Shanghai is a city that begs to be walked. There’s so much to take in as you make your way around — the eclectic people, the mix of architectural styles, the odd street hawkers, the various food vendors. Like New York, the streets are always alive, no matter the time. Each evening, the city lights up in a big way. Skyscrapers become outlined, highlighted in neon colors. Illuminated bridges of stone and steel stretch across creeks and rivers. A fluorescent glow spills out of glass-encased shopping malls and splashes onto crowded sidewalks. Digital advertisements for designer brands flash across building facades. It seems impossible that quiet, dimly lit street corners could exist. They do if you know where to look.
Just before the Russian Consulate, cross back over Suzhou Creek to get to the Bund via Wàibáidù Qiáo (Garden Bridge), the first all-steel bridge in China.
In the sticky summer months, a nighttime stroll is a cool way to make your way around the city. A family friend and long-time expat resident recently led us on a walk that began and ended in tourist-packed hot spots. In between, we found ourselves meandering along a sleepy, darkened stretch of Suzhou Creek, passing by the occasional local here and there. A few joggers overtook us, out of breath. An older couple crouched together on a park bench, mindlessly snacking as they watched a TV show playing on their iPad. A young couple sat on a ledge, their legs dangling above the water. One guy fished with a rudimentary pole.
View of the Pudong skyline from Suzhou Creek.
If you find yourself in Shanghai this summer, why not follow in our footsteps? The three-mile route will take you from bustling People’s Park metro station and drop you off on the even busier Bund. From there, you can make your way to the East Nanjing Road metro stop. You could reverse the loop if you want, but then you’d be turning your back on the impressive Pudong skyline.