Posted by: daradoodle | September 15, 2008

Moon Cakes v. Moon Pies

Moon Cakes (L), Moon Pies (R)

Moon Cakes (L), Moon Pies (R)

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Also known as the Moon Festival, this weekend is one of two major holidays that I’ll experience while living in China. Rather than travel outside of Shanghai, as many people do during the holidays, I decided to stay in town for the weekend to explore the city a bit.

My Aussie roommate Jenn has a family house in the Hongqiao District of Shanghai, which is about an hour cab ride south of campus.

My roomie, Jenn

My roomie, Jenn

Paul, Jenn and I spent Saturday browsing the shops at the Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar located in “Old Town” Shanghai. Although we didn’t actually go in the garden, we admired the surrounding landscape and ancient architecture.

Yuyuan Garden & Bazaar

Yeahhhh, xiaolongbao

Yeahhhh, xiaolongbao

We waited in a long line to sample another type of dumpling called 小笼包(xiaolongbao) or little basket bun. I guess they were worth the 20 minute wait. However, Charlie, Paul, Mike and I had some better tasting ones the night before at a Cantonese restaurant off Hauihai Lu (thanks for the tip Aaron!).

After Paul being harassed by a lady collecting plastic bottles, and myself purchasing a Starbucks beverage that tasted nothing like the Iced Caramel Macchiato I’ve grown to know and love, we began walking toward the Bund.

On our jaunt, we passed by a neat road / ally with lots of food vendors. Me being the foodie that I am, had to take some photos…

We were caught up in a torrential downpour for about 30 minutes before making a break for the popular tourist destination.

The Bund

The Bund

In two years, Shanghai will play host to a major global event when the 2010 World Expo kicks off. The hype is alive and well with presence this Gumbi looking character all over Shanghai. He’s the World Expo mascot! Check us out…

Me at the Bund with 2010 World Expo Mascot, Haibao

Me at the Bund with 2010 World Expo Mascot, Haibao

His name is 海宝 (Haibao), which means “treasure of the world.” He is shaped like the Chinese character 人 (ren) or person. There is also a massive REN Building under construction that will be shaped like the Chinese character as well. This incredible piece of architecture will be extrodinary and I hope I am around when it comes to fruition.

I celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival last night by attending my first Beijing Opera. I’m a bit amazed by the sounds that both the men and women are able to project vocally. I am still not too sure about the story line, but the costumes were cool.

Beijing Opera

Celebrating the Moon Festival would not be complete without eating a Moon Cake. The first thought that came to mind when learning about the Moon Cake, was a southern Moon Pie!

LOTS of Moon Cakes

LOTS of Moon Cakes

Someone from Mississippi / Louisiana might have to ship me a box of Moon Pies so I can let my friends here in China sample the chocolate marshmallow goodness. The only time I ever remember having a Moon Pie was during Mardi Gras, but I’m sure they can be found somewhere throughout the year.

Click here to see some beautiful Moon Cakes posted on

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  1. Hey Dara! Love your China blog. I can’t wait to read more about your time there! Do you mind that I put a link to your page on my blog?

  2. Some of that food looks pretty good, even the octopus legs.

  3. Hello Dara! i’m Jason. Nice to meet you here. Your pictures are great and you must have had a fantastic Mid Autumn Festival! Enjoy the mooncakes but not too much!
    And I should leave my site to you!
    My blog is
    My photo album is

  4. […] Shanghai tourist destination, Yuyuan Gardens, also did some Spring Festival decorating with these fun and fancy floating illumnated […]

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