In Shanghai's boomtime in the 1920s and 30s, extensive building work was undertaken in the old international concessions.
Art Deco apartment buildings and large private residences popped up all over the city. Taking styling cues from British, Spanish and French houses, this eclectic mix has survived the last 80 years and now provide an alternative to the sometimes souless apartments in the suburbs.
Sometimes unpredictable, living in lane houses is not for everyone - sometimes insects attack, and sometimes the neighbours are noisy, but this is a true Shanghai experience. For an alternative experience, expats should look to family friendly townhouses in Shanghai.
Some of the old properties have had multi-million RMB renovations and sport heated floors and large walled gardens making them an attractive prospect for adventurous families.