Exploring Shanghai – Hongqiao Park and Xinhua Road

20 May

Shanghai as a city of over 20 million people is physically a big city.  Even with no traffic, driving from one side to the other can take well over two hours.  Since I live within walking distance of my office, there are days where I don’t exceed my little one mile bubble, but it is good to get out of my ordinary routines and walk through neighborhoods and parks that I typically don’t see.

This walk starting at Hongqiao Park and then continuing down Xinhua Road was inspired by another of the Time Out Shanghai walks that I have taken before.  I have posted about a couple of them last year – the walk around Longhua Temple and walking through Shanghai’s Jewish district.  I’ve also done another couple but haven’t posted but may eventually.   Because they are walks they are best done in the spring and fall – it’s not really fun to freeze and/or sweat incessantly when trying to snap photos and enjoy the street life and architecture.

I chose a beautiful spring day for this walk – sunny and clear.  It started from the Line 10 Yili Lu subway station which is right next to Hongqiao Park.  I wandered through the park, snapping photos of the beautiful sculptures and even saw a couple taking their wedding photos.  One thing that I noticed was there is a small red bridge in the park – Hongqiao translates to red bridge, so I thought that was fitting.  There were lots of folks with baby carriages playing on the grass and others sitting on benches reading a book.  The quiet of the morning was refreshing and very “un-Shanghai” – at least not like the district that I live in.

After that I wound around until I eventually got to Kaixuan Road.  From the magazine I discovered its history.  Kaixuan Road used to be called Amherst Road which was where the wealthiest merchants in the late 20s and early 30s built their houses.  There were many different styles of house – none of which I would typically relate with Shanghai.  There were traditional English Tudor Houses, Spanish colonial styles and other less defined, but non-Asian types.  The leaves on the trees have filled in over the last couple of weeks and a green canopy shaded the sidewalks and houses.

I had been walking steadily for over an hour and decided to get some lunch at a large restaurant on the main street.  It was very Chinese – no English menus, but I ordered some veggies and another dish and chomped away.  Once my stomach was full I continued down the street to a very modern area of Shanghai called Red Town which I’ll share in another post.  Red Town is right next to the Line 10 Hongqiao metro station, so once done, I got on and went back home.

In total with my lunch stop and the time it took me to get there on the subway it was about a four hour exploration (one hour of which was subway time), not too long, and allowed me to be outside and enjoy the beautiful day.

What places do you explore in your city?  Where would you like to go, but never find the time?  I used to joke that I only saw new things in Chicago when I had visitors in town, but in Shanghai my visitors are few and far between so I’d better get used to exploring without them!

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8 Responses to “Exploring Shanghai – Hongqiao Park and Xinhua Road”

  1. Mona May 21, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    The tree-lined street is much like the streets I walked last summer (and will again soon) as we stay at a hotel on North Shanxi Road, Jing’an District. Your post helped to increase my excitement about returning.

    • gkm2011 May 21, 2012 at 11:26 am #

      Glad to increase your excitement level! I’m sure that you will have a great trip. The Hongqiao area was not an area that I was super familiar with and I thoroughly enjoyed the walk. Thanks for your comment.

      • Mona May 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

        And thank you for your tour guide descriptions.

  2. valerie May 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Great pics! I agree that I only see new parts of Chicago when visitors are in town as well. Lately, we’ve been trying different bike paths on the weekends. There are many trail maps online and we’ve been doing a lot of the paths that are “rails-to-trails”. Next weekend, we’re going to take a path from northern IL into WI. It keeps us active and outside 🙂

    • gkm2011 May 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

      That’s what I mean – you have to make a point to get out of your comfort zone or regular routine – it sounds like you have made your routine into getting outside so you’re already way ahead of most!

  3. Peter Gustavsson May 22, 2013 at 5:18 am #

    I was very happy to find your photos from Hongqioa Park, especially the second one with a statue of a woman standing on a globe, lifting arms and facing heaven.
    Me and my family stayed in Shanghai the winter 2012 and when I first saw the statue I realized I had fallen in love with the image already long before. Also I took the picture but I have unfortunately forgotten the name of the statue. I think it is engraved on the base of the statue and believe part of the name was something referring to “The Millenium…”
    Can you remember the name?

    • gkm2011 May 22, 2013 at 7:33 am #

      Hi Peter, thank you for stopping by. I have checked my other photos from that visit to the park and unfortunately I don’t have a shot of the name of that statue. I agree, it is a beautiful park and that time of year was a gorgeous day!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Art Shanghai 2013 | 中国 Jumble - May 7, 2013

    […] I had been to this park before on one of my walking tours through Shanghai last year through Hongqiao Park.  The statues and scenery looked familiar – after five years I’m finally re-crossing […]

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