Shanghai People's Square
The People’s Square is an oasis in the midst of the city. Half a century ago it was the location of the horse racing track, but was shut down when racing and gambling were outlawed by the Communist government. In the 90’s the racetrack was remodeled into an expanse of twisting walkways, lotus-filled pools, and mini-groves between stretches of grass and flowers. The old clubhouse of the racecourse became the Shanghai Art Museum, and in the southern half of the park sits the Shanghai Grand Theater, made almost entirely of glass. The northwest corner of the park is reserved for the locals’ active bird and flower market—a great place to see and hear exotic birds in their intricately woven bamboo cages. Locals often come to stroll through the park, and young lovers can be found canoodling on benches or grassy knolls. It’s an intimate slice of Chinese daily life, a peaceful and centered core with the craze and bustle of the city pulsing on every side.