Nanjing Dong Lu Pedestrian Street has traditionally been regarded as ‘China’s number one shopping street’. While the Bund symbolized British imperial might, Da Ma Lu was always far more egalitarian.
Today the road holds little of the cachet it once did and Shanghai’s best shopping is most definitely elsewhere. However, as a spectacle of the crowded, gaudy, neon-lit China of coffee table photo books, it is unbeatable. Evening strollers can expect to be approached with offers of massage and other services from ‘Chinese ladies’, as well as hash and money (rent) boys.