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Foreigners invited to apply for free downtown walking tours to experience city’s culture and history

SOME 800 residents, tourists and expatriates are being invited to experience Shanghai's beauty, history and culture by participating in five free walking tours next Sunday, which is a highlight of the Shanghai Tourism Festival, the city's tourism authorities said today.

People can apply to take part in the tours on "shanghaitourism", the official WeChat of Shanghai Tourism Administration or the WeChat of 54traveler, a local travel agency. Expats need to provide their passport number for getting event insurance while they may resort to Chinese friends for help sine the application platforms are only available in Chinese.

Walkers will receive a map and a brochure on the introduction of the routes.

These walking trips in five districts - Hongkou, Xuhui, Huangpu, Jing'an and Changning, will take participants into some landmark legendary architectures and beautiful garden villas, savor a cup of coffee at exquisite and quiet cafes, or read the stories of some renowned Chinese writers.

The four-hour tour in Xuhui District will start from the tranquil and trendy Wukang Road and pass by Wuyuan Road, Anfu Road, Hunan Road and Huaihai Rd M.

The route strings the famous historical Normandie Apartments (Wukang Building) designed by Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec, the Shanghai Camera History Museum as well as the former residence of Chinese writer Ba Jin (1904-2005), a gray-toned garden villa on Wukang Road, and the former residence of cartoonist Zhang Leping (1910-92) on Wuyuan Road, a two-story villa where he lived for 42 years.

The Huangpu tour will take walkers to some Art Deco architectures in Shanghai and learn the stories behind the buildings of the Park Hotel, the Grand Theater, the Peace Hotel and the Customs House. All of them are Shanghai's most notable structures.

The tour will take more than three hours.

The trip in Changning District caters for gourmets because the culinary journey will take them to time-honored Xiaolong (steamed dumplings) restaurants, scallion pancakes eateries, high-end western restaurants as well as cafes, book stores and flower shops.

Most of these tours last about four hours, and people aged between 18 and 45 years old are able to apply.


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