Less than a kilometre from The British International School Shanghai, Pudong lies LaoZhai village, an enthralling old-style village complete with courtyard-style homes, extensive plant nurseries and vegetable gardens, ponds and bridges. Entrance to the home is free and it’s possible to wander around, inside and out of all of the buildings, getting a glimpse of old country life. A small army of gardeners tend the plants and perform seasonal jobs such as baling hay and drying vegetables, while gaggles of geese roam the cobbled paths.
With Shanghai Disneyland set to open its magical doors in neighbouring Nanhui in 2015, East Kangqiao will soon become an important transport hub for the up to 10 million Disney enthusiasts expected to visit the resort in its first year. The new space-age East Kangqiao metro station on Line 11 is scheduled for completion in 2015, and will be just two stops away from Disneyland.
Ancient Water Town
Eight hundred years of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasty architectural history is preserved in the tranquil and little-known water town of Xinchang, less than 15 minutes’ drive BISS Pudong. Known for its stone bridges which span the serpentine rivers that meander through the town, as well as its monumental archways, Xinchang is the perfect place to experience an authentic old water town. The fact that it is less well-known than Shanghai’s other water towns, Qibao and Zhujiazhao, mean your visit will not be marred by huge tourist crowds. Alongside the ancient musical instrument museum and traditional artists’ studios, there is also a growing population of young artists providing a youthful energy to the town. However, the real joy of Xinchang is to simply wander its cobbled lanes experiencing the warm smiles of the unhurried locals, stopping to eat at any of the inviting restaurants or cafes, and soaking up a little history.
Sophistication on the "Riviera"
There are plenty of good reasons why XuiYan Road is known as Kangqiao’s own Riviera. With a humming café scene and some of Shanghai’s most livable residential compounds nearby, the broad tree-lined street has the relaxed sophistication of its internationally-renowned namesake.
Recent additions to the “Riviera” have added to its already bountiful offerings of restaurants, cafes and bars. Finding their places next to local favourites Sebastians, Alsace Bistro, Dreamers Bar, Cheers and the newly refurbished Bakerhaus, are new Japanese, Thai and coffee options. Whether it’s a homemade Italian pizza, a hearty British stew, or a catchup with friends over tea and cake before school pickup, XuiYan Road is the place to be.