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Where's my snack street?
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Wujiang Road is a hot topic these days. The 400m road famous for its night market and street food will soon be no more.

A bird's eye view of the old Wujiang Road.

A bird's eye view of the old Wujiang Road.

The east section of Wujiang Road, home to shabby but popular small restaurants and food stalls, will soon make way for office buildings and a hotel next to Shanghai's most popular shopping street, Nanjing Road.

During a recent visit in the late afternoon, everything seemed the same as before - people wandering in the narrow street wondering which restaurant to pick, others still queuing in long lines at popular snack stores, different smells of deep fried food and curry pervading the air and store staff busy preparing food.

"I am not sure when we need to move but the coming National Day holidays will be a good opportunity for business," says one store keeper.

When news about the Wujiang Road development was released this summer, it was greeted by harsh opposition in the media and Internet chat rooms.

"There are lots of disputes about the Wujiang Road plan - it has given me a terrible headache," says Liu Baolan, deputy director of the news office of Jing'an district. "Many people wonder why such a popular place should be moved."

The western section of Wujiang Road.

The western section of Wujiang Road. 

The section of the road that will be torn down is known as "Old Wujiang Road" and opened in 2000. In the summer, it is home to crowds of midnight revelers, rivaling the popularity of places like Hengshan Road.

What attracts so many people to this shabby street? The answer is cheap but delicious foods and goods like bags, shoes, clothes, CDs, and the charm of an open-air market.

Here you can try Shanghai's salty and sweet cuisine, Cantonese fried rice or just a bowl of hot noodle soup for 10 yuan ($1.50). Or you can play cards with friends, have a cup of tea and linger for hours. Or how about 50 yuan for two nice pairs of shoes!

Gong Xiaohui, 25, is a regular visitor. "The street is very dirty, noisy and crowded - but the food is good," she says.

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