Old Shanghai vs Current Shanghai

Jia sent me some pictures of Shanghai in old days. You will see the huge difference. I guess those pictures should be taken not too long ago. My best guess is at the end of 1980’s.


Hey. Take a look at Xujiahui. When I first visited the place, it is not too different from the picture (it was in 1995), but some construction already started.


Annoymous photographer

What does this area look like? I have some pictures taken in 2005.

Shanghai Scenery Around Xujiahui

Xujiahui – Night

Twin Tower Rise in Xujiahui

Nanjing East Road

This is the famous Pedestrain road at Nanjing Road. This is exact the location I have lunch frequently – the No. 1 Food Store. Let me take some pictures later from the same location.


Annoymous photographer

All the buildings look so high in this photo, but people don’t think so now.


Annoymous photographer

How fast time flys!

14 thoughts on “Old Shanghai vs Current Shanghai

  1. I didn’t even have a decent camera in early 1980’s. good to see the old places, especially the buses running on East NanJin Road :-)

  2. The pace of change in China is just amazing. I went back to Xiamen in 2004 for my 10 year graduation reunion. I was totally astonished by the transformation it had in the last 10 years or so.

  3. Yes, time flies.

    Without the pictures, I even cannot figure out what Xujiahui looked like 10 years ago. During that time, Both my wife and I are still in college. She was in Shanghai Normal University while I was in Fudan University. Every week, we have to cross nearly the whole city to have a date. We was used to take bus 43 along the Zhaojiabang road. Although the trip was long, the hearts were warm. To be honest, I was a little bit sentimental about the pictures you posted. Life was simple, quiet, of course not so affluent.

  4. Very good question, Djefoo. In early days of China, the people in the whole country dress exactly the same. There are two colors: one is white, the other is blue. It seems it was a summar so everyone dresses white.

  5. Actually, I love the old days, simple, innocent, and people are more happy then than today.

  6. Wa…

    It’s amazing how much China’s cities have proceeded over these years – I think that their technology and economy is going to way outrun Japan’s at year 2008. There’s also the new car has been engineered in China that’s going to become worldwide soon. I think the

    problems that concerns people most are the dense population, the issues of environment, and the tense competitions with Japan.

    Good luck, China!

  7. Exactly, jqian. Tall buildings, and fast pace (or faster pace), higher income… these does not mean happy. As written in the Art of Travel, “Happiness is hard to reach, but the problem is not money.” Similiarily, the happy city may not mean the bad the richest city.

  8. When I had the chance to visit Shanghai in 2004, I was really lucky. I found a small exhibition of photographs. Some guy documented really well where he took the photos in the late 80s/early 90s.

    Then his son took all these descriptions and took new photos some 10-20 years later. Some view, totally different scenary! Really impressive how Shanghai changed in that time. Epson sponsored the new photos as advertisement and they printed a small book showing the old photos on the left, the new ones just right to it. Simply impressive.

  9. amazing how fast has been those changes…

    i am in shanghai since 2003, and i found this metropolis in a permanent re-do…

    how i wish to look at some photos of the 60″ or early 70″…..

    thanks for sharing such photo


    a long nose in pudong ;-)

  10. I remembered that, when I looked at these pictures, I had some scans of some old postcards of some of the areas in Shanghai…

    I thought you guys might like them, so below are some links =)

    Huaihai Lu in the 1930’s: http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a316/svache/avenue_joffre_present_huaihai_lu_19.jpg

    Crossing of Suzhou river & Huangpo river: http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a316/svache/cross_suzhou_river_and_huangpo_rive.jpg

    Nanjing Dong Lu in the 1930’s: http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a316/svache/nanjing_dong_lu_1930s.jpg

    Shanghai Central District Ahtletic Field in the 1930’s: http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a316/svache/shanghai_central_district_athletic_.jpg

    Shanghai Municipal Library in the 1930’s: http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a316/svache/shanghai_municipal_library_1930s.jpg

    Shanghai Municipal Museum in the 1930’s: http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a316/svache/shanghai_municipal_museum_1930s.jpg

    Shanghai North Railway Station in the 1920’s: http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a316/svache/shanghai_north_railway_station_1920.jpg

    Overview of Shanghai in the 1930’s: http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a316/svache/shanghai_overview_1930s.jpg

    The Bund in the 1940’s: http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a316/svache/the_bund_1940s.jpg

    I really like some of these when I compare them to the Shanghai nowadays… there is so much difference.

  11. In Xujiahui (Ave. Jeffy) where street car ended. I walked to my high school ( Nanmo………) Just few blocks north of your college (Jiatong) five day a week, Whwt a happy memory now ( with tears in my eyes). I am in USA since 1947.

    Your blog connects me to Shanhai ( or China for that matter). Thank you, Mr Wang.

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