Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Bund Shanghai

The Bund Shanghai 上海灘

Bund, Shanghai
The Bund, Shanghai

Shanghai's Bund is the riverfront promenade that evokes the pre-War glamour of the past and the vitality and modernism of the present. At right is the famous clock tower that sits atop the former HSBC bank building. Flapping in the night wind in front of it is the red flag of the People's Republic.

The area still retains a slightly colonial feel thanks to the many art-deco buildings. Most of them are now filled with high-end tenants selling brand goods most Shanghai natives could never dream of affording. Victor Sassoon's Peace Hotel is currently being renovated.

Across the Huangpu River, modern Shanghai has reared its head. 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 passageway takes you from one side of the street to the other.

Then, you proceed to walk under the river. Literally.

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