Hours: All Day, especially at night
The Bund, a vision adorned on numerous postcards and fridge magnets, is a symbol of China’s prosperous future and Shanghai’s international past. The Bund is Shanghai’s waterfront. It lines the Huangpu River as it winds down from the mouth of the Yangtze towards the East China Sea. The Huangpu River divides Shanghai into eastern and western districts otherwise known as Puxi and Pudong.
Walking the length of the Bund is a joy regardless of time of day. The one mile stroll affords many spectacular views. The Bund, with more than 50 individual architectural styles, is reminiscent of the time when Shanghai was the center of Chinese economy and culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Consulates, banks and businesses from yesteryear make an eclectic and artistic architectural statement. Shanghai, though definitely Chinese, has had an international past and though it is often an unspoken truth, the Bund reveals its secrets.
From the Puxi side Pudong, and its thriving financial district, Lujiazui, are right in front of you. Oriental Pearl and Jin Mao Towers stand proudly as a testament to China’s growth and development.
Naturally the best place to see the Bund is from the river, and there are countless river trips to choose from. Some tours take just one hour while others can choose to take an excursion up the river into central China. My personal favorite is the Sea Captain which offers one hour trips for 50RMB. Though other operators may offer the same excursion for a cheaper fare, the Sea Captain, decked out to look like an old wooden ship, offers a luxurious and fun ride around the Bund. Though there are more authentic boats, none are traditionally Chinese, so any trip you make will be pleasure oriented and designed for tourists.
The Bund is a beautiful sight and one of my favorite places in Shanghai. It is worth braving the crowds to visit at night, when the lights of Shanghai sparkle till 10pm and reveal a truly majestic city.
Link: Ferry Tour on the Huangpu River