Today we went to the French concession and learned about some history about the French coming to China from our tour guide Kat. After world war 1, they were able to create places to store, sell and smoke opium. The Chinese and Russian soon outnumbered the French, so the French began hiring the Chinese to be general and mayor, running the area involving opium. We learned they had freedom as long as they gave taxes, so the French got money. We visited some houses and nightclubs where these historical events took place and found a lot of European influence in the architecture, but still chinese characteristics on the buildings. It was very interesting to learn some more history about shanghai and see the different types influences that shaped the architecture. Following that we explored Fuxing garden, which was beautiful and had much to offer despite the terrible heat . Once the tour was over it was nice to explore the area more and get to see the area and locals practicing dance and such, then visit nearby famous market tianzifang. It was overall a packed and interesting day :)
-----Fay Ling Laures
Today, we visited the French Concession and went on a walking tour with our tour guide, Kat. Although the heat was considerable, Kat’s tour was still really fun and interesting and full of fascinating anecdotes about everything we passed. I was especially struck by the manner in which the architecture of the French Concession was a product of its history. From the Parisian trees to Art-Deco buildings, the multifaceted layers of the history of the area are plainly visible, at least when pointed out by a knowledgable tour guide. My favorite part of the tour was Fuxing Park, a Yu Garden-esque private-garden-turned-Parisian-style-park that eventually made its way into Chinese possession. In addition to the beautiful landscape of the park, it was really cool to see all of the people enjoying the park; despite “feels like” temperatures reaching up to 45 degrees Celsius, people could still be found dancing and playing cards within.