The Bund at night – the clock tower building is the former Customs House,
farther along you see the green steepled roof of the Peace Hotel.
Typical tourist pictures of Shanghai probably start with the Bund, i.e. views of the famed riverfront, preferably at night when it’s not bathed in Shanghai’s hazy bright light.
That is probably why I haven’t shared Bund pictures yet in my Shanghai photo essay series – it is where all tourists, including me, start. You have to see it, but then you move on. That’s why I will also keep this short, and will share, in an upcoming post, more of what goes on right behind the Bund, where some stunning art deco architecture is to be found. But no series of Shanghai would be complete without the Bund, so here we go.
At night the skyline of Pudong, the financial district that’s grown up during the past 20 years, commands the view across the Huangpu River.
The river is busy with boat traffic, even at night. The street lanterns of the Bund boardwalk dot the bottom of the picture.
I have not seen a river that busy with traffic, and I’ve seen my fair share of large rivers.
The most famous manifestation of Shanghai art deco is the Peace Hotel, formerly the Sassoon House, built by Victor Sasson in the 1920s.
Here it is seen from the Bund boardwalk. It’s the building to the left with the steepled green roof. A nice coincidence: I visited Shanghai at the end of March, which happened to be the beginning of an extended weekend due to one of the Chinese national holiday Qingming (the sweeping out of the tombs – a Chinese version of Day of the Dead). Therefore, a lot of tourists were in town, not Westerners like me, but Chinese visiting from all corners of the country. Here a group is taking a break on the boardwalk.
The Peace Hotel entrance as seen from Victor’s Café. It reminded me very much of similar art deco passage ways in Prague. As I was rather jet-lagged by the time we sat down in this café, I kept doing a mental doubletake on where I was.
Another evening we hung out at the Long Bar in the Astoria Hotel on the Bund, where I was utterly charmed by these art deco-style nut bowls.
|The Bund at night, looking south.|
I have just added Peace Hotel of my places to visit…how beautiful it looks.
So glad you posted these pictures. Like you say every tourist starts with pictures of the Bund. I did too, but not a single one turned out! Loved looking at yours.
What great pictures- and I loved the ones of the Bund- knowing the history of that area- it made those pictures all the more wonderful. I loved the night picture taken there- and was intrigued to see the Customs house as it was one of the places my mom was when she was being exchanged as a prisoner of war during the second world war- it holds such significance for me now as I look at it- thank you for pointing it out!
I've never seen photos of The Bund before, nor heard of it. So thanks for broadening my world view!