Spending a full day exploring the local culture of Shanghai and meeting the residents of the Old Town, is a chance to become immersed in a way of life not often experienced by visitors to the city. Your day will begin at around 8am with a visit to the wet market where your guide will introduce you to local vendors and lead you through the stalls laden down with aromatic spices and exotic produce. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the market, you’ll discover more about the daily life of the vendors and their customers.

After selecting the ingredients you’ll be taken to the home of a local family where you’ll be greeted, introduced and have a chance to chat with the family before joining them to make the famous Chinese dumplings which you can then enjoy for lunch. You’ll then say goodbye to your hosts and head out into the maze of lanes and alleyways that make up Shanghai’s Old Town. Despite being extensively rebuilt, the neighbourhood retains a number of ‘lilongs’ or narrow lanes which connect the houses, similar to the ‘hutongs’ of Beijing, offering snapshots of traditional life in Shanghai. Lying in this old town, the Yu Gardens offer a serene escape amongst the hustle and bustle of the streets, with traditional Chinese landscaping and a chance to learn about the ancient art of Feng Shui.

After enjoying the tranquillity of the garden, dive into the cacophony of noise and colour that is a local bazaar to haggle for souvenirs or simply explore and soak in the atmosphere. If time allows you could also stop for refreshment at the famous Huxinting Tea House before being returned to your hotel.

 

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