There is plenty of Art Deco in Shanghai to keep you occupied but I thought I’d devote a post to some other things Shanghai has to offer. Again, I stress that I am not in any way an expert and it’s been 7 years since my last visit–a long time in modern Shanghai.
The Bund is an ideal place to take it all in. As I mentioned in part 1, in a 180 degree sweep, you can see early 20th century Shanghai alongside 21st century Shanghai. The Bund is sensational for people watching and has excellent restaurants. It’s perfectly safe as far as I know, but gullible individuals (ahem) have been taken in by the infamous tea ceremony scam. The Bund is also home to the most aggressive shoe shine guys I’ve ever seen. Distant relatives of Manhattan’s squeegee men.
Head inland from the Bund on Nanjing Lu for shopping. Even if you don’t like like malls, these vertical gallerias are a sight to behold. Each one looks like the atrium from a John Portman hotel.
There’s a stretch of JinLing Lu that’s all music stores. More than most places in China this is not for those who have strong opinions on trademarks or intellectual property. But if you’d like to see dozens of Gibson and Fender guitars that weren’t made by Gibson or Fender this is the place to go. Some of the shops offer traditional Chinese instruments and a few mix very old and new.
When I was in Shanghai in November, the weather was wet. So, while I love to walk, I made several visits to the Shanghai Museum. No Art Deco here, but everything is stunning nonetheless. They even allow photos, but in some rooms the lights cycle up and down, presumably to prevent fading.
There is also at least one antique flea market. I don’t recall exactly where this was but it’s just as well. With all the demolition taking place, it’s probably moved somewhere else by now.
Or, you could just walk the old neighborhoods, which are fascinating.
Getting back to the Bund, another option is to take the short subway ride across to Pudong. This is the Blade Runner/Total Recall/City of Tomorrow you see in photos depicting Shanghai’s incredibly fast growth.
Well, that’s what I saw in just a few days, mostly by coincidence since I was usually on the hunt for Art Deco.