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Shanghai Bund

Shanghai Attractions: The Bund

The Bund 上海灘

Bund, Shanghai, China
  • Art-deco treasures along a promenade
  • High end boutiques and restaurants
  • Facing the Huangpu River
  • Across the river from the Oriental Tower
  • Close to subway stops
  • Rhymes with "fund"
  • Located close to central Shanghai

Shanghai's Bund is the riverfront promenade that evokes pre-War glamor present-day vitality and modernism. The Peace Hotel and the former HSBC Building are among the best-known pre-War structures still standing.

In the pre-War period, the Bund was home to banks and trading houses. Britain, France, the United States, Russia, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, and Belgium all maintained financial interests in the area. In addition, there were several consulates.

Today the old buildings have been renovated. Across the wide street--you will need to use underground passages--is an embankment that overlooks the Huangpu River. It is packed with tourists, and people selling all kinds of trinkets. This newly renovated riverside boulevard reopened in 2010 after three years of work to widen, green and beautify the 2km long promenade. An underground tunnel running beneath the Bund from Zhongshan Road to Changzhi Road will also reduce traffic in the area by around 70%.

Shanghai has come a long way from the small settlement established by the British after the first Opium War in 1842. The Americans, French and later the Japanese all had concessions in the city. Many of the Bund's landmark structures date from the 1920s and 1930s and include the Customs House (1927), the Gothic-style Peace Hotel (1929), formerly the Cathay Hotel and built by the Far East tycoon Victor Sassoon, the Bank of China (1937) next door and the Yokohama Specie Bank Building (1924).

The area still retains a slightly colonial feel thanks to the many remaining art-deco buildings. Most of them are now filled with chic restaurants, bars, and high-end tenants selling brand goods, though some of the financial institutions have returned to the area.

For lower priced goods and a more raffish atmosphere, Nanjing Road, Shanghai's main shopping street, is nearby. The Peace Hotel is on this street as is the nearest subway stop: Central Henan (Henanzhong) Road.

The Bund, Shanghai, China.The Bund, Shanghai, China.

images of China by Daniel Allen

Oriental Tower, Shanghai.

Across the Huangpu River, modern Shanghai offers a spectacular view. The Oriental Pearl Tower is now the city's most distinct landmark. At night, it is lit in garish reds and greens and blues. By day, it hovers in the haze generated by thousands of factories and building sites.

Access from one side of the river to the other is relatively painless. You can take the subway one stop from Central Henan (Henanzhong) Road Station to Lujiazui Station. Or, in a slightly surreal option, the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel presents itself. The tunnel begins in an underground passageway close to the Peace Hotel. The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel takes you from one side of the river to the other.

The Bund is a public space and free for strolling. It is lively both during the day and at night.

Access - Getting to The Bund

The nearest station is Central Henan (Henanzhong) Road, which is on Line 2 of the Shanghai subway. From here, take Exit 3 and go right out of the station. It is a five-minute walk to the Bund.

The Bund, Shanghai, China.

The Bund, Shanghai, China

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