If you visit Shanghai the Bund and Pudong is certainly one of the places on your list of want to see. Than there are the different old colonial quarters - mostly quite modern these days. and not to forget the Old Town. All certainly worth to see even if some are more and more developing in tourists snares.
At first glance the Old Town of Shanghai might seem like just another tourist trap, but Nanshi, as it used to be called (or Southern Town as most of the residents of the city call it) can give you a fascinating insight into Shanghai.
This part of town predates the colonial presence. It's bordered by Renmin Lu and Zhonghua Lu, roads that echo the line of walls built in the 15th century to keep out Japanese pirates and since demolished.
Here you might find a kind of urban living, which is fast disappearing elsewhere.
To the casual eye, Shanghai is a city obsessed with modernity, especially at Pudong on to Huaihai Lu, where all the old buildings have been razed to make way for department stores or covered in green glass and converted into boutiques.
Looking for timeless sense and tranquility seems to be an undertaking of impossibility in the midst of Shanghai's fast-paced bustle. But if you know where to look than there is a lot to find.
There are this kind of tourist theme parks like Yuyuan but just around the corner of "Shanghai Old Street" is a little known treasure trove of living history. This part of old Shanghai is still a crowded place. Here you will find winding streets, vibrant markets, deep-rooted customs and a way of life that remained mostly unaltered despite the change around it. This small lanes and alleys are quite intriguing and an anachronism of today’s way of life. Here you might find a fascinating slice of Shanghai full of interesting spots.
You can come along old stone archways half chipped away leading into old longtang dwellings. The further you venture into the bowels of this maze the more you find the sprouted buildings of development build in frenzy times of the 50’s. This is definitely not part of any itinerary, but very worth a visit. Here you don’t have to endure tour groups with megaphones blasting in your ears. Instead you can wander and dream in these old streets of the history of these cracked walls and their secrets.