Whenever the history of Shanghai and China as a whole is written, Shanghai Nanjing Road take a whole page if not a chapter. The three and a half miles stretch, which was built in the mid-19th century at the heart of Shanghai, serves as China’s longest and busiest shopping street. It is estimated that more than a million people from all walks of life flock this road on a daily basis to shop in its post-modern malls enjoy local and international meals in the hundreds of food joints, or for sightseeing in the ten Shanghai Metro Line trains. The road also serves as a prime celebrations center for important holidays both in the Chinese and Christians’ calendar. Since 1945, the road has had two wings- East Nanjing Road and West Nanjing Road- both of which diverge from the People’s Square and run to The Bund on the East and Jing’an District on the west.
The West Nanjing Road
This is the section set aside for fashion-seeking shoppers, high-end offices, and restaurants. Among the notable fashion brands in this region include Calvin Klein, Gucci, Adidas, and Timberland among hundreds of others. It also serves as Shanghai’s historical hub, with the Shanghai Exhibition Center and the historic Park Hotel all found here. Both the local and national governments have over time made huge investments geared towards the modernization of this area, including the construction of a 28-meter wide Middle He’nan Road to Middle Xizang Road in 2000.
The East Nanjing Road
Open-air bars and world’s most popular food vendors such as McDonalds and KFC are found in this area. The historic Central Market and the Nanjing Road pedestrian mall tops the list of the hundreds of outdoor markets, retail stores, and department stores. This area is more commercialized compared to the western wing and attracts more international shoppers. This area is made lively and ideal for nightlife by the many alternating flashing neon signs.