The old Shanghai refers to a small area of Shanghai that used to be walled in and remained that way until about 1912 when all but a small section of the wall was demolished. With the advent of the concessions, Old Shanghai became the administrative center until later when it became a shopping complex.
Now it has many restored historical buildings as well as new buildings in a somewhat traditional style that has become one of Shanghai’s main tourist attractions, housing many shops and restaurants.
The “Old Town” is not exclusively old, as you still have a chance to take in the atmosphere if you wander into the quaint side streets.
But, on first viewing walking down the street towards the complex, I’m not sure I’d go as far as to say this is in reality old Shanghai, except for what appears to be a true representation of it architecturally.
The buildings, which are shops and restaurants, are set out symmetrically, with streets, alleyways, and squares which may prove that it was specially built for the tourists, and no mechanized traffic.
The buildings are magnificent, and a photographer’s delight, and you’d finish up having hundreds of photos by the time you leave. All the buildings are exquisite representations of traditional Chinese architecture.
Nothing here is worth the price tag and in our group discounts like from 130 RMB to 50 RMB and from 1 for 1,200 to 2 for 950 RMB are common.
Here common t-shirts that we can get for 3 dollars back home start at 150 RMB which is roughly 35 dollars. It’s that kind of market.
We end up is a tea room, on the third floor of the meeting point below, and discover all the tour guides sitting around a table counting money, and I have to say it’s the most $50 notes I’ve ever seen in one place.
It is, we were told, where they discussed ‘strategy’.