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Landmark hotel to reopen this year

THE renovation of Bailemen Hotel, where Shanghai's famous Paramount dance hall stands, will be finished by the end of this year ahead of schedule, according to the Jing'an District government.

The 19-floor hotel east of Jing'an Temple will become a middle and high-end commercial venue when it reopens to the public, district officials said.

Most stores currently in the hotel building will move to new places, including its ground-floor Sanyangsheng food store selling traditional Chinese food.

The district also plans to open a tour route with a stop at the Paramount during next year's World Expo, district officials said.

Other tours offering a flavor of old Shanghai will also be prepared next year. Tourists can explore Shanghai's old longtang, or lanes, where 80 local families will welcome visitors to make dumplings at their home, and discover the city's culture by visiting the former residences of celebrities such as famed writer Eileen Chang and educator Cai Yuanpei.

The reconstruction of Bailemen Hotel is part of a bigger plan to rearrange stores around the 1,000-year-old Jing'an Temple, district officials said. According to the current plan, garment and ornament shops along the temple's east and west walls will be replaced with high-end souvenir stores, while book stores will be opened north of the temple.


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