Photos of Old Shanghai
Nanjing Road 南京路, Jing'an 静安寺, Yu Garden 豫园, HuaiHai Road 淮海路 - all these names are popular among the tourists coming in Shanghai. But if you will turn off the main tourist routes, if you will move slightly aside and will go deep into neighboring streets - you see another Shanghai. It is not present on tourist maps and guidebooks, the guides do not lead there. If you want to dip into an atmosphere of the past, you should go there.
Old Shanghai is rows of two-four storied houses covered with linen and conditioners. Grey walls of the buildings form huge contrast with shining skyscrapers of modern Shanghai.
Stroll on these old streets and observe life boiling around. Generally ground floors of the houses are workshops, stores, playing houses, massage cabinets and snack bars. Bicyclists and motorcyclists are everywhere. Hue-and-cry are around you: shouts in the street, noise of motors and horns. Braziers and vats steam on borders of sidewalks. Anyone can feel aroma mixed with a smell of soya sauce and roasting meat. Add to this stink from lanes and you get a cocktail named "Smell of Old Shanghai".
But most interesting are the people, which here live.
Old Shanghai is nearing the end of its life - more and more blocks are bulldozed and new skyscrapers grow on their places as mushrooms. The government of Shanghai promised to keep some streets for a history, for example Taikang Road. But when I was there in April I saw two demolished houses in this street. So if you want to see Old Shanghai, you should hurry, otherwise in two - three years you will be able to see it only in photos.
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