Almost all western cities list in their noticeable points a... Chinatown, most of them with nothing special to see or to do than buying the cheap crafts that China exports worldwide.
In Shanghai, I saw a REAL Chinatown, with precious architecture, and crowds moving from shop to shop, here and there with so beautiful sites that... we forget to look at the crafts!
Well, not much, but enough to see that they are not so cheap as we could expect, knowing the prices in our own countries.
Address: 218 Anren Street, Old City
Directions: Walk south along The Bund then swing a right at Jinling Dong Lu. Busline: No. 64, No. 24, No. 11, No. 926
In most Chinese cities that we visited, the signs of modernity and fast growth are recent. Not in Shanghai; there, it is easy to notice that development and growth are a sustainable and continuous process, with successive cultures and people leaving their marks.
That's why it becomes very important to preserve the good ancient signs from being swallowed by the concrete fever. This is visible in Shanghai, and I hope they keep on taking it seriously
I was impressed by the development and organization of Shanghai.
What they show to us today has nothing to do with the generalised idea of China.
We had to look at the small narrow roads, to see the old China living, according to the expected standards, but in good harmony with the construction boom all over.
Traffic - Better than expected
I didn't use public transportation in Shanghai, and only used the bus in a couple of short trips, but found the traffic much more organized and fluent than expected.
Lots of people, of course, but not the mess seen in the films; some narrow streets, yes, but also many large avenues, where the traffic seems to flow in an intense but efficient sequence.
Incorrect idea, born from a quick observation? Maybe! But my general idea about Shanghai's traffic was very positive.