Kyle Patrick Long is the co-founder of UnTour Shanghai, an urban adventure tourism company specializing in jogging sightseeing tours and authentic culinary tours of the best local eats in the city.
Like so many others in Shanghai who eschew a sedentary 9-5 work schedule, the weekend is my busy time. In order to stay fresh for those early Saturday morning tours, I shift my weekend early (what’s your excuse?) and inevitably try to go out on Thursdays, starting with some Pisco Sours or whatever the latest creation is at The Alchemist
. That leads to the always-perfect eggwich and oxtail slider bar snacks, and if I get tipsy enough, maybe some popcorn pig brain. It’s a slippery, delicious slope.
When I get tired of sitting, I’ll end up trying to get my flirt on at Shanghai Studio
. All you can drink for 100rmb on Thursdays? Don’t mind if I do. The house pours should come with a health insurance policy, though, so stick to beer or the morning-after regret list starts to get too unwieldy.
When that foray into the dating scene inevitably fails, I head on over to Bounty on Yongfu
for a bottle of cinnamon rum mixed with a touch of ginger ale. It tastes like the holidays. Seriously, try it.
Friday afternoon I’ve got a noodle tour. It’s not quite as ridiculous as it sounds. Okay, maybe it is. We pick up our guests at their hotel and take them to some outrageously tasty and authentic noodle houses that have lines out the door. We love opening foreigners’ eyes to Chinese food they never knew existed, or knew could be so delicious. Where do we go on the tour? Well, that’s a trade secret. Wait, that’s a requirement of this article you say, Editor? Fine, I’ll throw you a bone and suggest you try the yellow croaker noodles at Ah Niang Mian
. Step into the delicious chaos of it all. Five noodle joints later, and our guests usually roll home for a nap.
I, however, am just getting started. Everyone asks how I stay fit while constantly leading food tours. It’s all about balance, so thankfully I’ve got an evening running tour lined up. We do 10km dodging tourists along Nanjing Road, the Bund, some back alley night markets and then ride the river ferry over to Lujiazui to admire the neon-lit skyscrapers. No night run is complete without a ride on the ridiculous Bund Tourist Tunnel. I’ve seriously lost count as to how many times I’ve ridden it, but it’s always fun to see people’s reactions. If you see us there, you probably want to give us our own sweaty, smelly train-pod-car-thingy. It’s for your own good.
Since I’ve got another morning run starting at 7 AM, I usually lay low and convince someone to relax with a massage or DVD instead of drinking. 68rmb for an hour of bliss at Soothwind Massage is the average price of a cocktail these days, so it’s not too hard to rope someone in. I ask for #3 -- he knows just how to fully crack my neck and back, and likes to talk politics. No, I do not know his actual name.
Saturday night means getting paid to drink with tour guests. My friends over at Drunken Dragon
have this down to a science for the young backpacker crowd, but we take a slightly less debaucherous and much more customized approach. Our private Cocktail hour tour takes guests to our favorite hotspots, based on their drinking preferences. It’s a surprisingly popular tour request, and for that I’ve got no complaints. My co-founder Jamie and I usually fight over who gets to lead them.
Sunday brunch means relaxing at Madison
. I can’t resist the donuts, PB&J sundae, Scotch Eggs, truffle scrambled eggs… so, basically everything. It’s the only place I’ll do a western brunch totally family style, because everything is seriously that good.
Come nightfall it’s time to retreat back to my French Concession bachelor pad, following a quick swing through the Anfu Lu DVD shop. Sigh, still no sign of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Girl, why can’t you get me that hot mess in box set? In that event, perhaps the next best thing: hanging out at the Maoming Blue Frog
with all the Culture Center performers -- it’s going to be a late night…