A Visitor's Guide to the Former French Concession in Shanghai
By Sara Naumann
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Introduction to the Former French Concession
The leafy quiet Fuxing West Road in the summertime.
© 2006 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.
There's really no Mandarin word in use for the area called the "French Concession" in Shanghai, but visitors to Shanghai seek it out as do expats who live here. It's the area of Sycamore-lined streets and alleys that make up what used to be the French-administered part of town (late 19th century to mid-twentieth). All those trees (called platane in French), were imported from France. Today, most of the streets are rather quiet, especially in the early morning or late evening and make great venues for strolling and walking. Cafes and shops have sprung up along many and taking a bit of time just to walk and observe is, in my mind, one of the best ways to see a city like Shanghai.
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