Shanghai's iconic Nanjing Lu (Street)

by fulltimestudent 17 Replies latest social current

  • fulltimestudent

    Lu is a chinese word for street, and it may be one of the first chinese words a visitor learns, particularly if their hotel is sited near this street.

    I'd like to show you what life is like inNanjing Lu, its attractions and its scams.

    So first of, what can you see. Well, lots and lots of Chinese, but these days (often) lots and lots of westerners. This first video, shows chinese couples street dancing. They belong to what I gues you'd best describe as dancing clubs, but they meet on the street at certain times and ... dance!

    It also shows another attraction, a guy on a balcony playing the sax. I often stay in a hotel right opposite and can look at the window of my room and watch (I think he plays well) ...

  • fulltimestudent

    On such a street, you'd expect scammers - it won't disappoint! Everything from genuine, fakes to bodies for an hour or so."You want girl?" is common, if you say, "No!" my experience is that a few minutes later, a young man may approach, and ask, "You want boy?" suggesting that there may be a more organised system working behind the scenes.

    Some times they want to take you to a 'special' shop down a lane. I would never accept, and sugegst (if you visit) not to, either.

    Another scam is discussed in this video:

  • fulltimestudent

    This video commences with an early morning scene (oddly deserted) at the Bund end of Nanjing lu. The Bund is the waterfront and also iconic as the home of western capitalism, when the 'west' (Britain, France etc) still owned Shanghai.

    3 minutes of this video is enough to get an idea of this end of Nanjing Lu

  • under the radar
    under the radar

    Cool videos! Thanks for posting them. I get to Shanghai once or twice a month for a day or two at a time. I don't usually have time to stray far from the hotel, but it is definitely a beautiful city.

    If you're interested in possibly meeting up sometime, PM me and I'll let you know the next time I'm gonna be there. Could be a hoot!


  • fulltimestudent

    Yes, It is a great city, under the radar, There's a story ( maybe its apocryphal, but who cares) about John Howard, a former Austrlain Prime Minister. He was on his first trip to Shanghai, and he got to his hotel in Shanghai and up to his room (obviously one of the higher floors) and he's sorting himself out. One of his staff opened the curtins to reveal .... the brilliant night scene of Pudong.

    "Sh*t," Howard is supposed to have exclaimed. "How long has this been going on?"

    For those whose image of China is stuck in the Mao years, what is happening in China is shocking. (But it can be argued that the Mao years polayed a big part in the re-organisation of China, after 50+ years of chaos.)


    Thnx for the invite to meet up, I like to enter China through Shanghai. Its an exciting city, you can really feel the energy that's been let loose in China. I'm not sure what I'm doing next year, theoretically I should finish my degree. But, I see a couple of study units I'd still like to do and will run next year, and I'm trying to get an OK to do them. And, I must do a capstone essay in ancient history for my major - its a bit complicated as I've sort of twisted the system to suit my own purposes.

    And, I had in mind next trip (whenever it is), to fly China Southern to Guangzhou, travel north on Very Fast Rail to Xiamen, Quanzhou and Fuzhou, and back to GZ for a good look at GZ). I simply MUST get to Quanzhou, not just for the maritime museum, but out of a desire to see the last Manichean church in the world. (Its in use as a Buddhist temple -but an image of Mani can still be seen on a wall- verified by scholars from my university).

    So let's see ... !!

  • fulltimestudent

    I selected this one because its focusses on the ordinary people of Shanghai, and it moves into the backstreets also:

  • fulltimestudent
  • fulltimestudent

    I'm including this recent development of an old run-down area. It gives an idea of what is possible in the future.

    However, the main reason I've posted is that there is a very ironic story attached.

    This re-development was built by a capitalist HongKong company (very wealthy owner).

    And, one of the requirements was to preserve and conserve, a building where the first meeting of the Chinese Communist Party was held, way back in 1923.

    Which I guess, says a lot about China today. The CPC is anything but communist>

  • fulltimestudent

    If you want to understand - compare today's Shanghai to the past- here's some film from 1947.

    Background again, from around 1937 to 1945, Shanghai had been occupied by the Japanese.

  • fulltimestudent

    For me, however, the most fascinating thing about Shanghai today is its Port.

    A few years ago, came the realisation, that the old Port of Shanghai would not cope with predicted future import and export traffic. This meant a new port had to be built. The decision was made to build it off-shore. So the new port of Yangshan was constructed. You can see part of it in this Wiki media pik

    File:Port of Shanghai, Yangshan Deep-water Harbour Zone, 02.jpg

    It also had to be connected to the mainland so a new bridge had to be built. The Donghai bridge.

    File:Donghai Bridge.jpg

    THe was a massive construction project, Today the new port of Shanghai is the largest in the world.

    This NatGeo video tells the story- it runs to 5 episodes, but it truly is a fascinating story that illustrates the energy that has been let loose in China.

    .... but, even so its not the whole story. There's more to come.

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