A major Bund-fight

Central Shanghai is a city of two halves, defined by the Huang Pu River.  Puxi (literally “west of the river”) is the historic part of the city, a finer grain of streets, alleys, parks, shopfronts and commercial buildings.  Puxi housed the influx of French, British and Americans in the 19th century in areas called ‘concessions’.  Pudong (you guessed it … “east of the river”) is the new financial centre with the famous Jetsons skyline, massive boulevards and a bit less charm.

I took a field trip to the riverside area of Puxi known as the Bund.  Shanghai’s most famous shopping strip – Nanjing Road – links the Bund to People’s Park.  For hundreds of metres, Nanjing Road is closed to cars and is chockers with pedestrians – a good place to get a sense of how big a city of 20 million is. 

The Bund is basically an embankment along the river and is a popular strolling location for locals (and strolling is the only pace possible, given the crowds).  The street along its edge is packed with beautiful old buildings – originally the headquarters of foreign banks and trading houses, given over to Chinese institutions in the mid-twentieth century and now housing a mix of cultural and financial uses.  Containing a mix of Art Deco, NeoClassical and Gothic styles, the whole strip is now thankfully under heritage protection (a seemingly rare thing here).

The Bund is also a great place to capture that Pudong moneyshot.  Hard to believe that a few decades ago, Pudong was basically an agricultural village.

One Response to A major Bund-fight

  1. Pingback: Tianjin / I do like to be beside the riverside | That Look Crayzy!

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