Friday, July 6, 2012

Scenes of China: Southern Hongkou District in Shanghai

Shanghai's central Hongkou district (map) includes a variety of cultural areas, and I will highlight a small section of it to continue my photo series on different areas of Shanghai (earlier posts: an introduction; Xiaonanmen; Xuhui district; Jing'an district). Hongkou's southern Tilanqiao neighborhood is not only notable for the local Shanghainese culture that can be found there today but its unique history as well.

Tilanqiao was formerly known as the Jewish Ghetto. Unlike many other places in the world, it opened its arms and provided a safe haven to thousands of Jews fleeing the terrors in Europe during the 1930s and early 1940s. I will share more about that history and what remains of it in a future post.

For now, here are some photos from a walk I took in Tilanqiao last year. Given the demolition I then saw of several sections that had been familiar to me, I can only wonder whether all of the below scenes still exist.

The several simple restaurants along this stretch of road provide some tasty local Shanghainese food.

The meat has a taste somewhat similar to that of Western-style corned beef

Huoshan Road

More of the Western-style architecture in the old Jewish Ghetto

There can be a blurry line between sidewalks and roads in Shanghai and elsewhere in China.

Drying clothes

Street market on Dongyuhang Road

Variety of clothes for sale

Pirated DVDs for sale on the right

Shoe shopping

SpongeBob SquarePants balloons and other items for sale

Plenty of vegetables available

Auto-rickshaws can still be found in Shanghai but are not common in most central districts.

Taking an auto-rickshaw to a subway station after a long day of walking

For more photos of the older architecture in Tilanqiao there is an extensive selection on Zhongwenweb here.


  1. Glad to see from the second photo that you had a taste of an underappreciated Shanghai specialty, 菜饭骨头汤. The 咸肉 is very good in soups too.

    1. Exactly! In an earlier version of the caption I mentioned the "underappreciated" nature of this food. I found the above place over 5 years ago and stop by whenever I'm in the area. Every time I am relieved to see the buildings haven't been demolished.