Our Urban Explorations take you to some of Shanghai's least visited districts and to destinations just outside the city limits, still relatively untouched by mass tourism and the origins of little-known stories worth telling. Locations can be reached via the city's extensive subway system or via short drives.
ART DECO, RELIGION & BEEF
> Past Places of Gathering (half day walking tour)
Unravel the inner workings of the city’s former slaughterhouse, an art deco & feng shui masterpiece. Continue to a repurposed church and its failed mission in China, before examining Maoist propaganda. Finish at a Buddhist temple, reincarnated as a theatre, to find out more about Japanese presence in Little Tokyo.
PLUNDER, MONOPOLY & MASS HOUSING
> The Road to a Greater Shanghai (half day walking tour)
In a forgotten corner of contemporary Shanghai, authentic remnants of foreign occupation have taken on a new identity. Visit duplicate factory dormitories, look for the best courtyard view in converted barracks, pause at a silent witness of Imperial Japan’s shameful past and explore the claustrophobic alleyways of 1980’s makeshift housing.
JESUS, COBBLESTONES & URBAN YOUTH
> Shanghai's Invisible Old Town (full day excursion)
Catch a glimpse of post Liberation Shanghai and witness a way of life once common in the downtown areas. Wander cobblestone alleyways flanked by communist era buildings, visit the Catholic’s first regional foothold, learn about the Japanese offensive that nearly wiped out the town and finish with a farmer’s lunch near the former countryside homes of ‘sent-down youths’.
CANALSIDE HERITAGE & REVOLUTION
> An Alternative Water Town Day Trip (full day excursion)
Explore two working water towns a stone’s throw from Shanghai and witness canal-side life, free from mass tourism. Discover their glorious imperial origins, their revolutionary past and their battle to stay relevant in modern China.