Tianzifang Art District

China (#2) Day 2: “Welcome to Shanghai: Rainy Days and the Tianzifang Art District”


Rain, rain, go away. 

I want to apologize for the loooooooong time that has elapsed since my first post. I was planning on putting something up by this weekend, but the sights and thrills of Shanghai got in the way. I’ll try my best to update more frequently from now on.


Despite omnipresent grey skies and rain my first days in Shanghai, I was determined to still get out and see the city. Shanghai is broken up into two distinct halves by the Huang Pu river. Those halves are known as Pudong and Puxi (literally “Pu East” and “Pu West”). Puxi is the more cultural side, crammed with historic buildings and foreign concessions (areas previously controlled by outside nations). Pudong used to be Shanghai’s industrial district, but over the last 20 years has become China’s financial center. The Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Tower, and other new and super tall things lie in Pudong.


The Tianzifang Art District

A subway and taxi ride took me from my aunt’s apartment in Pudong to the Tianzifang Art District in Puxi. Even in bad weather, Tianzifang is a great place to walk around and window-shop in Shanghai’s French Concession.

The fact that the district is hidden from main streets made it seem very trendy. You have to know it’s there to find it. Turn down an alleyway, and boom, there it is. It was only while I snacked on my first cronut did I realize where I was: hipster Shanghai.


Unbelievably delicious!

Tianzifang is filled with little shops, each of which sells their own unique items. The first shop I stopped at made art exclusively out of paper. IMG_5569 IMG_5570

Each store fills a different niche or quirk, making this cozy district even cozier. I ended up perusing by a candy-making demonstration, a teddy-bear museum, a music box store, and a scent library.

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These blurry fruits are actually music boxes.


Grass smells a lot like dirt. And air.

My favorite things were this sculpture and t-shirt.



“Oba-Mao” Get it? Only 30 RMB!

Overall, it was a nice place to tour on a rainy day. Five stars, Tianzifang, five stars.


My next post: KFC in China.