New Old Shanghai

I’ve written about Shanghai a number of times. You can click on the “Shanghai” tag at the end of this entry to see the others. On this trip, I managed to see a part of the town I hadn’t visited before.

Not too far from the historic Bund and the frenzy of Nanjing Lu’ s modern shopping orgy is an older part of town. In English it’s called Old Town, and in Chinese Nanshi, which means South Town.
There are lots of buildings in an older style, though I’m pretty sure most of them are reconstructions if not simply modern buildings made copying the old style. I don’t know if any of it is actually old.

For the most part, it’s filled with tourist stuff and restaurants, though the side streets not far away are much more like “real” Shanghai, with bicycle repair shops, cheap non-name-brand clothes, and so on.
It’s also been invaded by Gumby.
That’s the mascot for the 2010 Shanghai World’s Fair. I have mentioned the Gumby similarity to Chinese people, and some of them have even heard to the character. I’ve not met anyone who actually liked this mascot.
In the middle of the area is a pond with this picturesque tea house.

For a ¥30 entrance fee, you can wander around in Yuyuan, a lovely garden dating originally from 1559. It has been ransacked and rebuilt numerous times since then, most recently (if I remember right) in 1853. It was private property rather than imperial.
Spring comes to Shanghai a little earlier than Beijing, and many of the trees were in bloom.
Lovely scent in the air.
It is home to numerous cats, including this little pregnant female with very uncommon (here at least) markings.
While smaller than such immense parks as the Summer Palace in Beijing, it’s still pretty extensive. Somehow it seems bigger on the inside that it did on the outside.
As usual, the roofs are decorated elaborately.
I guess it’s off-season still, since a guy came around at 5:00 to tell everyone it was closing time.

I have a few other miscellaneous pictures of other parts of the city, but since Nanshi and Yuyuan make a nice package, I’ll save them for another post.

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