The Bund and Nanjing Dong Lu - two of the city's busiest tourist destinations - are almost unrecognisable in the wee hours of the morning. Between sunrise and around 8am, they attract groups of (mostly) retirees from neighbouring residential buildings who use the streets as exercise and recreation yards. Residents can be seen performing tai chi, practicing with swords, playing badminton and flying kites, creating an air of innocence and a charming community spirit rarely associated with these locations. But as the bell in the clock tower at Customs House chimes ‘The East is Red’ at 8am, the old folks pack up their equipment, bid each other a cheery zai hui (‘goodbye’ in Shanghainese) and scurry away back to their homes.
Click through the photo gallery to see what it's like on the streets of Shanghai in the early morning.