Shanghai: 10 Things to Do

5. Dongtai Road

Colonial and Chinese antiques for sale at a stall on Dong Tai Road (Dongtai Lu) street market. Mike Kemp / Corbis
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There's a store on Dongtai Road, a chockablock stretch of antiques and curio shops off Xizang Road, that proudly displays a milk-bottle delivery box from the 1920s. I once tried to buy it from the couple who owns the shop. The husband laughed. The wife told me that several museum curators had already offered big money, but she wasn't selling. Amongst all of Dongtai Road's tourist tat — and, trust me, there is plenty of it — are treasures. Some, like the milk box, aren't for sale. But plenty else is, including lovely art-deco pieces and lots of Cultural Revolution memorabilia. About halfway up the street is my favorite book-dealer. Collectors of tiny antique metal teapots are also in luck — there's an entire store devoted to that esoteric object. Just east of Dongtai Road is a plant-and-animal market, where you can pick up a championship cricket for the next time you need an insect to enter in a prizefight. Doesn't everybody?

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