Credit: Threesixfive Content Ltd
Lilong are long, narrow lanes, typical of old Shanghai, which run between traditional residential housing. The housing combines the architectural traits south China with Western terraced housing to create shikumen #049. This type of housing was prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. and was created to accommodate the city’s rapidly expanding population. The narrow lanes are designed to provide both access and drainage. Today they are disappearing fast, but many remain and are a charming reminder of old Shanghai. Some have been protected from commercialization and retain their original, residential purpose. The close proximity of the houses fosters a strong community spirit among residents, and the lanes provide an excellent photo opportunity to the visitor, especially on sunny days when the old buildings are covered in colourful clothing hanging out to dry.