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If you go to Shanghai and hit the “usual” spots like Nanjing Xi Lu, People’s Park or the Bund, you might think Shanghai is all Louis Vuitton’s and Gucci’s. Starbucks, in fact, seems more prolific in Shanghai than even in Seattle and you simply cannot get away from all things Apple. That said, there are still parts of Shanghai that represent the “old Shanghai.”

The “Old City” of Shanghai is actually not far from the Bund and represents one of the more authentic old Shanghai experiences. One of my favourite things to do is go to Hefei Lu on a Saturday morning when everyone is doing their shopping. There’s no better street in Shanghai to do photo trek and capture something truly local.

See men selling fruit and making handmade noodles.


It is very common in China to shop for only one meal or only for the day – so you will see see people scooting off on their bike with a basket of food for the next family meal. The Western phenomenon of loading up the shopping cart is somewhat rare.


You can see street vendors preparing and selling breakfast and lunch items like dumplings, breads and stir fries.




Families out for an afternoon of errands. Even the neighborhood pets get in on the action.




The fish monger preparing eel.


People selling scrap wood and locals putting their laundry out to dry.


A tailor waits with his daughter for the next customer.


Kids eating candies while their parents shop.



It’s all just another day on Hefei Lu in the Old City of Shanghai – definitely worth a visit whether you are a tourist or a seasoned resident.

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