Shanghai People’s Park
The Shanghai Race Club, built by the British in the 1800s, is a lingering reminder that horseraces were once held here, just south of Nanjing Road. Opened to the public in the 1950s, this green refuge charms with landscaped traditional gardens and a reflecting pond with fish and pink lotus blossoms. It’s also a prime spot for people watching. Locals turn up to do tai chi exercises, play cards, and scope out the Marriage Market. Parents hoping to attract a suitable spouse wait under colorful umbrellas pinned with notes listing each child’s age, occupation, family values, and even zodiac sign. Photo by Ira Smirnova.
By Jenny Adams, AFAR Local Expert
Shanghai's Marriage Market
If you have a bit of time on your hands over the weekend, pop into People’s Park for a paper-and-ink version of Match.com. While you might not find detailed descriptions of a candidate's “dream date,” you will find cut-and-dried biographies stating age, height, profession, income, and whether or not the candidate owns a house or car. Most of the individuals advertised are nowhere in sight, as it’s often a concerned relative listing the dating credentials here. But for a fascinating glimpse into the nebulous world of Chinese nuptials, grab a coffee and take a stroll through the thousands of advertisements lining the walkways. You never know what you might find.
By Christy Campbell, AFAR Local Expert