Shanghaiist, admittedly, isn’t much of a museum goer. While we can spend hours wandering the galleries at 50 Moganshan Lu, we have yet to set foot in that big famous museum in People’s Square. We blame our short attention span on MTV. But when we do find a museum we like, we’ll tell you about it. And this weekend we were thoroughly impressed by the little-known Shanghai Post Museum, which opened on January 1.
Inside the grand old 1931 Shanghai District Post Office building on Suzhou Bei Lu, the museum is a first class operation (a little more thought went into this place than, say, the Bund Tourist Tunnel). You can tell it was put together with care and quite a bit of cash — it even makes the history of the Chinese postal system remotely interesting. But if browsing old stamps and letters isn’t your thing, go gawk at the building’s huge renovated atrium (pictured). Impressive.
The Shanghai Post Museum differs from your average local post office in one major way — people are actually nice to you. The security guards are even smiley and chatty — they seem to be really proud of the place — and each one will no doubt ask you, “Have you gone upstairs yet?” Upstairs means the roof, which was the highlight of our visit. There is a park on the roof, and some of the grass is actually real. (Of course, your are not allowed on the grass. Despite the Western feel of the building, this is still China.) Don’t let the miniature-golf-course-ish feel of the park distract you — your attention should be focused outward. This 75-year-old rooftop, complete with one of the coolest clock towers in the city, affords you some of the most privileged views of the city available: Suzhou Creek, Pudong, the Bund, and beyond. We suggest you get there before everybody else finds out about it.
For our photos from the museum, go here. The second floor of the building is still an operational post office, probably the city’s most beautiful.
The Shanghai Post Museum occupies the block bounded by Suzhou Bei Lu, Tiantong Lu, Sichuan Bei Lu and Jiangxi Bei Lu. The address is 250 Suzhou Bei Lu and the museum is open from 9 am to 4 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The rooftop park is open on those same days, provided the weather is “clear.” Entrance is free for the time being, but will eventually go up to 10 kuai. Tel: 63629898.