Xin Tian Di, Shanghai
The former french quarter was renovated respecting its old characteristics, and became a trendy (and expensive... it seems) touristy area.
It's different, but the contrast with the shiny forms and colours of the old town (if it happens to you moving from one to the other, as we did), becomes somewhat depressive.
It is a good preservation of the cultural diversity in Shanghai's history and maybe an attraction to locals for its high standards, but nothing very special for who is just passing by.
Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum is located at 79 Fenyang Road, in French Concession of Luwan district. It is also known as "Garden Building" and some even call it "The Small White House" because it looks similar to the White House in D.C.
It was constructed in 1905. This building has a model of the architectural style of the late period of French Renaissance. Initially, this was the residence of the director of the Chamber of Industry in French settlement. After the victory of the anti-Japanese war, it was used as the office of United Nation World Health Organization. Then in 1954, it was the office of Sino-USSR Friendship Organization. Since 1960, it has been used as the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Research Institute and Museum.
This building has been well maintained, especially the interior. You can see the wooded flooring, and traditional wooded roof with renaissance style's lighting. The curve marble staircase with red carpet really highlight the traditional renaissance style house. On the second floor, you can meet up with specialized workshop staffs and professional artists to understand the Chinese arts and crafts including Chinese paper-cutting, embroidery, and lacquer work.
Admission: Y8 per adult
Opening Hour: 9:00 -16:00
In Chinese: 上海工艺美术博物馆， shang hai gong yi mei shu bo wu guan.
The First Congress Hall of the Communist Party Museum is located in one of those grey stone-framed-door buildings or shikumen. You could easily miss it if you do not know this museum located in Xintiandi, nearby those branded shops and restaurants in the neighborhood.
This Hall consists of four of the two-stories of shikumen houses that attached together. It was built in summer of 1920. one of the houses was the residence of two pioneers of Communist Party, Lee Han Jun and his brother Lee Shu Cheng. The first Chinese national communist party meeting was held here on 23rd July 1921. Chairman Mao was one of the attendants too. On 30th July 1920, they changed their meeting venue to a boat at Jiaxing South Lake, Zhejiang due to the crackdown of the national government.
On 27th May 1999, the City of Shanghai recognized this site as the treasure of the national historical building, opened to the public as museum to celebrate 50 years China as Communist Nation.
Photo is not allowed inside the museum.
Opening Hours: 9:00 - 16:00
In Chinese: 中共一大会址， zhong gong yi da hui zhi
Xintiandi is the old French-quarter and has many good upscale resturants and shops. It's worth a good walk in this part of Shanghai, especially if you like high-end shopping or dining in a quieter setting, whereas many Shanghaiese don't hang-out here. Many of the better bars are near here as well.
The small alley streets between buildings are beautiful. You could see different classical art sculptures against those walls. If you look up the sky, you could see the combination of old Shanghai classical building with those modern high rise buildings in Shanghai. I really like the picture of Shanghai Museum Shop with a giant high rise building next to it.
In Chinese: 新天地 (Xin Tian Di)
Whether you are a shopping addict or a museum lover, you will love Xintiandi. This is an area where the old traditional shikumen houses, low-rise tenement buildings converted to classical modern clothing shops, restaurants, cafes, art galleries of international brands. Both locals and international tourists love to come here to have high tea, drink, and shopping.
Don't miss this place...
In Chinese: 新天地 (Xin Tian Di)
Xintiandi is a popular shopping/entertainment in Shanghai's city center.
This area was once known as the Shikumen lanes which housed Shikumen styled buildings, some of which can be traced back to the 1860's. A lot of these buildings have been demolished leading people to realize that some should be left standing for historic purposes.
In the Shanghai dialect, wrapping or bundling is called hooping, giving rise to phrases such as hooping a bucket, so doors hooped by stone bars were called stone-hooped doors, and later the name changed to Shikumen. Most of these Shikumen styled buildings have long bars of stones as doorframes and burly wooden planks as doors.
This area now houses trendy boutiques / stores, cafes, art galleries, bars, and restaurants.
I checked out the Shanghai Tang store here and bought a silk card holder then walked over to Starbucks for a Green Tea Frappacino and then La Maison Bakery for a chocolate banana tart. It was a treat to myself for enduring a long trek through old China.
