Bund - Shanghai's Riverside and
The Bund is one of the most recognizable architectural symbols of
Shanghai. The word ‘bund’ derives from an Anglo-Indian word for an
embankment along a muddy waterfront and that is what it was in the
beginning, when the first British company opened an
office there in 1846. It became the epitome of elegance during
Shanghai’s history as a city of trade. Now many attractive new
constructions have been erected in addition to the historical buildings.
A 771-metre long retaining wall for flood control was built. Atop the
wall is a spacious walkway for sightseeing. Paved with colorful tiles
and dotted with flower beds and European-style garden lights. It is a
good place for a leisurely stroll and a view of the Huangpu River.
The Bund, which extends from Jinling Road in the south to the Waibaidu
Bridge over the Suzhou Creek in the north, is on the western bank of the
114 kilometer long Huangpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze River.
The Suzhou Creek cleanup project is estimated to be costing 20 billion
yuan or 2.42 billion US dollars. By 2010, hopefully the river will once
again be clean enough to encourage marine life back to the Bund area.
Looking out on the river, various cargo vessels, speedier tourist
ferries and other locally owned boats, some of which remind visitors
they are still in a developing country, can be seen navigating the
Huangpu. Visitors might need reminding, with the towering skyscrapers,
the Oriental Pearl Tower, the neon lights indicating the offices of top
world brands and European architecture surrounding them.
The commemorative square at the junction with Nanjing Road features a
fountain and a statue of Chen Yi, who in 1949 became the first mayor of
Shanghai in the communist era. Opposite the Customs Building is an
electronic clock that shows standard times in various world localities
on a water-like curtain. All around are Chinese wisterias, gingko trees
and azaleas. Buildings in Greek, Renaissance and Baroque styles can be
seen along the west of the Bund.
The wharf for pleasure boat rides is also at the end of
Nanjing Road. A boat ride
on the Huangpu River will take visitors down to the estuary of the
Yangtze River and back in just over three hours.
TOUR TO THE BUND:
China Pavilion, Yuyuan Garden/Financial Center
Museum, the Bund, Nanjing