At first glance, the buildings seem remarkably similar to the apartment blocks that surround them. Old and somewhat dilapidated, yet infused with the enchanting remnants of the French Concession. It appears to be quiet and no more vibrant than any other apartment block. Once inside, though, the buildings themselves seem to come to life. The small alleyways envelop you in the alluring aromas of exotic perfumes, exquisite teas and a legion of restaurants and food stalls. While your senses are provoked by the tastes and smells, your heart is taunted by desire. A desire to empty your pockets of the heavy burden that money inspires and fill them with the bounty that is on display in the countless boutique shops and art galleries. TianziFang is an endless maze of delicious foods and intriguing trinkets, that entices the senses.
TianziFang’s untold pathways create the illusion that it is alive. A new alleyway seems to sprout into existence every time you turn a corner. It is an old apartment complex in the French Concession that has been converted into a lush market place. Its paved streets wander past a myriad of decorated walls and repurposed apartments. They offer the curious traveller a passageway into a clash of cultures and a view of the remnants of a historic part of Shanghai. The twentieth-century French architecture, infused with Chinese culture, creates an artsy atmosphere and together with fragments of the original complex they give TianziFang an authentic feel.
The little alleyway market is the embodiment of modern hipster culture in Shanghai. It houses a multitude of coffee shops and western style restaurants that cater to hipsters and tourists alike. Providing you with all that you need to gleefully coast through the day. It also offers a vibrant night life with many of the bars and restaurants staying open long into the night. Aside from the culinary abundance, it is home to a great number of other businesses. These include antique stores, studios, design houses, souvenir shops and much more.
TianziFang is by no means the pinnacle of tourist attractions in Shanghai, but if you have the time it’s definitely a place worth visiting. With its good vibes and abundance of charm, you’re sure not to be bored. It is the perfect place to get lost and just relax.
How Do I Get There?
TianziFang is quite easy to find and if you use the metro, it will take you right to the market’s entrance. Simply take line 9 to Dapuqiao station, use exit 1 and cross Taikang Road. Voila, there you are!
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