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Shanghai is China’s largest city with a population of roughly 23 million inhabitants. How would an aspiring artist traveler find a room in this Metropolis?

Of course you would want to stay in what is called “The Bund” area, where you are just in time to get a taste of that exotic atmosphere of the city, as it was about a Century ago. At that time, foreign powers each administered a section of this city. It outshines today, what was once called the “Pearl of the Middle East“, the town of Beirut (Beyrouth), Lebanon.

Shanghai is the Twenty-First CenturyPearl” of the Far East. The first hotel in Shanghai that had an elevator was the Palace Hotel, built in 1908 on Nanjing Road in the heart of the Bund. The six story building with the brick veneered front, was built in a quasi Renaissance style. It was at the time the tallest building on Nanjing Road, the busiest road in the city.

img016 img017 Numerous Chinese leaders of those days stayed in this famous comfortable hotel like Sun Yat-Sen (1866-1925) “The Father of the Nation” and the Republic of China’s first President, and revolutionary leader before the Communist Party take over. The hotel was used and occupied by the Japanese during the Second World War. In 2010 the hotel was converted and modernized and is now an artist boutique hotel.

Here is a link to the Swatch Art Peace Hotel.

img018img019img021img020The pages above come from the booklet that is part of our “paper” archive. It has no printing date, most likely dating to the early 1910’s. It is printed in a pocket handy format of 4×7 inches, 37 numbered pages with a number of blank memorandum pages at the end, and lists the usual travelers information: Addresses for the banks, Post Offices, one each, for the major powers – American, British, French, German, Russian and Japanese, the Consular Offices, and some recommendations of sites to visit, including a houseboat trip.

While I have not stayed at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel nor am I endorsing it without a stay. It certainly would be high on my list of Hotels to visit since I own this historical piece of paper memorabilia. More can be found about the history of the Swatch Art Peace Hotel and a related hotel when you visit this Wikipedia link.