The other face of Shanghai
All the travel brochures presents Shanghai as a modern and international city. They all show the Bund and the amazing architecture seen from there, the tallest observation platform in the world or the vibrant shopping streets and malls. But besides that, Shanghai has another face: neighborhoods almost stuck in time. Only 4-5 kilometers away from the myriad of lights and colors of financial center, there is another world of colors and smells, around Yuyuan Garden and Old Town.
It is another face of Shanghai, that requires scratching a bit the surface and spending time to explore it. And it will reward you with colorful urban landscapes; with interesting human figures populating a world that is dying every day with each deal that owners of the decaying houses are agreeing with municipality. It will be soon replaced with modern neighborhoods, office building and shopping center, able to accommodate and give employment to a larger portion of the continuously increasing population in Shanghai. But also some part of Shanghai will die. The remnants of the old city, the strong contrast between old and new, modern and traditional will soon be a distant memory in the minds of locals and visitors.
At a first glance it might look poor, dirty and unsofisticated. But it is actually how a Chinese metropolis looked like few decades ago, before China embarked into a fast speed journey to a modern future. We tried to document this other face of Shanghai, or at least what is left from it through the detached eyes of a traveler. We had a look in the heart of the city and we capture it on our cameras.