Shikumen Museum in Xintiandi

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shikumenA Shikumen, according to Wikipedia, is a traditional Shanghainese style of architecture which is a mix of western and chinese designs. Xintiandi – a tourist hot spot – is an area full of buildings designed in the shikumen style, though it is disappearing. The open house museum here, at an entry fee of RMB 20, is more than worth a visit. This museum basically depicts how a typical family lived in the 1930s. Lovely rustic furniture, bedrooms with antique dressers, old family photos, give this place an ancient Chinese feel, which can border on being a bit creepy. One of the bedrooms has a wooden chamber pot, which reminded me of ‘The Little Emperor’. They also have a tea house toward the exit gate. For me, the kitchen was most amusing, especially the old steamers – I could visualize some old ladies hovering around making yummy dumplings.

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