Fuxing Park offers an out-of-the-ordinary facet of Shanghai, a facet that stands in sharp contrast to the hustle and bustle of this great metropolis. Fuxing Park is namely a place where time seems to stand still. Almost as if in a world apart, this unobtrusive park fences off the hurried life that otherwise characterizes Shanghai, providing an undisturbed enclave for local residents. Here it is not unusual to find old women in their 60s and 70s, dressed in their characteristic old-school Chinese garb – or even in pyjamas – belting out Chinese opera, while the younger generation, middle-aged women, dance to the accompaniment of melodies that were popular in the 1970s, Mao-era suited men take caged birds for a stroll, and small children try their best to fly kites. Along the Plane-tree shaded paths, old couples enjoy walking hand in hand, and in the pond in the center of the park one will always find optimistic fishermen trying to lure one of the pond's lethargic fish.
Shanghai Fuxing Park
The park was originally a private garden during the Ming (CE 1368-1644) Dynasty. The French took it over (it became part of the French Concession in Shanghai, as part of the infamous Unequal Treaties) after the Second Opium War, and they added a number of uniquely French elements to it, thus making Fuxing Park the only French-style garden in Shanghai. Alas, little of the colonial-era influence remains in Shanghai – not even the French influence – except for this remarkably French-style park, a fact that surely contributes to the park's popularity.