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Starting from the Bund in the east and ending at the junction of JingAn Temple and Yan'An West Road in the west, Nanjing Road of 5.5 kilometers long passes through the center of Shanghai city across 26 busy streets.
Nanjing Road is the earliest significant shopping street in Shanghai. As early as the beginning of the 19th century, a wide variety of merchants gradually established hundreds of stores on both sides of the road because of the good fengshui there. Some of them obtained nationwide fame shortly after. The four famous global department stores at that time were "Yongan", "Xianshi", "Xinxin" and "Daxin",among which "Daxin"become the largest. By the end of the 1920s,Nanjing Road was flourishing and blazing with colorful neon lights.
After 1949, more and more stores rose up on both sides of Nanjing Road. Great prosperity came to many of the well established stored. Many new buildings, such as large shopping centers, sprang up like mushrooms.
Strolling along the pedestrian street, don't forget to visit the above-mentioned four companies: Number One department store (used to be Daxin Company), Hualian plaza (used to be Yongan Company), Shanghai fashion firm (used to be Xianshi Company) and No 1 food store (Xinxin Company in the past). Daxin Company had the best architecture on Nanjing Road before 1949. At present, although it is not a watchword for fashion any more, it is still a symbol of Shanghai commercial culture and for years has been the best-known department store in China.
Whilst you are rambling along the pedestrain street of over 1200 meters, colorful sidewalks, fashion stores, crowds, sightseeing trains and exquisitely designed mannequins will no doubt catch your eyesight. They all contribue to a special modern metropolitan landscape. However, rickshaws, posters of "Beauty" cigarettes and young ladies in Manchurian dress have disappeared forever. Modern civilization has wiped away much of its past.
Another way of enjoying your shopping is by taking a sightseeing train. This vehicle is actually a trackless train, composed of several small but colorful carriages. You will find this to be an enjoyable and comfortable way of touring the street.
Shanghai is an international metropolis and Nanjing Road is like a mirror reflecting the prosperity and flourishing of modern Shanghai. If there were a Triumphal Arch at one end of the street, people who have not been there before might believe they were really on Champs Elysees of Paris, France.(Source: China Today)
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