Xin Tian Di is the hottest new entertainment district in Shanghai.
Design is what makes Xin Tian Di so attractive, inside and out. Each of the two to three-story Shikumen looks unique, reflecting the exquisitely-preserved twists and turns of an evolving neighborhood, over the decades. It retains the antique walls, tiles and exterior of the Shikumen housing of old Shanghai.
On the other hand, its interior embodies a totally different world of international gallery, bars and cafes, boutiques or theme restaurants. When you walk into Xin Tian Di, you will get the taste both of Shanghai in the 1920's and the sonic modern lifestyle of urbanites of the 21st century.
Shanghai Xin Tian Di has become the best place for tourists to appreciate the history and modern life of the city, and is also a meeting place for local citizens and foreign visitors.
Xin Tian Di, the old and refurbished transformed into a modern area near Puxi buisiness district. There are plenty of shops, restsuarants and bars ( both Chinese & Western ) to check out along with the local park. And i see i am not the first VT member to explore this area...lol
Old/traditional houses are at the north part of Xin Tian Di. Compared to the south modern part, I like here much better. All the houses here are mostly renovated into pubs, restaurants and gift shops. Most of them have outdoor seating area.
My favorite restaurant here is TMSK. The whole place is decorated by color glasses. Don't forget to visit their restroom as well. The sink over there, to me, is a stunning piece of art work!!
However, it is a pricey area tho!
Xintiandi is a shopping, eating and entertainment area of the former French Concession area of Shanghai. It is composed of an area of restored traditional shikumen ("stone gate") houses on narrow alleys, a modern shopping mall with a cinema complex, and some adjoining houses which now serve as book stores, cafes and restaurants. Most of the cafes and restaurants feature both indoor and outdoor seating. Xintiandi has an active nightlife on weekdays as well as weekends, though romantic settings are more common than loud music and dance places.
This excellent museum recreates what traditional life would've been like in a 10-room Shanghai Shikumen townhouse. The rooms have been well furnished with furniture that would've been used in such a house in the 1920s and 30s.
Open: 10.30am-10.30pm Sun-Thur, 11am-11pm Fri & Sat. Admission: Y20.
No. 25, Lane 181, Taicang Rd
Located in central Shanghai just south of Huaihai Zhong Road, Xintiandi is a redevelopment of a once rundown part of town based on the layout of an old Shanghainese neighbourhood...
Now it is a state-of-the-art warren of upscale shops, bars and restaurants based on the theme of "where old meets new". Here you find the oddly complimentary combination of the traditional houses of old Shanghai (the 'Shikumen') hosting ultra modern restaurants, bars and shops. The exterior of these shikumen style houses of 1920's Shanghai have been tastefully restored, whilst inside they have been fully renovated to accommodate the tastes of the modern Westerner. From Starbucks to T8, to international chains of Chinese restaurants you will find plenty to soothe a homesick expat, and with a price tag to match.I can tell you easily that its not so interesting for the people who comes from west...
If you're a party person, why not check this place out. Here, you'd see lots of foreigners and locals mingling, dancing and sipping cocktails. I was surprised to see a Filipino band playing in one of the bars there. I was also lucky to see people in their costumes for Halloween. :)
Shikumen (literally meaning "stone-framed door") houses are unique to Shanghai, and sadly disappearing all too fast in the face of rampant development. Developed in the early 1900s to meet the housing demands of booming old Shanghai, they are urban Western adaptations of traditional Chinese courtyards - a writer once described them as Chinese houses with a Parisian sensibility. Behind the stone-frame front door of a shikumen house lies a small courtyard, which is itself enclosed on the other sides by the building of the house.
Xintiandi (literally meaning "new heaven and earth") is an area south of Huaihai Zhong Lu where two blocks of old shikumen houses have been restored and renovated to house upscale bars, restaurants and shops. It is now a firm favourite hang-out place among visitors and locals alike.
One of these shikumen houses has been preserved as a museum, the Shikumen Open House. You can wander through the re-created rooms of a typical shikumen house, and there are anecdotal explanations in English and Chinese of life in old Shanghai. There is also a small exhibition of the development of Xintiandi. Entry fee is somewhat steep at RMB20. Open daily 1000-2200.