Good morning, Shanghai!

Exercising with beautiful Shanghai skylines minus the crowds - dama knows the best

The Bund and Nanjing Dong Lu - two of the city's busiest tourist destinations - are almost unrecognisable in the wee hours of the morning. Between sunrise and around 8am, they attract groups of (mostly) retirees from neighbouring residential buildings who use the streets as exercise and recreation yards. Residents can be seen performing tai chi, practicing with swords, playing badminton and flying kites, creating an air of innocence and a charming community spirit rarely associated with these locations. But as the bell in the clock tower at Customs House chimes ‘The East is Red’ at 8am, the old folks pack up their equipment, bid each other a cheery zai hui (‘goodbye’ in Shanghainese) and scurry away back to their homes. 


Click through the photo gallery to see what it's like on the streets of Shanghai in the early morning. 

Fan performers
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Fan performers

Lujiazui skylines
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Lujiazui skylines


The Bund at day break (when the pollution is low and the skies are relatively clear) makes for a breathtaking spectacle as the sun’s golden rays emerge from behind Lujiazui’s clutch of skyscrapers.

Tai chi practitioners
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Tai chi practitioners

Badminton players
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Badminton players

Kite flyers
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Kite flyers

There a dedicated group of kite flyers who gather opposite the Fairmont Peace Hotel most mornings to steer a variety of intricate material birds and boxes through the clouds above. 

Morning exercises
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Morning exercises

Under the shade of trees
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Under the shade of trees



Martial arts practitioners
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Martial arts practitioners

An empty Yongkang Lu
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An empty Yongkang Lu

It's not just The Bund and Nanjing Dong Lu that look different in the early morning. Here's how bustling bar street Yongkang Lu looks at 7am

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