Shanghai walks: Koreatown

Discover authentic Korea eats, bathhouses and markets in Gubei

Click the image for a larger map

Starting point Ziteng Lu station
End point Hechuan Lu station
Walking time 1 hour 30 minutes


Leave the metro station by exit 1 and immediately turn left onto Ziteng Lu. After walking for around five minutes you’ll come to a charming cluster of authentic Korean restaurants with tatami-mat seating and rounded character signage marking the heart of Shanghai’s Koreatown. For great barbecue and warming bibimbaps (20-30RMB) we recommend trying the homey wood-clad family joint at number 222 or number 248 for great Korean seafood. Don’t miss the tiny Korean convenience store at number 232, for their freezer full of delicious melon-flavoured ice lollies and red bean or milky frozen desserts (5RMB).

Q. The imposing Roman style building at number 245 houses the Crystyl Palace Health Club. Aside from vases, what is displayed in the windows next to the door?


Continue north to the top of Ziteng Lu and turn right onto Qingshan Lu. Walk east for 10 minutes passing rows of pet hospitals and nail bars until you reach a T-intersection with Hongjing Lu, near Longbai Xuncun metro station. Cross to the north side of Qingshan Lu; on the corner of Hongjing Lu is Korean import supermarket Food the Right Way. Inside you can find snacks such as tins of silk pupae, flower-shaped yakgwa-honey cookies, rows and rows of soju including the popular Jinro brand and an entire fridge full of squelching red bags of kimchi.

When you leave the shop turn right, cross the street and continue on north up Hongjing Lu. At number 638, just after the crossing with Hongsong Lu, you will find Korean homeware shop Jing Hang, where you can stock up on kitchenware including real stone dolsot bowls for making bibimbaps (from 28RMB) along with an odd mixture of traditional hanbok dresses, chopsticks and imported hair products.

Q. What brand of rice cooker is advertised above Jing Hang’s shop entrance?


Turn right out of the shop and you will see a large red sign for the Hongqiao flower and bird market (虹桥花鸟市场, open 8am-6pm daily) at number 718. Head through the large concrete archway into the sprawling garden centre which houses three large warehouses full of greenery, fish and faux-antique furniture. It’s great fun to explore even if you’re not shopping, but we recommend stall A3 in the first warehouse for stunning purple orchids and stall A1 for outdoor bonsai-style trees and potted peace lilies.

Also check out Yonglong Flower at A21, which not only has an extensive selection of seasonal indoor flowers, but great service, too. The staff will happily piece together colourful bouquets from 15RMB. Follow the signs for the aquarium through to the second building, where you will find vast tanks of tropical fish and exotic reptiles and cages of birds that cheep ‘ni hao’. You can even net your own giant coy carp at Stall D21.

Q. The back wall of stall D31-33 is covered in fishing nets on poles. How much is the most expensive net on sale?


Leave the market by the side entrance at stall D21 and turn right following the river and signs for 金汇路 until you reach the rear exit of the market. Turn right at the exit onto Jinhui Lu and you should be walking south. At 489A Jinhui Lu you’ll reach Jun’s, which is the name of both a restaurant and a fashion store with great men’s and women’s imports from Thailand and Korea.

Q. Outside Jun’s restaurant is a picture of a set meal that includes rice balls and a meat dish for 100RMB. What sort of meat is it?


Continue walking south, crossing Wuzhong Lu where you’ll see Hot Rock 99, a KTV bar popular with students. After 500 metres you’ll come to New Star, Time Out’s favourite Shanghai bathhouse, at the corner of Hongquan Lu (Lane 248, Jinhui Nan Lu) a blissfully chilled out way to relax your weary feet after all that walking. Once you’ve enjoyed the main pools you can laze upstairs in heated pizza oven-like alcoves or circular, stone hobbit-like homes, and in the summer there’s also an outdoor swimming pool, open from July, all for the basic entrance price of 58RMB.

Almost directly across the road from New Star sits one of our favourite Korean restaurants, Zheng Yi Pin (225 Jinhui Nan Lu, open 10.30am-10pm daily) with huge barbecue plates for cooking fresh meats and vegetables, meaning you can get a hearty meal after your walk as well.

Q. Before crossing the road, turn with your back to New Star and look up. What is advertised on the banner above Korean supermarket 1004 Mart?

Getting home

From New Star turn left and walk south for two blocks until you reach Yishan Lu. Here, turn left and walk for 100 metres until you arrive at the Hechuan Lu metro station.