticed a few requests for reliable info on Shanghai just recently. So here it is, the definitive guide. Enjoy and please feel free to repost at will.
Shanghai may once have been the 'Pearl of the Orient' and the 'Whore of the East' but unfortunately for those of us who believed all the hype, those days are now long gone. That's not to say that there aren't some interesting highlights, there are; it is just that Shanghai is not the Asian high spot that many of us were expecting. The first thing to bear in mind is that this is Asian territory. By this I mean that you should not expect the western attitudes found in BKK and AC. Asian men treat hookers very differently to the way we Westerners do. This perhaps explains why most of the girls you meet will be tips girls i.e. young ladies who will expect cash simply to sit and talk to you. Usually it will come in the form of "buy me one coke.", you give her a 100 RMB note (about 12 USD) and she'll go get the drink and keep the change. Fuck that....if you'll excuse my French. These bitches will string you along all night and then come out with "maybe next time" when you talk about taking them home. Disappointingly, I do not expect this situation to change in the very near future. At least not while there are so many dickhead Hong Kong, Taiwanese and Chinese businessmen here prepared to give away handfuls of cash just to impress. Bearing this in mind, along with the fact that this is still communist China, most of the prostitution takes place in exclusive clubs and KTV bars. There are some streetwalkers available, but I shall come back to that later.
First of all lets take a look at my preferred option, picking up regular girls out on the town. (please note that I have nothing against hookers and I have whored it with the best of them from Chongyanngni to Tuol Kork but there just aren't the opportunities here. I been through one whore in the last six months as compared to literally dozens of regular girls and it definitely was not through lack of trying!) In general, most Shanghainese idea of a good night out comprises of a big sit down meal, possibly followed by a little karaoke. This is hardly surprising considering what happened during the darker years of the cultural revolution, I doubt very much that discos and fun-pubs were ever mentioned in Mao's little red book. As such the night life scene is well behind other Asian destinations and is likely to stay so for quite some time. I am tempted to divide the different establishments into three separate areas. The first would be big hotel bars and discos, the second perhaps the bars that cater specifically to expats and then finally those places where the locals hang out.
Starting with the big hotels, well these are pretty much the same as anywhere else, high entrance prices, expensive drinks and even more expensive hookers. These places are popular amongst Hong Kong and Chinese businessmen, but that doesn't mean that Westerners are exempt from being pounced on by the predatory females that stalk these establishments. For the main part, most of them are tips girls, informal hostesses out to separate you from your cash for the smallest possible effort. Actually Westerners have to pay more yet and get less in return, as these girls speak very little English. The most popular are the Galaxy (Galaxy Hotel, Hongqiao 100 RMB entry - mobile phone city with terrible music), Casablanca (Rainbow Hotel, Hongqiao also 100 RMB entry - not much more than high class brothel where prices start at around 2,000 RMB) and the Hard Rock Cafe (just outside the Portman Shangri-La, with prices to match - entrance alone at the weekend is around 100 Yuan - about $12).
Actually , I used to quite like the Hard Cock Raffle as it is known amongst some of the foreigners here, if you got there before nine then entrance was free. Unfortunately, two hookers had a fight in there just recently and the management decided to have a clamp down. I used to go get a different girl every Thursday (Ladies' Night) but these days the place is even empty on Saturdays.
Other places include Nicole's at the Sheraton Hua Ting (Dead almost every night), Charlie's Bar at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza (No disco, but the obligatory Filipino rock band and hardly a drink under 50 Yuan) and the Penthouse on top of the Hilton. There are probably others that even I have not tried yet such as the Radisson Langsheng and the Westin but somehow I doubt that they are going to be worth the effort.
The bars and discos that cater to foreigners change names and locations like the wind, but a good place to keep up with the news is May-May's nightlife page on the web at http://www.shanghai-ed.com. There is also an interesting article in the Asia Inc archive entitled "Shanghai's Dark Side" (0294shang1.htm I think). Interesting but practically speaking, completely useless.
