Chinese Name in Pinyin: Shanghai Chenghuang Miao
Location: No.249 Fangbin Zhonglu Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai City.
In China, each city has its own local god. In ancient times, natives of this district superstitiously believed the city god can protect them from the evil and they built a temple to keep the figure of the city god. And all residents went to city god temple did their regular worship. To some extent, it likes the church worship in western countries. Nowadays the city god lost its traditional function, but survived as a leisure resort of bazaar.
Locating next to the Yuyuan Garden, the City God Temple of Shanghai is originally built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644); it enjoys a long history and is one of the main Taoist temples in Shanghai. In the Qing Dynasty, all the people, young or old, man or woman, knew it. After Shanghai’s opening to the Western world, the temple and its surrounding areas are crowded with businessman and have become gradually prosperous. Citizens often come here to buy many necessities of life, especially some daily commodities.
The roads in the city god bazaar are narrow, and the buildings in this area were built prior to 1911 in the Ming Dynasty, which are full of rich style and features of ancient Chinese architecture. The whole shopping area consists of rows of small stores, in which are distinctive merchandises and customers. They all remain the exchanging method of market in old China. All the people coming to Shanghai will pay a visit to the temple during their Shanghai tour.
In the old temple city area people can also taste numerous Shanghai local snacks: the unique desserts, vegetarian buns, rice puddings and rice dumplings. The small wares here are very colorful and the snacks are in various kinds with north and south flavors. Nanshan Crab Soup Bun is the most popular here, but the price of it differs in different shops. The shop that with long queue from 5 or 6 pm is the most affordable and authentic one, and the price is also reasonable for most people. At the road towards the southeast exit, there is a lane which provides various breakfast snacks; of course, they are also available in the evening. Soybean milk, fried dough sticks, spicy soup and so on. In a word, you can enjoy whatever you want—special snacks from Shanghai or other places, what’s more, they are not expensive at all. They are favored by all natives of Shanghai. But please foreigner friends take care when you want to try. The temple also provides different kinds of shops and stalls, and generally they sell some artworks. Since there are many foreign tourists, so some unique Chinese goods are welcomed, such as: cheongsam and figurines.
The best time to play is during the Temple fair and the Lantern Festival, when there will hold a variety of old Shanghai folk arts, lanterns, and some performance of folk artists. The Temple is crowded with tourists in the holidays, so please pay attention to theft.
If you want to see the other side of Shanghai City, I mean the ordinary daily life of Shanghai people, Shanghai City God area is an ideal destination.