When the Western powers forced China to open its doors to the Opium trade they also took bits of land to run as their own. The French Concession became a thriving part of Shanghai life and even today is an exotic mishmash of cultures and approaches – from expensive shops to back-alley housing.
There’s one part in particular which is a winding maze of streets made up of little shops and stalls selling food. It’s like an up-market version of a traditional bazaar. We had a good time wandering aimlessly, laughing at some of the signage, goggling at the weirder shops, and eating the occasional thing including hand-made chocolate lollipops.
After a lunch at a little cafe hidden in a back courtyard, Jennifer went off to take a look at the Jewish Museum while Dec and I made our way back to the hotel on the metro so he could continue reading his book on the Russian Revolution – a book it has proved remarkably hard to separate him from, especially when he’s safely ensconced in his private suite.
In the evening we took a stroll along the Bund and marveled at the lights. Both the old and new sides of the river are beautifully lit. Our walk took us out of our way and we wandered thought the old streets of Shanghai to find our dumpling restaurant for dinner amongst lovely old buildings.