Favorite Road: Wukang Road

I have been asked many times about my favorite road in Shanghai. It is so hard to answer this question, since I have many roads in my minds that can be my favorite road. So I am trying to make a list along my way of discovery of my real favorite road. Wukang Road 武康路 is just a starting point – let me repeat, I have not decided to give my favorite road title to Wukang Road yet.

Where is Wukang Road

Wukang Road is a north-south small road in Xuhui District 徐汇. It starts from the Huaihai Road, with the historical V-shape Wukang Building 武康大楼 as the landmark, and extends northwards until it reaches Anfu Road 安福路, where the Shanghai Drama Institute is located.

Image in courtesy of Google Maps

Why this Road is Special?

Like many of small roads in the Xuhui villa area, the road brings you the best part of old Shanghai (and obviously, it still represents the current Shanghai). Things I like most:

1. The trees

There are many Wutong Trees 梧桐树 (or Phoenix trees) along the both side of the road, and form a beautiful and artistic “cave”. The road is small, and there are not many cars on it (actually, it is a north-to-south single way road). Walking along the road is best experience, since you can just take your time. No hurry, and no car horn. It takes about 30 minutes for one way.

2. The old villas

The highlight of the road is the old villa, and old residential area behind the trees. Even people familiar with the area may not know the name and history of all the villas. Most of the villas are either French style or Spanish style with big yards, and tall trees. Wandering in that area, you don’t feel you are in a big city at all. Sometimes you can see people grow vegetable in their garden, and in an extreme case, I saw chicken running around in one garden. It is amazing how life is in these 100 million RMB houses.

3. Connection with other nice road

Along the Wukang road is a nice area. You will see Xingguo Road 兴国路, Taikang Road 泰康路, Hunan Road 湖南路, Fuxing Road 复兴路, Wuyuan Road 五原路, and Changle Road 长乐路 – all these roads are as beautiful as Wukang Road, and all worth some time to explorer.

It is a petty that I don’t have any picture of this beautiful road yet. I will try to take some and post them here.

Update Photos uploaded March 8, 2009

This cloudy Sunday afternoon, I invited Wendy to go to Wukang Road with me. I did bring my Nikon D50, but I only found out that the battery is dead. So I am using Wendy’s small Windows Mobile phone to take some photos.

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

6 Comments

  1. when i was in junior high school, i often wanderred along Wukang Rd at the weekends, definitely fascinated with its old villas along Hunan Rd, imagining what might have happened decades of years ago behind the fence.

  2. Are other people allowed to vote for your favorite road? If so (and even if not) here’s mine: Sinan Rd.

  3. JS, you must like the suburban living!

    The street used to call route Ferguson and is the upscale residential community within the French Concession before the war. The trees alone the street was imported from France and is called French Wutong. My family used to own a house at route Lafayette now known as Fuxing Road and it was a good area to live.

  4. Looking forward to your pictures!

  5. I miss Shanghai now. :-)

  6. Wukang road is definitely one of my favourite roads as well, but when it comes to the beautiful Former French Concession, it’s very difficult to pick just one! Fuxing Xi rd, Anfu rd, Wu Yuan rd… All are fantastic places to explore. I have documented some of my adventures here: http://adriennefarrelly.tumblr.com/post/36066603444/streets-of-the-french-concession-wulumuqi-fuxing-xi

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