Shanghai is the financial hub of China and a very dynamic city. Shanghai, though a modern metropolitan city, has its share of history and heritage which they have preserved quite well. I find Shanghai very interesting, since, this is one of those unique cities which have a blend of modern and historic architecture. In this article we will talk about the main tourist hotspot of Shanghai, the postcard image of the city: The Shanghai Bund.
Before the 1840s, the Bund was a muddy narrow lane of road. Few years later, it became a British settlement. The bund started to develop once Shanghai was established as the trading port in 1846. Since, then the bund has been developed a lot and now it stands as the major tourist attraction. Shanghai Bund is located on the west bank of the Huangpu River (famously called as Mother River in Shanghai) stretching from the infamous Waibaidu Bridge to Nanpu Bridge. It is a waterfront area stretching for 1500 meters in length. Walking these 1500 meters is an experience in its own. It is so relaxing and one can enjoy the attractions around this place.
Parallel to this stretch on the west side, there are 26 famous and attractive buildings of various architectural designs. As per the various sites, the architectural styles of these buildings include Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance.
In one website I read that the Bund being described as a ‘Museum of International Architecture’ and after observing these buildings I can only second this description. These buildings have hardly changed since their construction in 1930s and now these structures are subdivided into government offices, department stores, hotels or storage areas.
The eastern side of the Bund lays the Pudong area. Pudong can be easily termed as the downtown Shanghai. During night the lights from these Pudong buildings makes the Huangpu River colorful and provides a fantastic view. I can easily bet on the fact that the Pudong area as seen from Bund is the most clicked picture in Shanghai. You can observe the infamous Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai World Financial Tower (former tallest building of Shanghai), Jin Mao Tower, building of world’s top companies and the latest inductee in to this picturous set of buildings- The Shanghai Tower (tallest building of Shanghai).
Pudong area in morning
There are various important things that you can observe while walking on the Bund stretch. Near the Nanjing Road intersection you can observe a bronze statue of Chen Yi who was the first Communist mayor of Shanghai. At the northern end, you will find the historically significant and probably the oldest park of Shanghai, the Huangpu Park. There is a tall concrete tower named Monument to the People’s Heroes which was constructed to respect the martyrs of revolutionary struggle for Shanghai dating back to the Opium Wars.
Monument to the People’s Heroes
From the Monument to the People’s Heroes, you can observe the Waibaidu Bridge. This is an all metallic bridge constructed in 1902 has its own charm. It looks stunning during night as the lighting arrangement makes this bridge change colours in a certain frequency.
Another option to enjoy this beautiful place is to enjoy a ride in the Huangpu River Cruise. The cruise is very famous among tourist and a best way to enjoy the bund and the Pudong area while sailing on the Huangpu River. The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel is another attraction in offer. It is a good option to cross the river without taking a taxi. The tunnel offers a unique experience to the visitors to feel a trip to the Earth’s core accompanied with light and sound effects. The tunnel’s special effects can really entertain you and make you cross the river in around 3 minutes time.
View at night
Some Important Points:
Shanghai Bund is called Shanghai Waitan in Mandarin.
It is situated on a very busy Zhongshan Road. Therefore, it is highly recommended to cross the road when the pedestrian signal is green.
Best and cheap way to reach Shanghai Bund is by taking the Subway/Metro. Take Line 2 or Line 10 to East Nanjing Road Station. Then walk about 10 minutes toward the Huangpu River.
Best time to visit is during evening, when the entire area is illuminated by various lighting arrangements.
Needless to say, have your camera fully charged and enjoy every moment spent on the Bund 🙂