For Westerners, by far the most popular are "Judy's Too" and "DD's". There used to be a "Judy's Place" which was a typically sleazy pick up joint full of fat Germans and desperate Chinese gals in search of Green Cards. These days it has cleaned up its image and is now called Base Bar and is situated near the junction of Fumin Lu and Changle Lu. Judy on the other hand, moved her whole operation up to Maoming Nan Lu and while the decor is much nicer while the atmosphere is just as sleazy. You should be able spot Judy quite easily behind the bar, she is the one with the short dark hair and big weepy eyes. There are pictures of her all over the bar so she shouldn't be difficult to recognise. Look for Grace too, blonde hair (?) and tight lycra pants, hardly a typical Chinese girl but sexy as hell anyway. Downstairs is the usual cattle market type dance floor, just pick a groupie that takes your fancy and go and say hello. There are usually plenty to choose from, so if she starts asking for money just dump her and find another. Around 12:30 on Fridays and Saturdays the manager Jan, invites two of the girls up onto the bar so that they can pour free Jose Cuervas into the open mouths of punters as the DJ obligingly pumps out the tequila song. Another novelty is the rickshaw type seats that they have a the back of the bar. Pull up the hoods for that little bit of extra privacy.
Most of the clientele move on to DD's at around two. This is a private members club stuck in a dingy alley in an obscure side street. (Xingfu Lu and Pingwu Lu down near the Holiday Inn) Non-members have to cough up 100 RMB just to get through the door, so it is well worthwhile inquiring about the chunky gold membership cards that go for 500. Inside, it is pretty blade runner-esque......at least it is when you consider that this is still mainland China. Models and Pop Stars grind it out to house and rave tunes alongside after hours business girls and would-be gangster types. Western Expats make up about half the place but these aren't the same fat cats that you find at the hotels, plenty of students, itinerant teachers and other assorted long haired weirdoes party alongside a great mix of all Asian nationalities. The atmosphere at DD's is a little more desperate as it is getting late and all the guys are looking for someone to take home, but even if you strike out here you can always follow the crowd over to Manhattan's, opposite the Hilton on Chang Shu Lu, where everybody seems to congregate before deciding where to have breakfast.
Although Ying Yang or YY's as it was known locally enjoyed a brief period of stardom recently, the only real competition for DDs these days is Tequila Mamas (close by the junction of Huai Hai lu and Ruijin Er Lu). Popular both with locals and also our African brothers, there are plenty of ladies after around two. Non local Asians tend to prefer Rick's Cafe up on Yannan Road but I honestly cannot see the attraction myself. Other options for the earlier part of the evening include Malone's (Tongren Lu) a Canadian sports bar close by to the Hard Rock. The often have live music and is a nice alternative if you get sick of seeing all the same faces at Judy's and DD's. The girls here are very Americanized, which is not really my cup of tea. Paulaner (Fenyang Lu) on the other hand is completely Teutonic. Modeled on a German beer house, there are quite a few girls sprinkled with a good selection of green card hunters and straight money-honeys.
Sticking to the nationality theme, O'Malley's Irish Pub on Taojiang Lu is getting better reports. I am told that a lot of the Judy's girls are using this place as a warm up venue. A lot of the girls seem to frequent the Long Bar at the Portman Hotel, but as you should know by now tend to avoid these big hotel bars. So here are a few places to avoid, basically because you will be ripped off by unscrupulous tips girls. Time Disco on Huai Hai Lu, LA Cafe further up the road and New York, New York although I have heard a few positive reports about this last place so I may give it another try.
The following discos are mainly the domain of local youngsters so unless you want to boogie on down with a bunch of 16 year olds to disco versions of Old McDonald's Farm and the theme to Benny Hill (I kid you not), then best steer clear: Day and Night on Shang Gang Lu, Absolute on Shanxi Nan Lu and DD on Cao Xi Bei Lu. If you have not guessed yet, Lu is the Chinese word for road. There are a few promising bars up on Siping Lu near Fudan University where the foreign students hang out. The best of them is Hit House and I would go a lot more often if it was not so far across town.
OK, so enough of nightlife, lets talk whores. Rule number one; ignore anybody who hangs around the hotel and insists on offering you "beautiful Chinese Girl" for as low as 100 RMB. The usual scenario is that you get whisked off to a dingy KTV bar to be faced with an extortionate bill. Shades of Soho or BKK touts ?
