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Shanghai Shikumen Tour

Literally meaning stone gate in mandarin, Shikumen means more than dwellings to most Shanghainese.  This is the residential architecture uniquely in Shanghai, usually with 2 storeys. Because of Tianping Rebellion (1851~1864), lots of wealthy families moved to Shanghai for shelter.  These families built their residences in lease territory of foreigners. Those buildings mixed up Chinese traditional architecture with also western style. Shikumen is characterized by wooden doors framed by exquisitely-carved stone, high brick walls between terrace houses, and narrow straight alleyways.
As population expanded massively in Shanghai, those spacious Shikumen residences were subdivided into cramped rooms to lease. In those days, it was common for a family to live in one small room. This special living condition nurtured the Shanghai Alleyway Culture and gradually shaped the characters of Shanghai people, which are now summarized as "open-minded, easy-going, quick-witted and sophisticated".

Nowadays most Shanghainese live in apartments and Shikumen buildings are decreasing because of inadequate preservation. Although there are still some families staying in Shikumen, the rest of the existing buildings are redone for multiple uses. Some of them are now memorial houses such as Site of First National Congress of the CPC and some other become trendy shops, restaurants, or bars such as Xintiandi area and Tianzifang Area.

The trace activities of authentic Shikumen buildings in Shanghai are becoming more and more popular when Shanghainese people realize the necessity of preserving Shikumen. Spend one or two days, tracing the historical footprints in Shikumen buildings hidden among those skyscrapers.

Special Remarks for Shikumen Tour:
* Usually Shikumen alleyways are narrow. Please watch out while walking in those Shikumen residences. And please try not making loud noise in case of interrupting local residents’ daily life.
* Usually no motor vehicle is allowed on streets with Shikumen building. Hence it has certain physical requirements.
Shanghai Shikumen Tour List
  • Our Price
  • from US $60
  • Shanghai Shikumen Exploration One-day Tour
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