Enter the Dragon Gate Mall

(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2008-03-27 11:48

In the heart of what was once an ancient fishing village, Chinese history is showcased within the walls, gardens and flowing water of Cheng Huang Miao, or the City God's Temple, and Yuyuan Garden.

Just a few minutes' walk, a new "gate" leads to Dragon Gate Mall. It's modern Shanghai, East-meets-West, contemporary and traditional. It pays homage to the past while introducing modern vibes.

Dragon Gate Mall opens tomorrow with an extravagant multimedia plaza show, "Spirit Fire," by the Phoenix from Vienna, Austria. Regular entertainment will be offered.

The shopping complex - in architectural harmony with its historic surroundings - features restaurants and watering holes and shops selling apparel, handicrafts, antiques and souvenirs.

Architectural elements of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties are combined in the 10,000-square-meter space and plaza.

The five-story complex has three stories above ground and two below. The three-story part is about the same as that of the old buildings around it. Traditional dark red and white paint is used, though modern materials replace traditional wood framework.

A imposing stone dragon bridge greets visitors. At night the lights on the bridge and man-made mist make the garden setting beguiling.

Handicrafts and folk art are tastefully displayed in retail shops. Souvenirs include Chinese jewelry, antiques, qipao or cheongsam, clothing and crafts from other countries, such as kimono from Japan.

"Visitors to City God's Temple have no choice but to leave after 8pm as most of the shops are closed," says Zhang Xiande, general manager of Dragon Gate Mall. "But now they can continue their shopping or have a drink as soon as they walk out of the temple." There are 180 basement parking spaces.

Dragon Gate Mall will offer regular free performances in the plaza, including concerts, drama and acrobatics.

"Spirit Fire" tomorrow night will be the first big show. The extravaganza features music, dance, gymnastics, pyrotechnics, powerful visual effects, exotic costumes and stage settings.

"Spirit Fire"

Date: March 28, 8pm

Address: 168 Fangbang Rd M.