The name of Putuo District comes from Putuo Road, located within the district. Suzhou Creek crosses the Putuo District and makes up the eastern boundary of the area, shared by Jing'an District. The Shanghai Putuo District People's Government is located on Daduhe Road.
The Jade Buddha Temple, and M50 are located in the district. The Shanghai West Railway Station is in Putuo District.
Jade Buddha Temple
One of Shanghai’s few active Buddhist monasteries, this temple was built between 1918 and 1928. The highlight is a transcendent Buddha crafted from pure jade, one of five shipped back to China by the monk Hui Gen at the turn of the 20th century.
The first temple on your immediate left upon entering is the Hall of Heavenly Kings, holding the statues of the Four Heavenly Kings who each look upon the four cardinal points. Directly opposite is the twin-eave Grand Hall, the temple's most significant building, where worshippers pray to the past, present and future Buddhas.
Also within the Grand Hall are splendidly carved luóhàn (arhats), lashed to the walls with wires, and a copper-coloured statue of Guanyin at the rear. Passing through the Grand Hall you'll reach a gated tranquil courtyard, where stairs lead up to the Jade Buddha Hall. The absolute center piece of the temple is the 1.9m-high pale-green jade Buddha, seated upstairs and carved from one piece.
To get here, take Changshou Rd metro station exit 5 and walk along Anyuan Rd, passing by a lively produce market and street-food vendors. A vegetarian restaurant is also within the temple complex around the corner.
Shanghai may be known for its glitz and glamour, but it's got an edgy subculture, too. The industrial M50 art complex is one prime example, where galleries have set up in disused factories and cotton mills, utilizing the vast space to showcase contemporary Chinese emerging and established artists. There's a lot to see, so plan to spend half a day poking around the site.It's not just galleries either – there's some great street art on route as you pass the graffiti-splashed, mural-decorated walls along gritty Moganshan Rd.
The most established galleries here include ShanghART with a big, dramatic space showcasing the work of some of the 40 artists it represents. The forward-thinking, provocative and downright entertaining island6 focuses on collaborative works created in a studio behind the gallery; it has a smaller gallery on the 1st floor of Building Seven. Other notable galleries include Sanzi Art, featuring the work of notable Shanghai artist Sanzi, and Yu Nancheng's Fish Studio – both local artists of international repute. For new media by avant-garde local and foreign artists try Antenna Space or Chronus Art Center.
Across the road is the Gallery, another innovative art collective featuring Chinese contemporary art and photography. Budding photographers should absolutely pop into DN Club, with its classes using vintage SLRs and a dark room for developing prints. Most galleries are open from 10am to 6pm, with the majority closed Mondays.