When you arrive in Pudong Airport and move further into to the city center of the megacity of Shanghai, you will be bombarded with trendy and futuristic skyscrapers as well as amazed by the old world charms of the colonial buildings and traditional Chinese alleys and elegant architectures.
Shanghai has many superlatives which you won’t miss on your first trip to Shanghai – the fastest maglev train in the world, the tallest observation deck, the highest hotel and the list could be longer.
If you are an old world charm enthusiast, you will be definitely excited by what the fish-village-turned metropolitan Shanghai can offer. The surviving old town area, mainly inclusive of Yuyuan Garden ( Yu Garden), Yuyuan Bazaar and Town God Temple will catch your imagination of the old world charm in Shanghai.
Though a bit gone through some gentrification, the old town area still largely keeps its old Chinese buildings, charming private gardens, Chinese temples, street-front shops; tea house, silk, Shanghai cuisines, snacks and local products.
For more information on How to get to the Old Town in Shanghai, please check out How to Visit Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar.
If you have enough time in traveling the old world in Shanghai, sit down in a tea house which is located in the heart of the Nine-Bend Bridge and Pond. The Nine-Bend Bridge and the Pond is the core of the bustling area of the old town. The tea house is known as “Huxinting Tea House” , literally “Mid-Lake Pavilion Tea house”.
Huxinting Tea House is an old wooden two-story house with up-turned eaves perched on the pond. The two flags with the big character “茶” ( Tea ) are fluttering in the wind, an old way to attract visitors to come for a sip of Chinese tea and sit above a bit distant cacophony of noise and motion.
I walk up the ladder to the second floor and order a cup of green tea and some snacks which costs me about 10 US dollars.
You have a quite variety of tea choices with some being very expensive. So be vigilant about your tea selection.
Two qipao-clad Chinese girls are playing pipa, a traditional Chinese string instrument.
Sitting leisurely and sipping Chinese tea, talking, laughing and enjoying the quietness in the middle of noise and human motion below.
You can have a better view overlooking the old world charm below with people moving against the traditional Chinese buildings, zigzag bridges, alleys and people to people watch.
On the first floor in the teahouse, you will have an opportunity to watch people how to manually make green tea, by frying the tea on a big wok.
Walk around the hustling area, have a peep show accompanied by singing commentary, an old recreational performance.
Waiting in line to buy watering steamed buns with pork or other delicious fillings.
Planning your Shanghai tour? No matter you like it or not, a side trip to the old town in Shanghai is worth your valuable time.
Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself bus route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:
Top 10 Attraction 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
Any questions, just drop a line.