Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Bund : 外滩

so just a skip and a hop across the historical garden bridge and i was on the famous "bund" (外滩 : waitan).
when i first started doing some research on shanghai i kept hearing about "the bund" and i had absolutely no idea what it was.

was it a building?
was it type of food?
was it a club?
was it a museum or other such attraction?

well for those that don't know, it actually refers to a handful of buildings...52 to be precise.
i know, sounds like a bit of a let-down, but they're not ordinary buildings.
these beautiful historic buildings run alongside the huangpu river looking out towards the pudong skyline, you know that famous rocket-shaped building in shanghai.
this is the view, on a sunny day i might add... talk about air pollution!

looking towards pudong side

looking back on puxi side; where the bund is

so the bund is home to all these glamorous buildings which were built when the area was a british/american settlement.
i guess they're similar to those which can be found lining regent street in london, but just with the odd chinese characters on them.
i was expecting this amazing boulevard with gorgeous buildings on one side, and a tree lined riverside on the other.
i expected wrong...
well the buildings were nice enough, but between these building and the river was a 8-laned chokka-blocked pollution-producing
apparently in the past there was a nice grass area in front of the river but it was destroyed to make way for more traffic. but now with shanghai hosting the world expo next year they are moving some of these lanes underground and plan to rebuild some grass area so it was a total construction mess...

a few bund buildings

"public" newspapers. now this is environmentally friendly!

from the bund you can cross the river to pudong by the ghastly bund sightseeing tunnel.
it's a little non-maned train-thingy which for RMB40 (one-way) takes you though a tacky tunnel of flashing lights and even some blow-up dolls on the tracks. no, not that kind of doll!
it's something you only need to do once, actually you could skip this all together, it's pretty tacky.


Luuworld said...

i've heard about the bund. i love old buildings. i would have a field day there! however: very disappointing to hear about all the pollution and the crazy traffic in front of the buildings. what a turn off... :(

world of sekimachihato said...

you know the bund!? maybe i should have asked you rather than seaching on the net!
yeah, if the pollution wasn't so bad in shanghai it would be a great place for alfresco dining on the bund or along the river side.
there are some cool bars on the roofs of those old buildings though.

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