A to Z Abroad: Nanjing Road


Lighting up one corridor of Shanghai is Nanjing Road. Largely a pedestrian street, it is filled with retail shops, restaurants, theaters, and, kiosks. When the sun sets, throngs of people show up to take a walk down one of the most lively streets in the city.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

Nanjing Road has roots all the way back to 1845, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that it became a focal point of the retail industry. Starting with department stores and hotels, the thoroughfare grew rapidly as a popular place for both business and social events.

At night, Nanjing is incredibly crowded. There was always someone within two inches of me at any given moment, but strangely it didn’t bother me. The sights and sounds are so distracting, my Western need for personal space went largely ignored. I watched kiosk attendants make rice and fry unidentified objects, while stores selling everything from silk to shoes begged to be entered. And the lights seemed to stimulate every part of my brain.

I’m not usually mesmerized by city lights, but the color and design of the neon lights on Nanjing Road were quite the spectacle.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

My favorite light show came courtesy of a theater (I think). The lotus flower changed color along with the background several times. It was really beautiful!

Lotus Light on Nanjing Road
c.b.w. 2005

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On a sad note, my thoughts are with those who are in so much pain in Boston. A tragedy such as this makes no sense and no one should ever have to suffer this kind of horror.

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Part of the A to Z Challenge!


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c.b.w. 2013


25 thoughts on “A to Z Abroad: Nanjing Road

  1. Lovely post on Nanjing Road, thank you CB. The lotus is lovely, always unfolding.

    I saw a clip on TV a while back on how the lights are ALWAYS on and some battle to sleep at night who love in this street in apartments, because of the brightness.

    My thoughts are with Boston and America in this terrible time ..

    Susan Scott’s Soul Stuff


  2. Although we are all distraught and distracted by yesterday’s events, we can still marvel at the diversity of cultures and norms. I myself wouldn’t want to sleep under the neon lights!


  3. cpsingleton42

    When you decide to go travelling again, will you save some room in your luggage for me.

    I have just found out about Boston and am shocked to the core that it happened. My heart follows yours in sympathy.


  4. Sherrey Meyer

    Do you need a social secretary on your next jaunt? I’d love to come along to some of the exciting places you go.

    My feelings mirror yours this morning with regard to Boston. I just read of the 8-year old boy who died in that horrific tragedy. Praying hard that those injured will know not only healing of the body but also the spirit.


  5. mamabeanablog

    Again, love the pictures! How amazing your life has been traveling all over to these beautiful places! Thank you for taking the time to share it with the rest of us. πŸ™‚


  6. I work for a country that tests software all over the world. I have heard of Nanjing Road, but never got the chance to see what it looks like. Thanks for extending my knowledge a bit.


    • I’ve never seen anything like it. They say a skyscraper is completed every 7 days in Shanghai and after driving through a forest of buildings, I believe it. Absolutely incredible (though a bit too big of a city for me!).


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