Doing things the local way in Shanghai

Plan your Shanghai tour? Just rush to some must to see highlights, or you may add some finer things in Shanghai – doing the things as the locals.

Shanghai has a lot to offer other than its high-rises, the Bund, the dazzling skyline as the most developed and populated metropolitan city in the mainland China since its brilliant history and development are fascinating enough to ignite the imagination of all ages.

While amazed by its skyscrapers and skylines, why not create memories that will last a lifetime and do the things the local too !

Visit the local enchanting Longtang

When in Shanghai, it is advisable to traverse the old longtangs, a journey through the past tow centuries that hardens your authentic impression of Shanghai.

A longtang is a lane or alley in Shanghai and, to a large extent, it refers to a community centred on a laneway or several interconnected alleys. A longtang in Shanghai are loosely equivalent to the charming hutong of Beijing.

Shanghai Old Alleys ( Longtang )
Lane 210 Taikang Road in Tianzifang Area

Walk through the longtangs, the unique form of architecture with a good combination of Chinese and Western style, you will feel the folk and residential culture of old Shanghai behind the futuristic buildings booming everywhere.

Shanghai has long been a city of immigrants. In early 19th century, the sudden influx of Westerners and rural Chinese, and their cultural mixing, is the main cause that led to the unique architecture of the longtangs.

The popular and reconstructed longtangs in neighborhoods like Xintiandi and Tianzifang try to recreate the atmosphere of the old longtang culture, but are commercial versions of the old longtangs housing trendy entertainment, high end boutiques, and classy art centers.

They are just fund to visit. To see the the real and authentic longtangs, you should walk around the places like Fuxing West Road (复兴西路) and and Xinzha Road (新闸路) in Shanghai .

Taking your map of Shanghai and get their directions for the longtangs from your hotel staff and start your old Shanghai journey.

Eat locally both roadside eateries and cozy restaurants

As a metropolitan city, Shanghai a haven for foodies with its abundant supplies of local, provincial and international cuisines. Shanghai cuisine is traditionally called Benbang cuisine.

Although Shanghai’s oily, sugary and soy sauce-doused cuisine can’t be considered as the best cuisine in China, it does offer you a unique food experience with options of from roadside stalls to Michelin-star restaurants.

Your local food tour starts with the famous soup dumpling – Xiaolongbao. You need to puncture the dumpling wrap to let out the steam before slowing slurping the soup and eating the wrap. To be a bit adventurous exploring the street food, you will become a true Shanghainese if you taste stinky tofu, the smelliest food in the city, fermented and plenty offensive to the nose.

It is one of the most favorite snacks in Shanghai. Just have a try to be local, adding to your memory of Shanghai. The list of the local food experiences could be much longer. You may find the authentic Shanghai food at Yuyuan Bazaar, Yunnan Nan Road, near Yan’an Road.

Buy locally at markets

Although malls and shopping centers are becoming more popular, the majority of Shanghai locals still do shopping in markets.

Qipu Road Clothing Market
Shopping at the bazaar, Shanghai

Wandering and shopping in the markets in Shanghai is worth your short Shanghai trip. These roadside markets sell a wide range of items including purses, watches, clothes, Chinese medicine, walking sticks, silk umbrellas, bamboo and rattan furniture, goldfish and the list can be much much longer. Different markets have their own targets, such as Qipu Road Market is designed for clothes.

Check out the Top 10 Markets in Shanghai for more information.

Qipu Road clothing Market (上海七浦路服装批发市场) is the largest whole sale and retail clothing market in Shanghai which offers a massive number of men’s wear, women’s wear and children’s wear. It has a history of over 100 years.

There are various of products sold here, both for domestic market and international market, such as clothing, apparels, children’s clothes, underwear, skirts, shoes, jeans, T-shirts, bags, and other related products. You have the chance to grab the latest fashion at extremely low prices in this market.

