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, which is busy with boat traffic, even at night. The street lanterns of the Bund boardwalk dot the bottom of the picture.
Here a daytime (and thus rather gray) close up of river traffic, including a not so glamorous garbage boat, against the backdrop of the Pudong skyline with the pink sqhere of the Pearl Oriental Tower and the two globes of the Shanghai International Convention Center. 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.
Another evening we hung out at the Long Bar in the Astoria Hotel on the Bund, where I was utterly charmed by these art decoey nut bowls.
|The Bund at night, looking south.|