ITINERARY BY DAY
Spend a day amongst the locals in Shanghai’s historic French Concession district, a charming residential enclave with the city’s most distinctive architecture. Start your tour in Xiangyang Park, one of the many public areas in the French Concession where locals gather for their morning exercise, including Tai Chi. Weave through the chattering crowds of early-risers with your guide, and learn about how parks like this one play an important role in the social lives of Shanghai’s retired population.
Then, embark on foot down Xiangyang Lu Street toward a nearby crossroads and explore a Russian Orthodox Church and the Mansion Hotel, a building which was once owned by Shanghai’s biggest crime boss in the early 20th Century. Afterwards, continue down Xiangyang Lu to sample some fried dumplings at a collection of food stalls before turning the corner into a labyrinth of narrow housing estate alleyways.
Along the way, learn about how the establishment of China’s Communist era led to the division of these estates’ floors between families, and see how these ever-growing family units have led to as many as three generations now living in a single room! Then, pass a local wet market and watch as locals bargain for their morning groceries before wrapping up your journey a local bakery’s iconic treat – lovingly known as “probably the best egg tart in Shanghai”.