上海老城厢最红 OLD SHANGHAI
Shanghainese refer to the Laochengxiang
are as Chenghuang Miao (Old City Cod’s Temple). When they head there
for some fun, they’ll say, “let’s go to Chenghuang Miao.” But actually,
the temple is only a small part of Laochengxiang, which used to
be enclosed by a wall. Inside you can find the Yuyuan gardens, which
were built in the Ming Dynasty, teahouses and many old streets.
Situated in the southeastern part of the city, Laochengxiang fills
an area of about seven square kilometers.
Compared with old town Suzhou and Hangzhou, Laochengxiang is not
very old, with a history of only about 700 years. Shanghai became
a town during the Southern Song Dynasty with city walls erected
during the Ming. In the Qing Dynasty, Shanghai was already fulfilling
its promise as a wharf and urban center. Merchants and shops selling
wares from all over gathered downtown, which was nine huali in circumference.
This birthplace of Shanghai was then called “South Market” by local
residents, because outside the wall the foreign concessions were
referred to as “North Market,” Since everyone dreamed of making
their fortune there with the foreigners, Laochengxiang was given
the cold shoulder with residents leaving and no one coming in. However,
this fortunately helped to preserve the southern Chinese flavor
Although the city walls were pulled down long ago, several ancient
streets and the Yuyuan Gardens remain, well-preserved and still
attracting visitors. Built in Ming-Qing style, Yuyuan used to be
the most outstanding garden in Shanghai, with its delicate pavilions
and exquisite towers.
In the heart of Laochengxiang, Chenghuang Temple is also a Ming-style
building, dedicated to the Huating town god. In front of the gate,
the old street does brisk business. It has always been a gathering
point for buying and selling knickknacks. The snacks which first
appeared in small shops along the street have grown famous, such
as Ligaotang (a kind of candy), Chicken and Duck Blood Soup, squid
from Guangdong, river snails pickled in wine, and more.
Religious edifices abound in this area: a Taoist temple Baiyunguan,
two Buddhist temples, two mosques, a Christian church, a Catholic
church, and even a Confucian temple.
The most famous street is Fangbin Road. Judging from the name, it
was probably a river in ancient times. The surfeit of rivers here
meant that local transportation used to depend mainly on boats and
ships. Roads came later. And that is when this area changed its
name to “Shanghai Old Street.” Traditional two-story buildings stand
on both sides of the street, a snapshot of Shanghai’s history. Vendors
have filled in the attractive buildings to conduct their flourishing
The open-air vegetable market at the intersection of Luxiangyuan
Road and Dajing Road is possibly the best representative of typical
local conditions and customs.
If you have time for a stroll, you can still discover buildings
from the Song dynasty among the narrow lanes of Laochengxiang.
On holidays, Laochengxiang is always unbelievably crowded with Shanghainese
as well as visitors. In those old houses, loud voices and bright
colors are everywhere, red, gold, yellow, green...This hubbub and
exuberance is what local residents love.
Nowadays, Laochengxiang is the most Chinese place in Shanghai.