Shanghai Old Town & City God Temple

After my very expensive tea break, I went in search for the Old Town in Shanghai. And Old Street. To begin with, it was a bit confusing working out what was what, but eventually some friendly folks at a Tourist Office told me that Old Street was the street running alongside one side of the walled Old Town.

This is Old Street, at the edge of the Old Town.

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There was a great atmosphere and many fascinating buildings in the Old Town.

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Though not every part of Old Town was old. I quickly popped in at M&S to see if they had any sandwiches, but, alas, no.

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There were a lot of shops and narrow alleyways in the Old Town of Shanghai. And water. By now, I had forgotten the over-priced tea performance. And there weren’t too many people bothering me either, so at this this stage, Shanghai is pretty fab.

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Here’s the famous zigzag bridge.

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I also saw some interesting things you can spend money on. No idea what this kid is looking at.

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Nestled within the Old Town, I stumbled on Shanghai City God Temple, a Taoist temple complex.

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There were a lot of temples here where people could pray and worship.

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With interesting walkways, statues and wall paintings.

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In the evening, I went for a short walk along Nanjing Road. I was kind of prepared for the arrival of the prostitutes, and I just decided to count the number of offers, to get some kind of distance to the absurdity of the whole situation.

I was approached fifteen times in less than an hour. It’s sleazy and it’s tedious at the same time, because they don’t give up easily. “But the girls are really beautiful!” or “But it’s only 100 yuan for a massage!” To one of the guys showing me pictures of girls I said, “You’re number twelve!” And he replied, “You got to be kidding!” But I wasn’t kidding.

I think this was by far the worst thing about Shanghai, being approached by prostitutes every two minutes, while walking through the most tourist-heavy and a clearly upmarket part of town.

For example, this is the Henderson Metropolitan Mall, where shop assistants are dressed up like butlers and a mini-orchestra plays classical music for the shoppers. Just outside the door, prostitutes are frantically looking for customers. Off-putting to the max. Can’t the Shanghai authorities clean up this area?

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OK, tomorrow I’ll visit the Yuyuan Garden. It’s supposed to be incredibly beautiful.

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