Nanjing Road is the most famous road in Shanghai. It spills from its eastern terminus on the Bund and past the People's Square to its western extreme by the newly remodeled Jing'an Temple. Divided into East, Middle and West sections, it's at times a pedestrian shopping street, a winding tree-lined road, and a modern thoroughfare cutting between some of Shanghai's most posh hotels.
Once known as the premier shopping street in China and Asia, colonial Nanjing Road stood in stark contrast to the rest of agrarian China. The hottest fashions from Italy were imported regularly and the road was full of shops selling some of China's finest silks. Massive deparment stores were built, the most famous being the Great world and Wing-on, where shopping was only one of the activities enjoyed amongst gambling and sing-song halls, game parlors, bars and freak shows.
Originally named Bubbling Well Road after a small stream that once ran beneath it, Nanjing Road became China's most famous strip and may now regain this crown. Modern department stores, though not as gay as the old ones, still line the street and exert a tremendous tourist draw over Chinese and foreign visitors alike. During holidays, it's common to see peop/le jostling to have their photo taken in front of the Nanjing Road sculputure at the two ends of the pedestrian street.
Beginning at the Jing'an Temple metro station, the redesigned Jing'an Park features upscale restaurants and charming teahouses. By morning, Shanghai's elderly flock there to practice Tai Chi and the young stumble home from the bars. All days long people while away the day taking in the scenery or chat away on its numerous benches.
Directly across the street stands the Jing'an Temple. Dating back ot the 19th century, it was once one of Shanghai's richest and most frequently visited tem/ples. Located on the busy intersection of Huashan Road and Nanjing West Road, this small temple manages to filter out the caco/phony of the street and creates a small niche of tranquility.
Continuting west is the Shanghai Center, home to the Portman Ritz-Carlton, and one of Shanghai's masterpieces of modern architecture, Featuring three towers, it fully utilizes its space yet providing numerous vistas that dramatically change with your line of sight.
Built in 1955 with help from the Soviet Union, the Shanghai Exhibition Center received a facelift over the past few years and now stands as an ornate sandblasted monument to Sino-Soviet friendship.
Continuing east, the shopping malls and hotels of modern Shanghai's commercial greatness arise. Plaza 66, CITIC Center, Meilong Zhen, the Hilton Hotel, and the J.W Marriot, none budge options, provide numerous choices for dining and shopping look for big names like Louis Vuitton to Kenny Roger's Roasters.
Stretching from Maoming Road to the Shanghai Television Station, slightly south of Nanjing Road is the Wujiang Food Street, a nighttime hotsopt filled with shops, food stalls, trinket stands and restaurants.