The only place that I have seen streetwalkers is around the long distance bus station on Tianmu Lu. Do not expect stunners and definitely do not expect any English. One girl asked for 500 RMB just for short time at my hotel. Please do not be a dork and pay these ridiculous prices. You just make it all the more difficult for the rest of us. Late at night is dead, best time to try is Sunday afternoon. There are plenty of girls at the train station who will ask "Ni yao wan ma ?" (do you want to play ?) Actually there are two problems here. Firstly Shanghai station is crammed full of immigrant workers from the really poor provinces such as Anhui, so if you stop and try to have a conversation with a girl, you will quickly have a crowd of thirty or forty spectators. Second is that none of these girls seem to want to go home, they only want to go and drink overpriced coffee. Good for a giggle but not much else. If you are looking for something a bit more substantial, then head around the back of the Longmen Hotel, where you will find a selection of barber shops all with beckoning females in the doorways. I doubt that you will be able to get a haircut, but as soon as I can get back to sample the wares I will let you know what it's like.
Like I said before, the real opportunities here are with regular girls. Do not worry too much that you do not speak a word of Mandarin, just check out some of the following places. Hong Kong Shopping Centre Food Court, Yunnan Night Market, the subway station at Shanxi Nan Lu and any Kentucky in town. All of these place will have loads of girls just waiting to be picked up. For out of town Chinese tourist gals, head down to Yu Yuan garden, but do not tell everybody; I am giving you all my best secrets here.
Women wise, that is about all I have been able to discover so far. For those of you that are interested, there are plenty of chemicals available here. Apart from the OTC stuff, there is a lot more Ecstasy in the clubs these days (its known locally as the head shaking drug) and there are always plenty of Xingjiang Muslims peddling hash down on Zhejiang Zhong Lu. Finally, my quick guide to pulling in Mandarin. There is no money back guarantee but at least these will give you a start:
ni shi di yi ze lai ma - is this your first time here
wo jing qang lai - I come here often
wo bu qang lai - I seldom come here
wo cong may lai guo - I have never been here before
wo shi di yi ze lai - this is my first time here
wo hen xi hwan zhe li - I like it here
zhe li de qee fen hen hao - the atmosphere is good
zhe li de hwan jing ye bu cuo - the decor is also not bad
wo hen xi hwan zhe li de inyue - I very like the music here
jian dou ni hen gao xing - pleased to meet you
hen chang de tue - long legs
kan shan qu hen xing gan - you look very sexy
xiao de jing xun de yifu - small tight clothes
quing zi - skirt
nu xing hwa - ladylike (fine looking)
hen yo nu ren - ladylike (fine looking)women
qu tiao wu ba- shall we dance women
hui ja ba - shall we go home
qing tor yifu - please take off your clothes
wo lai tor ni de ne yi ba - let me take off your underwear
wo meyo kan jien guo ni - I have never seen you
bu yao pa - do not be afraid
zuo gwo qu wu feng zhong - five minutes by walking
hen xu for - very comfortable may
ge zhuo mo - every weekend
zui jin zoma yang - how are you these days women
zai y chi hen gao xing - we had a good time
zai y chee - together
ke yi pian yi yi dian ma - can you make it a little cheaper ?
ni kan shan qu zai xia tien - you look very summery
In the future, I shall be checking out Ruili, the Chinese wild west down on the Burmese border, Huangbeiling AKA Concubine Village down near Shenzhen and maybe even Wenzhou, home of many mainland millionaires. So look out for further reports.
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997
I'm told Shanghai is doable, but we found it very tricky. We went from disco to disco, and they were all shut down due to "fire code violations". Yea, right. We finally ended up in a very nice disco in one of the western style hotels, where the girls were friendly but not pirhanas. I propositioned a very attractive young girl. It was late (almost the 11 o'clock curfew when visitors are not allowed in hotel rooms) so I agreed to meet her early the next night at my hotel. I waited two hours past the meeting time, thinking she was going to show. She never did. Much too late, I realized I'd been stood up, and ended up spending the night in the room. Maybe she got a better offer, or maybe she got scared (prostitution is punishable to the girls by a long sentence in a very nasty Chinese jail cell, or worse)
Everything I heard about China was hearsay from guys who claimed they'd done it. Their advice was to meet the girl in a disco and get her out of your room before curfew.
Date: 21 Mar 1998
Shanghai is pretty much the same as Beijing. Discos are the best places to find women. One word of caution regarding Shanghai is that NEVER EVER go with a tout promising you 50 girls to choose from at low prices etc... You will either get drugged and robbed or have a cup of coffee with a girl and have 6 large gorillas show up demanding $1,000 US. Just ignore all touts as they are dangerous !
