If you go to Shanghai you should not miss a tour of the old town Nanshi. The Bund is about 1km walk but it is also accessible by metro if you get off at Yuyuan Garden. There are four pagoda shaped gates that allow access to the neighborhood that is largely rebuilt and structured suitable for tourists. You will also head immediately inside the Bazaar YuYuan which is a market where you can find all kinds of junk, jewelry and cute accessories made of jade, pearl necklaces as well as many shops and boutiques that will offer silk scarves and cashmere. Bargaining is a must in this area and if you have the doubt that in certain boutiques you can not, try to go out saying thanks. Turning towards Lao Jie marketplace is also five floors of Cang Bao Lou less frequented by tourists and looking decidedly less inviting but maybe you can find some gem.
Nanshi Old courthouse
In this area there are also many strange, beautiful and interesting temples. On average you can gain access to them at a cost of 10RMB. Immediately next to the Bazaar YuYuan is the Temple of the Town God, Buddhist and Taoist, the most beautiful of the temples I visited. On the other hand, you will find Dajing Lu Baiyun Temple, Taoist and shortly afterwards the Tower Dajing that is all that remains of the original walls of the old city. Returning then on Wenmiao Rd here you’ll find the namesake Wen Miao Temple, Confucian. Finally on Jiujxiaochang Jie you can visit the Englewood Nunnery, a Buddhist temple that houses special figures of Buddha. The particularity of this area in addition to distances much larger than expected, lies in its contrasts. In fact alternate paths which seem like those of an ultra modern city can be found near striking temples, a bazaar and poor alleys.
Nanshi Old City
Close to Renmin Lu there are also the Antiques Market and immediately beside them are also the Wangshang Bird & Flower Market which as you can imagine houses exotic animals and flowers. Returning later in the heart of the old town you will find the Huxinting Chashi, the Pavilion tea house on the lake. The lake is artificial and very full of golden carp wallowing. To get to the house you have to cross the driveway of curious rectangular stones placed in a zigzag pattern. Here you can feel the tea ceremony and do a tasting during which they also offer you the strange Chinese snacks. Next to this beautiful house is one of the entrances to the beautiful Yu Gardens. I remind you that to gain access to most of the attractions you need to present your passport so make sure it is always with you.
Nanshi Temple of the City God
Nanshi Pagoda from below
While in Shanghai you may also want to visit: Jin Mao Tower of Shanghai | One of the tallest skyscrapers in the world.
Nanshi photos: Geoff Wise, Ryk_J, Christian Lau, GlobeTropTard, AnnetteGendler.