The little town known as Thames Town is in the suburbs of Songjiang district just west of Shanghai. The town is a replica of English style architecture and was completed in 2006. It’s named after the Thames River in London. In the town center there are cobblestone streets, Victorian style buildings, pubs, and shops.
The most recognized building is a large church that is directly copied from the Christ Church, Clifton Down in Bristol, England. Other buildings such as a pub on High Street and shops near the town center are also copies of real places in England.
The center of town is ringed by nice, gated communities of single-family housing. There are schools, an athletic center, a little mall, ect. Based on all the expensive cars and vacant homes, I hazard to guess the town is mostly for wealthy people who invested in second homes and don’t spend much time here.
However, the wedding photo-shoot business is booming in Thames Town. There are many shops catering to newlyweds who come here for the English-themed backdrop and that perfect wedding photo.
It’s an interesting place for a tourist like myself who enjoys obscure sites. I spent an afternoon walking about and taking in the scenery. Of course, not everything in Thames Town is “English”. Most of the restaurants cater to a more Chinese taste so I had a bowl of hot & numbing soup for lunch. Although there is a cafe that serves high tea with the little sandwiches and snacks.
Getting to Thames Town
Thames Town (Local name: 泰晤士小镇) just west of Shanghai and is about one hour away by car or metro. The closest metro station is Songjiang Xincheng on line 9. From the metro station it’s another 15-minutes by taxi.
Address: No.900 Sanxinbei Road, Songjiang District, Shanghai 201620, China
Chinese Address: 201620松江区三新北路900弄
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