Tianzifang is a small series of maze-like laneways filled with old school shophouses that has become a trendy shopping zone.

If you need an antidote to the glass towers and international brandnames, this self-consciously preserved enclave make for an enjoyable afternoon’s exploration and is great for the last minute snaffling of artsy souvenirs. There are countless eating and drinking options…. we liked:

Cafe Dan: for excellent coffee and simple Japanese food served in small, atmospheric digs at the top of an extraordinarily rickety set of stairs. (41-248 Taikang-Lu).

Q’s Coffee: Yunnan coffee, sweet treats and Wi-Fi situated in a tiny wooden cabin with a big glass window onto the maze that is the trendy shopping zone of Taikang Lu’s Tianzifang. (15, Lane 155, Jian Guo Zhong Lu.)

If you’re no good at map reading, just walk around and around in circles until you stumble onto whatever it is you are looking for.

Chinese address for taxi (enter from Taikang Rd): 泰康路