Walks to tell stories of a bevy of beauties and an epic love match

One of the tours of Shanghai Citywalks this year will follow the traces of the lifelong love story of Dr Sun Yat-sen and Soong Ching-ling. 
Ti Gong

Museum of Sun Yat-sen's Former Residence on 7 Xiangshan Road.

Former residence of the Soong family on Shaanxi Road N.

Nearly 1,000 people will savor Shanghai's beauty and culture and learn about the stories behind historical buildings and garden villas when they join free walking tours on September 17, a highlight of the Shanghai Tourism Festival.

There are four walking routes stringing six districts — Jing'an, Huangpu, Xuhui, Changning, Hongkou and the Pudong New Area.

Shanghai Tourism Administration said the tours will offer a glimpse into the city’s charms and its history.

One of the tours of Shanghai Citywalks this year will follow the traces of the lifelong love story of Dr Sun Yat-sen and Soong Ching-ling.

The four-hour tour starts from Museum of Sun Yat-sen's Former Residence on 7 Xiangshan Road, a three-story European-style villa, which was Sun's last residence in the city and is the best preserved. After Sun died in 1925, Soong lived there until 1937.

The tour also includes Hardoon Garden (the former courtyard of Silas Hardoon, a renowned Jewish businessman in Shanghai) and the former residence of the Soong family, who were among the most influential figures in early 20th-century China.

The two-story Soong mansion dating to 1908 is at the junction of Shaanxi Road N. and Nanyang Road.

The tour featuring the eight beautiful and elegant women includes Chinese entrepreneur Dong Zhujun, one of China’s first modern businesswomen, Zheng Pingru, a Kuomintang intelligence agent during World War II, and Chen Manli, one of the most popular dance hostesses in the late 1930s who was murdered by a gunman in the Paramount Club.

It was commonly believed that she was killed because she had once refused to dance with Japanese officers.

Another of the legends is Jiang Meiying, who was born in 1913, and was renowned because of her beauty, her elegance and her rich family. She appeared on the cigarette case of “My Dear,” a famous cigarette brand in old Shanghai. 

Stops on this tour will include the former residence of Dong Zhujun, Shanghai’s legendary Paramount Ballroom, and a Gothic castle on Yuyuan Road that was the former residence of Wang Jingwei, who headed the Japanese-supported Chinese puppet government based in Nanjing.

Dong lived at a British-style villa, also on Yuyuan Road, and died there. She was a brothel singer and founded the Jin Jiang Hotel in an extraordinary rags-to-riches tale.

The tours are operated by Shanghai 54Traveler Travel Service Co.

Another walking tour will take walkers to landmark buildings along the west bank area of the Huangpu River.

Walkers will see some historic industrial structures that line along the 8.4-kilometer riverbank, such as tower cranes and aviation tankers, which have been given a new lease of life and put into innovative use as gardens and stages. The tour will include Long Museum, Shanghai Center of Photography and Yuz Museum Shanghai.

The fourth route is called "Huangpu River's vicissitudes, city memory." It includes landmark areas like the Bund, Lujiazui and Shiliupu waterfront, which tell the stories of the Huangpu River.

Special Reports