We started at 10 a.m. at People’s Square metro where we, and about 30 others, met Kylie from Free Tour Shanghai to take a 4-hour and 8km walking tour of the city center. She took us one level down to show us how Shanghai looked in its hey days of 1930’s.
From there we walked to the center and governmental section of People’s Square to see City Hall, the Shanghai Museum and the Shanghai Grand Theatre – all built since the 1990’s on the former site of the British horse racing track.
Onward to People’s Park which has only been open to the Chinese public since 1953. (This applies to all parks; before that they were only open to foreigners and Chinese dignitaries.
We went to a special corner of the park where on Saturdays, Sunday’s, and Holidays one will see several hundred people sitting beside an umbrella pinned with an announcement. These are parents or grand parents seeking a marriage partner for their child or grandchild. The announcement provides various details of the young person. This “marriage market”was started in 2004 by a woman with a 27-year old single daughter who was about to become a “spinster”! And the idea caught on -to the dismay of the younger generation who, at least, have the last say!
A view of the former British Racetrack Club -currently a newly opened historical museum.
Until the 1980’s the ’30’s Park Hotel was the tallest building in Shanghai.
The typical housing for the Chinese during the time of the British and French was in block- sized buildings with a central courtyard and alley ways. Up to 1,000 people lived in one of these sections.
The Bund was also part of the British sector and was the business and banking street of Shanghai. To this day, banks fill the colonial buildings and a bull to match the Wall Street bull, and by the same sculptor, was ordered for the 2010 expo.