Tongren Road’s Last Stand

Tongren Road

This is a collection of pictures of the last night the infamous Tongren Road strip was open and functioning.

Tongren Road runs right through the commercial heart of the Jing An district in Shanghai. A very small strip (like half a block) of this road was one of many red light districts that are scattered through out the city. What made this particular strip interesting was that it existed for a quite a long time surrounded by some of the most expensive real estate in Shanghai and China. On December 17th, this notorious half a block was shut down in preparation for the Expo in 2010. There is also a billion-plus-dollar development going up right across the street. The new Kerry Center office complex and a Shangri-La hotel will open in two years.

While I don’t normally frequent areas like these, I have to admit that I always had a soft spot for Tongren Road. It was its long-lasting grittiness and sleaziness amongst the immediate gentrification that surrounded it that made it unique.

Tongren Road

Tongren Road

Manhattan was the ring leader of this decadently sleazy strip. Filled with pole dancers and hordes of prostitutes, one could not even walk to the bathroom without been accosted.

Tongren Road

What’s a sure fire way to know you’re at a bar strip? Cigarette stand.

Tongren Road

The Kerry Center and Shangri-La Hotel development faces off against the Tongren strip — and wins.

This entry was written by Andrew Rochfort , posted on Sunday December 27 2009at 07:12 am , filed under Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Society and Culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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