Add: 168 & 183 Qipu Road, near Henan Bei Lu, Zhabei District 上海七浦路,闸北区,上海
Tel: 021-5102 0001
Hours: Daily 6:30am to 6:00pm

Relax like the locals at Zhujiajiao Water Town

The life pace is Shanghai is fast and the local people need to relax and unwind. Where to go? The quiet and picturesque suburbs are favorite places for the local residents. Among them, Zhujiajiao Water Town is on the top list.

Zhujiajiao Water Town
Zhujiajiao Water Town

Zhujiajiao consists of the villages and towns on Yangtze River Delta, 30km in the west of Shanghai city center, belonging to Qingpu District under the Shanghai Municipality. These villages and old towns have still used the water system for hundreds of years.

Zhujiajiao Water Town boasts many old historical buildings and sites of historic interest, such as banks,rice shops, spice stores and even a Qing Dynasty Post Office, Fangsheng Bridge, Kezhi Garden and the Yuanjin Buddhist Temple. The alleys in Zhujiajiao is teemed with numerous vendors selling souvenirs, snacks, and locals cuisine.

Zhujiajiao is like a time passage where you slow your steps, feeling the old Shanghai culture and the subtle transit from the old culture to the present developments.

Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours

If you don’t want to do a self-guided tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Tour
Shanghai Day Tour
Shanghai Multi-Day Tour
Shanghai Evening Tour
Shanghai Cruise Port ( Transfer& Excursions )
Shanghai Beijing Tour
Shanghai Xian Tour
Shanghai Car Rental with Driver

Further Readings

Top 10 Attractions in Shanghai
Shanghai’s Top 10 Iconic Landmarks
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai
Top 10 Photo Spots in Shanghai
10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Shanghai
Top Things to Do for Kids in Shanghai
Top family-friendly spots to visit in Shanghai
Top 10 Shanghai Museums
Doing things the local way in Shanghai
Shanghai Cherry Blossom Festival

How to Plan a Trip to Shanghai
Best time to visit Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai on a Budget
Where to stay in Shanghai
Visit Shanghai in December
How to Visit Shanghai in November
Visit Shanghai in October
How to Visit Shanghai in March
Visit Shanghai in February
Shanghai in January Travel Guide
Shanghai Layout, the city layout of Shanghai

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station
Public Transportation at Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Hongqiao Airport
Huangpu River Cruis e Ticket Booking (Tickets, Photos and Map)
Shanghai Hop On Hop Off
Ferry from the Bund to Pudong
The highest al fresco dining venue in China
Shopping in Pudong Shanghai
Top 10 Shanghai Classic Vegetarian Restaurants
Beijing Shanghai high speed rail
Ticket Booking for Beijing Shanghai High Speed Rail
Top 10 Shanghai Budget Hotels
Top 10 Shanghai Luxury Hotels
Top 10 Shanghai Boutique Hotels

Tips for Visiting Nanjing Road in Shanghai
The Neon-Colored Nanjing Road
Night walk along Nanjing Road in Shanghai
How to Visit the Bund in Shanghai (Tips, Photos & Map)
The Bund at Night pictures
Foggy Pudong Skyline at Sunrise, Shanghai
The Bund and Small Pool of Rainwater
Early Morning Kite Flyers on the Bund in Shanghai
Historic Buildings on the Bund in Shanghai (the 22 heritage buildings)
Evening View of the Bund and Pudong Skyline Shanghai
How to Visit Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar
The Old World Charm in Shanghai (Tips, Photos & Map)
How to Visit Lujiazui in Pudong
How to Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town
How to Visit Qibao Ancient Town
How to Visit Tianzifang
How to Visit Xintiandi
How to Visit Shanghai World Financial Center
How to Visit Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai Tower
Tips for Visiting People’s Square, Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai Auto Museum
Feeling Chinese New Year’s Atmosphere in Shanghai

How to Visit Wuzhen Water Town from Hangzhou and Shanghai
Huangpu River in Shanghai VS River Thames in London
Some similarities and differences between Paris and Shanghai

Any questions, just drop a line.

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