This tour proposes to take you from the past to the future in three hours, and it delivered in spades. We began with a walk through the narrow streets, alleys, and markets of the Old City, then rounded a corner and came abruptly to blocks of rubble -- a traditional neighborhood that had just been bulldozed to make room for a high-rise development. It perfectly illustrated the thesis of the tour: that Shanghai is changing at a breakneck pace that's rapidly leaving the slow and old behind. Our stroll took in traditional shikumen houses, ramshackle temporary housing for itinerant construction workers, a gentrifying artsy section of the old waterfront warehouse district, and the gleaming glass towers of Pudong. Tour guide Anna, a professor at NYU Shanghai, was thoroughly engaging, friendly, funny, and informative. All in all, it was a fascinating introduction to Shanghai and the highlight of our trip.
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