The triangle of land between Xiaonanmen metro
station, the Lujiabang fabric market and the Cool Docks is a fascinating slice
of old Shanghai that goes largely overlooked and is shrinking by the day as the
cranes and bulldozers move in.
While development has already eaten into much of
the neighbourhood – in some cases leaving a single, solitary old house marooned
in a sea of rubble, or a road sign pointing redundantly at a new concrete wall
– there’s still an atmospheric core in which to get enjoyably lost.
weed-choked back alleys, roofless houses, rag picking depots, small wet
markets, stray dogs and the sudden, unexpected grandeur of a Catholic church
rising up at 185 Dongjiadu Lu make for some great photo opportunities,
especially when juxtaposed against the surrounding high-rises and, further in
the distance, Lujiazui’s looming trio of the Shanghai Tower, SWFC and the
How to get there Simply head east out of Xiaonanmen metro station until you hit
Lujiabang Lu, weave your way north through the lanes to Zhongshan Nan Lu and
zig-zag back again, but don’t worry about sticking to a route – part of the fun
is going completely off-piste.