Explore Gaoqiao West Street for the Authentic Vibe

Explore Gaoqiao West Street for the Authentic Vibe

Gaoqiao West Street is a pretty cool street to visit and part of Gaoqiao Old Town which dates back to the Southern Song Dynasty. Gaoqiao is located at the northern end of Pudong, on the east bank of the Huangpu River. Although still in Shanghai, the city vibe and amount of English drops off dramatically. It’s not a touristy place although quite accommodating and a good respite from the usual activities.

Gaoqiao West Street shops
Looking down the street at Gaoqiao West Street

Gaoqiao West Street ally

I combined my visit with the weird Holland Village (aka Gaoqiao New Town) nearby and spent a few hours walking and exploring both. The street is a fairly well preserved area and has several interesting museums. There is an old residence that’s been maintained and displays styling and artifacts from Song era. Another interesting museum has rocks from around the area with striations forming recognizable shapes and Chinese characters. The rocks are mostly a kind of black rock with white veins and the contrast forms pictures sort of.

Character for Fortune
I believe the middle rock’s Chinese character is Feng which means fortune.

At #187 Gao Qiao Xi Jie is a restaurant called “West Street Restaurant” where I had lunch and it was quite good. They serve many dishes and one in particular is really good. It is prepared using puffed rice crisp formed into a dome shape. The rice crisp dome is inverted on a dish and covered with delicious sweet & sour sauce. It’s pretty darn good therefore I recommend it and some local rice wine.

Rice crisp after
The waitress told me the way to eat it is poke a hole into the middle and break away pieces for the edible.

Don’t fill up too much at the restaurants because along the street are several snack shops selling things like red bean cakes, bubble tea, noodles, etc. There are many shops selling crafts and textiles so take your time and wonder around the old street and surrounding area for some fun explorations.

Getting to Gaoqiao West Street

Gao Qiao Xi Jie

By metro, take Line 6 to Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone North Station. Then go out Exit #2 and follow the map. That’s the best I can offer.

Bus number 81 (actually several buses) stop right outside the west entrance so it’s pretty convenient.

Directions using Google Maps