If you want to see the old residential Shanghai Shikumen transformed into leisure boutiques, restaurants and shopping, then Xian Tian Di is your place. It has quite a history to it… it’s where the founding fathers of the Communist party sat together to design the takeover and future of modern China. It’s recently gone through the usual style massive Chinese (somewhat controversial) restoration and is looking pretty posh and slick now.
Not too bad. Only pedestrians, pretty laid back, clean and organized. We should have something like that in Hong Kong, don’t you think?
Travel China Guide gives an enthusiastic introduction :
Located in the center of Shanghai City south of Huaihai Zhong Lu, Shanghai Xin Tian Di has become an urban tourist attraction that holds the historical and cultural legacies of the city. Shanghai Xin Tian Di is a fashionable pedestrian street composed of Shikumen and modern architecture style.
Shanghai Xin Tian Di is unique because of its concept of construction. 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.
If you’re after the restored old Shangahi architecture, it’s all over the area :
Though the restoration is a bit cold and the shopping takes away most of the special atmosphere that may have perhaps existed back in the days, there are alleys that somehow do make you wish you were there during those times…
Like every nicely restored area, one thing you’re very likely to see are Chinese girls coming in with their best outfits to pose for the cameras…
More on Xin Tian Di :