The Bund in Shanghai is an area that stretches one mile along the bank of the Huangpu River. It has fantastic views of the city skyscrapers and towers on the opposite bank. The river itself is busy with cargo boats and cruise liners along with local work boats and pleasure craft moving all the time.
We were sick for the first few days in Shanghai and consequently got to visit The Bund in the daytime but failed to do a night visit to see the lights. On the day we made the trip to town we got off the train at Peoples Square. Walked around town before finding our way to the waterfront and The Bund.
As with all other Chinese cities it was crowded, mainly with Chinese. :-). We stood out from the crowd as being the only “foreigners”. However it certainly is an awe inspiring place and gives an understanding of how this modern city has grown.
Before the 1840s, the Bund was a muddy narrow lane with tall reeds. It initially became a British settlement. After Shanghai was established as the trading port in 1846, a street was paved there and the riversides were reinforced. Then, rows of commercial buildings were constructed. As the UK Concession, a building boom at the end of 19th century and beginning of 20th century led to the Bund becoming a major financial hub of East Asia. It was the centre of the city’s politics, economy and culture more than a hundred years ago, consulates of most countries and many banks, businesses and newspaper offices were settled there, and that’s why we have these art-like buildings.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, with the thawing of economic policy in the People’s Republic of China, buildings on the Bund were gradually returned to their former uses. Government institutions were moved out in favour of financial institutions, while hotels resumed trading as such.
In the 1990s the Shanghai government attempted to promote an extended concept of the Bund to boost tourism and land values in nearby areas, as well as to reconcile the promotion of ‘colonial relics’ with Socialist ideology. From 2008, a major reconfiguration of traffic flow along the Bund was carried out. After a 33-month upgrade, the Bund was reopened to visitors on March 28, 2010. The veil on the new Bund was finally lifted and we got to see it.
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A must see in Shanghai is the Bund. A fantastic length of riverfront with a long history and great views of the skyscrapers of Shanghai
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