Subject: Whores in Shanghai Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998
I've been living in China for five years now and I must say that everything written in your section about whores in Shanghai was truly insightful and reflected a solid understanding of the culture here. Especially the stuff about "tips girls". God are they pathetic. But even more pathetic, as you so succinctly illustrated, are the "fat Germans", and overseas Chinese/Hong Kong/Taiwanese men that actually buy into that shit and pay these bitches exorbitant amounts of money for little more than a boring conversation and a bad case of blue balls.
I felt compelled to contact you because there was a conspicuous absence in your article of the MANY, MANY beauty salons ALL OVER the city which provide certain sexual services. You touched upon this at the end of the article with mention of the salons and streetwalkers behind the Longmen hotel near the train station.
Here's my contribution. Do with it as you wish but please honor your pledge to keep the source confidential:
The rule for Shanghai's ubiqiutous beauty salons is this: the farther away they are from the city center, the more likely the possibility they offer more than just a shave and a haircut. There are COUNTLESS barber shops and beauty salons throughout the city where you can get a massage and a handjob for as little as 100 RMB and, if you're lucky, a blowjob for around 300RMB and sex for about 500RMB.
These beauty salons are usually owned and managed/operated by a Shanghainese woman or couple. They hire a couple of girls from Wen Zhou, Fu Jian or some other backwater place to work there. These girls are usually not beautiful in the conventional sense, but since they come in literally all shapes, sizes, personalities, styles and flavors, you're bound to find one that turns you on.
When you enter, ask if they "Qiao Bei" (lit."knock/strike/beat the back"), or give massages. If the answer is yes, they'll either ask you to sit in the barber's chair or to go into a back room or partitioned space with a bed. If they ask you to sit, persist a bit and request the full-body, lay-down massage. If they resist further give up and try another place.
Once in the back room or partitioned area, ask the price. It should be around 50 or 60 RMB. That's the "tai fei", or fee just to get on the table. On top of that you're expected to give a tip. 100 RMB, all inclusive, for a massage and a handjob is ENOUGH. Pay them AFTER they finish the job, not before. If they bitch and moan that 100 isn't enough, tell them to "jiao yi ge peng you" (make a friend) and that you'll come back again and again if they accomodate you this time. 9 out of 10 times they buy it.
You have to develop the discerning eye for the right beauty salons, or you may find yourself getting only a massage and nothing else--a complete waste of time, especially since the massages are at best bearable and at worst painful. Here's what to look for:
- find the salons that are located away from the hustle and bustle (some locations listed below), outside the city center - there should be several salons grouped together on the same street - salons are easily spotted by the rainbow-colored turning tubes hanging outside them - look inside. If you see a couple of plain-looking girls dressed like sluts watching TV, no customers and lot of rags hanging outside to dry, you've probably hit pay dirt. - if there are bicycles or motorcycles parked outside the salon, chances are there are guys in there already
The places behind the Longmen near the railroad station are NOT recommended. Those people are scam artists. They want 100 RMB up front before they'll let you lie down on the massage bed. Then they'll rub you down through your clothes, making sure to get you completely hot and horny. When you ask them for a handjob they'll ask for more money. Either that or they'll just refuse.
Some places to go are:
- the salons on Fei Hong Zhi Lu in Hong Kou District near the He Ping Park - the various salons scattered around the Han Zhong Lu subway station (east of the station in the alleys) - the salons in the area around the Shanghai West Railroad Station - the salons on Xin Qiao Lu north of Yi Shan Xi Lu - the salons near Tian Mu Lu and Gong He Xin Lu - the salons on Chang Ning Lu near Zun Yi Lu
There are dozens of other locations. Many of them are in the outer districts or in the areas where most foreigners are segregated: Gu Bei and Hong Qiao.
Obviously this information is intended for Chinese speakers. If you don't speak Chinese I can't guarantee that you'll get very far. Sometimes you need to talk these girls into putting out. Chances are they've never even SEEN a foreigner in real life, much less sucked one off.
Another thing to be aware of is that every now and then the authorities decide to crack down on shit like this, and the girls will refuse your business. That's life in China.
Whatever you do, DON'T pay ridiculous prices to these whores. Where they come from 100 RMB is like winning the lottery. They already think that all foreigners are rich from the stupid crap they watch on TV. Be as chinsey as they are. Part with your money reluctantly and ALWAYS complain that it's too expensive. That's the way to do business with these whores.
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