Uncovering the beauty of Songjiang on foot: scenic routes to explore
Hit the road on your own feet, sit out on the lawn, or stroll along the lakeside to enjoy the beautiful Songjiang views. The trendy city walk that has been popular in the downtown Shanghai this summer also reaches the city's suburban area. Here are some fantastic routes for those who love to explore Songjiang and feel the vibes of the district.
Yunjian Granary, located at 327 Songhui Road E., was once a rice mill. Now it has been transformed into a cultural and art landmark for fashion shows and exhibitions. The granary compound is teeming with art galleries, opera stages, bookstores, an open-air cinema, bazaars and art studios.
Sitting at the junction of Tongbo River and Renmin Canal, the granary was built in 1953, known by locals as "South Gate Barn." After 1998, amid the changing socio-economic environment, its function as a grain storage declined, and the space was rented to other businesses such as hardware, warehousing and advertising.
In 2019, the Songjiang government launched a renovation project to turn the abandoned barn house into a fashion and art center.
The granary's 60 old buildings have been transformed into different recreational areas according to their varied architectural features and functional purposes.
Their historical traces are preserved as most of the warehouses are kept the way they looked before, including the gray bricks, red tiles, the original posts, beams, the peeling-paint walls and even the old-fashioned lamps except that their bulbs are replaced with energy-saving ones.
With its old charm, it is the perfect spot for fashionistas and art aficionados to come and take photos.
As its name suggests, the town has a vintage London feel to it, with antique cars, sculptures, cobblestone streets, Victorian terraces and corner shops.
The more than 1-square-kilometer town, comprising an international residential complex and industrial park, is about 30 kilometers from downtown Shanghai. It is an arts and culture hub, the perfect environment for business and creative thinking.
The town hosts the Songjiang Art Museum, the Songjiang Urban Planning Exhibition Hall and the Songjiang New City Oil Painting Art Gallery.
The art museum tells the district's history, while the exhibition hall offers a display of its current development and future blueprints.
The art gallery is a free platform for Songjiang's painters to display their works and a place where they can interact with visiting artists from home and abroad.
The Old Town Collection House, operating under the auspices of the Shanghai Collection Association, delights visitors with its array of antiques and precious art, including jade, ancient coins, bronze sculptures, porcelain vases and traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy.
On the east side of Thames Town is Huating Lake, the largest man-made lake in Songjiang New City. Against the red walls and white windows of the town, it exudes a strong exotic flavor and becomes a great place to cool off on summer nights.
Zuibai Pond Park
Lotus and crape myrtle are in full bloom in a riot of color this season in this classic park, which revives a line from a Chinese poet, "The fragrance of lotus flowers fills the air above the pond, while the purple crape myrtle blossoms in the courtyard glow like clouds in the sky."
Currently, the park has about 1,333 square meters of lotus ponds. Along with potted plants in the courtyard, there are more than 50 breeds of lotus flowers. In addition, purple crape myrtle are also planted in the garden, featuring a giant one blossoming between the two Han-style bottle-shaped doors of the original entrance to the park.
"We have planted over 50 shrubs of purple crape myrtle, including precious species such as purple, green, red and silver, each with different colors," said Shen Bin, the park's horticultural engineer.
"The purple crape myrtle is currently in full bloom and will continue to flourish until late autumn, with a blooming period of nearly 100 days."
Wanda Gold Street
The shopping plaza, located at 658 Guangfulin Road, hosts nearly 200 boutiques, restaurants, cafes, kids' zones, cinema and theater, creating a convenient living circle for locals within a 15-minute walk.
It's becoming a hub for night-time economy in Songjiang when night falls and lights are on.
The road adjacent to Songjiang University Town and Metro Line 9 station has been a gathering place for students nearby. With more than 700 eateries along this 2.5 kilometer-long road, it is a true paradise for young gourmands who are looking for affordable fine dining. At night, all kinds of snack stalls and food shops are fully open and the atmosphere is even more lively and vibrant.