BNE Magazine_ISSUE#2_COVER_LR - page 26

It’s one of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 cities to visit in 2014 and these are
things that should be on your itinerary, writes
Shereen Low
Shanghai is a city that is changing
day by day, a fascinating blend
of the old and new for visitors.
Main picture: city skyline at night.
Opposite page: 1. The pedestrian
shopping strip on Nanjing Road.
2 An alleyway in the car-free
Xintiandi precinct 3. Yu Garden.
Shanghai is a city of surprises
t’s almost 9pm and a group of people are starting to gather in the middle
of Xianxia Park in Shanghai’s Changning district. Taking off their jackets,
they limber up with stretching exercises: twisting, tilting and turning.
But this isn’t a flash mob of youngsters showing off the latest break-dancing
moves; the majority of these movers and shakers are over the age of 50.
When the music starts blaring from an iPod hooked up to a portable
speaker, everyone grabs a partner and starts to dance. The couples move in
unison, swinging and swaying as the music continues to play, ranging from
recognisable Western classical tunes to old-school Chinese tracks.
This event takes place every night for about three hours without fail,
even if the group leader is unable to make it. Even though I decline offers
to join in, this is certainly an experience I’ll never forget.
In the surrounding streets, late-night salons are still busy with customers,
and the smell of delicious street food wafts from simple stalls. But only
a few blocks away, shiny new buildings are a sign that Shanghai, in east
China, is a city that’s changing day by day.
Thanks to an economic boom, China’s largest city is growing at an
exciting rate. With flights now servicing the destination with greater
frequency, tourist numbers are also set to rise. But despite all the new
developments, the city’s cultural core remains the same.
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