2015's Bucket List

The New Year gives us an opportunity to look back on 2014’s triumphs and plan for 2015’s successes. Talk took this opportunity to open up our archives from 2014 and create our definitive Bucket List for 2015. If you haven’t managed to tick them off your list yet, make 2015 the year to enjoy our selection.
IPL Hair Removal @ Strip
We started our hair removal treatment with Strip back in May 2014, and have been going back every six weeks for our follow up sessions. We have been so impressed with our friendly and knowledgeable therapists throughout the experience, and equally impressed with our results. We have not experienced any pain or discomfort during the process and have not needed to use any other hair removal methods during the treatment. However, IPL hair removal works best on people with light skin and dark hair and is, unfortunately, not as effective on people with dark skin or very light hair. Most people can expect hair reduction ranging from 75% to 80% but for blonde or red-haired clients, results can range from 25% to 60% depending on the amount of melanin present in the hairs.
IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal treatment uses a broad spectrum of high-intensity focused light to destroy and weaken existing hair and hair follicles through heat energy, thereby stopping hair growth. As the hair starts to grow back after each treatment, it begins to shed naturally and regrowth is reduced with less noticeable, thinner hairs. We believe that for no-fuss, long-term hair removal, this is the best beauty investment you can make in 2015.
Strip has multiple locations around the city, including 158 Xinle Lu, near Donghu Lu. Tel: 5403 0011. Web:
www.strip-shanghai.cn. Contact the store directly for prices and packages.
Reiki With Master Level Practitioner, Fadzi Mandiringa
Reiki is an energy healing practice that originated in Japan almost a century ago. Reiki claims to be able to improve stress levels, heal emotional issues, as well as help with physical pain and more.
Tafadzwa “Fadzi” Mandiringa, is originally from Zimbabwe, but comes to Shanghai via Changzhou, in Jiangsu Province. She explained that Reiki works with the chakra and meridian systems of the body, in a similar way to acupuncture, or acupressure, and that practitioners can read the health of different parts of the body by laying their hands lightly on, or slightly above, a patient, in order to pick up any issues.
Mandiringa told Talk that Reiki works on all levels; spiritual, physical and mental. It can combat stress and boost your energy levels. It can also be used to combat emotional problems such as expressing yourself or issues with family and friends.
We think that this is a great, alternative way to de-stress from life in our busy city. If you are looking for a new method to relax, relieve pain or improve your emotional wellbeing, try a Reiki treatment in Shanghai.
For more information about Fadzi Mandiringa’s Reiki practice, visit her website, www.fadzi.com.
Unisex Fashion At Mary H
Upgrade your wardrobe with items at locally based store, MaryH. The Swedish-born and  bred accessories designer, Mary Huynh, originally came to Shanghai to explore her Chinese ancestry, but the move also led her to follow her long-time passion for fashion and start her own brand, Designed by MaryH, in 2010.
Her first foray into the world of design was multiuse handbags that could be carried as a clutch, on the shoulder, or worn cross body, giving her customers the ability to cater one bag to different needs and occasions. MaryH also offers unisex boots, which are handcrafted with high quality cow leather and lambskin trims, both outside and inside. Designed by MaryH has products that run the price spectrum from RMB 200, for small leather goods, up to RMB 2,000, for large convertible tote bags.
This year, choose minimalistic, functional yet colourful products and support this independent, unique brand rather than follow the lure of luxury labels.
MaryH. 849 Julu Lu, near Changshu Lu. Web: www.designedbymaryh.com.

Explore The Lost Horizon Of Shangrila

If you only travel to one place this year, make sure it’s to Shangrila in Yunnan Province. Originally called Zhongdian County, or Gyalthang in Tibetan, Shangrila County, is part of Greater Tibet, and was given its current name in 2001 in the hopes of boosting tourism due to its association with the fictional, isolated paradise written about in James Hilton’s Lost Horizon.
The town is split into various ethnic groups including Han, Naxi and Bai residents, however, the surrounding countryside is made up of traditional Tibetan farmhouses hosting an entirely Tibetan population. Blue skies and white clouds add to the beautiful Tibetan countryside scenes of rolling green hills, distant snow capped mountains and wandering yaks. Thanks to crystal clear visibility and fantastic light, your eyes are able to pick up the colour of far-flung prayer flags raging in the wind. Bright, enticing traditional patterns of turquoise, magenta, gold, cobalt and coral can be found on everything from clothes to house decorations, monasteries to horses.
Apart from long treks in the countryside, and becoming acquainted with the local people, visitors must make a trip to Sungtseling Monastery. A very important monastery in Tibetan Buddhism, it was built in 1679 and is the largest of its kind in Yunnan and currently houses around 700 monks. Shangrila has a unique cultural heritage and a strong, traditional community. It is therefore an ideal place to visit and appreciate many aspects of Tibetan culture and customs without the restrictions that come with journeying into Tibet. This county is a deeply spiritual and sacred place, where you will find hard working and high-spirited Tibetans enjoying the same type of lifestyle that their ancestors would have benefitted from generations before.
And where should you stay? Banyan Tree Ringha of course! The hotel is situated in an extremely small Tibetan village, surrounded by mountains, and is made out of traditional Tibetan farmhouses that have been reused to form a beautiful hotel. The population of Ringha village, which is about a 30 minute drive from Shangrila centre, is 100% Tibetan and the hotel works very closely with the local community to organise day trips to village farms and dinners with local Tibetans to eat tsampa, drink yak's butter tea and join in with traditional Tibetan singing. They also offer the opportunity to take mountain treks with their tour guides, but due to the high altitude, we suggest taking a horse with you!
Web: www.banyantree.com/en/cn-chinaringha.


App Of The Year: IndulgeSmart

If you haven’t already done so, make sure you download IndulgeSmart this year, and put it to use straight away. IndulgeSmart is a Shanghai-based app that was launched last year aiming to help local residents explore, eat and enjoy. After registering an account with IndulgeSmart, you are able to search, share, rate and review local restaurants and bars, in English; a Chinese version of the app is slated to come out in the near future.

The multi-functional platform allows you to search for venues based on your individual tastes and dining history, as well as suggest venues to your friends. It also uses location-based services to discover new restaurants or bars nearby. You can read reviews by other users, or leave your own, to get a true image of what’s hot and what’s not in town.
By the end of 2014, the app already had 25000 users, with 4500 registered, highly active users, who mainly focused on mid to high end dining. This is a very user-friendly, English Language app, full of all the information you could possibly need. We believe that in the future, it could give Dianping a serious run for its money. Start using IndulgeSmart today and add your voice to the growing number of Shanghai-based foodies.
Web: www.indulgesmart.com