From the 1920s through to today, youre getting it all on this Shanghai street tour that shows off the citys history, culture, food, and daily local life.
Your Shanghai tour will start with a view of the historic city cathedral, which was spared during both WWII and Chinas Cultural Revolution and used as a factory in the interim. From there, well head into the citys abandoned nong tangs (Shanghais sister version of Beijings hutongs) decaying, quiet narrow streets and alleys, full of propaganda posters. Spot the signs referring to Japanese war crimes, and rants against the menace from the East, as well as posters showcasing classic Shanghai stage and screen celebrities.
Well get way lost in the labyrinthine nong tangs, weaving around the lanes of back alleys where tourists dont tread and Chinese life goes on in the backstage of Shanghai. Stroll past carpenters and craftsmen, and see the trash collectors and street sweepers who creep by. You might even spy the odd mahjong game, Chinas classic pastime and an old staple of local entertainment. Well also get down and dirty in the outdoor market, browsing for fish and food, and seeing capitalism in action in a China that has moved away from Mao.
Next, well hit our hunger at a famous pan-frieddumpling establishment of Shanghai street food, and grab some sheng jian(pan-friedsoup dumplings filled with your choice of pork, wild vegetables, or spicy crawfish and shrimp).
Well then head into the 1930s, and check out art deco hotels like the prestigious Park Hotel and Shanghai Sports Bureau as we head toward the Champs Elysee of Shanghai, Nanjing. On Saturdays and Sundays, we'll also stop and try our luck at the marriage market in Peoples Square Park, where parents hope to find mates for their children.
Once at Nanjing Lu, well see the postcard-like view of the buildings, blazing neon signs, riverfront, and the massive skyscrapers that have become emblematic of the new China. Well snake our way through the backstreets, check out different types of street food, and visit a street stall selling old books by the weight. Well also visit the Peace Hotel at the waters edge a classic stately structure representative of the citys birth.
Well end our Shanghai tour with an epic view of the towering monster monoliths of futuristic Pudong. Well grab a refreshing beer over at the old pub next to the grand buildings and embassies on the Bund our tour and time warp complete!