Visited Bund Again Today

People may guess people in Paris will visit the Eiffel Tower everyday, right? I guess the truth is not, just as people in New York don’t visit the Time Square or the Empire State Tower everyday.

It is the same for me – a normal resident in Shanghai. If there is only one place you should visit during your trip to Shanghai, it is the Bund. It is the standard portrait photo for Shanghai, as appears in all postcard, or travel guides.

So, what I want to say is, I am also excited to visit Bund again after many months, although it is now far away from where I live or where I work.

Here I came!

Changes on the Bund

The #1 change is, the Bund is extending to the north. I don’t know why it was named after a word that is not so popular, and more interestingly, “The Bund” seems to be just referring to this place in English worldwide (is it true?). It is just the west bank of the Huang Pu River. In the last 10 years, the Bund extended from the west bank to the east bank, and recently, the area at the north part of the Bund (north of the Waibaidu Bridge) are lit up, and it looks much wider.

The second change is the Peace Hotel – the third most significant building on the Bund (this is my personal ranking – Wangjianshuo List). If you are curious about the first two, I would say, it is the Custom Building, and the Shanghai Pudong Development Building (the former HSBC building). Back to the Peace Hotel. There are interior re-building going on, and the outside lights were turned out. It looks really weird when all the surrounding building are light – it reminds of the old Shanghai…

The third change is the tallest building on the south end of the Bund – the 20+ stories tower. I would say it may be a mistake in city planning to put such a tall building out there along the historical Bund, but the current re-modeling has changed it from the building of ICBC (Industry and Commercial Bank of China) into a 5 star hotel, which means better sense for that location.

Outside the Bund

There are two major changes outside the Bund.

#1 is the progress of the Shanghai International Financial Center – it is significantly higher than the Jin Mao tower now. After finished, Jin Mao tower, once the tallest, will look shorter in comparison of its nearly added neighbour.

The second change is, there are many new shops along the Huangpu River on the Pudong side – for example, there is a bar called Bindview – good location, good name, and seems has good business there.

I didn’t bring a camera with me, so I was not able to take pictures. Hopefully, I will bring some updates with pictures the next time.

6 thoughts on “Visited Bund Again Today

  1. Wang:

    I just flew in and out of Shanghai for a one day meeting at a couple of furniture factories. Since I had no time to spend shopping I heard that the old flea market that the govt had closed had re-opened at a different location. Can you advise if this is true? FYI, left Chicago USa On Sunday night arrived Pudong Mon night was back in Chicago Wed night. Ridiculous!!!!!

  2. There is no generally accepted version of the new location. My guess is the one under the Science and Technology Museum Station of Metro Line #2

  3. I’ve been to the one under the Science & Industry Museum metro stop but it’s not nearly as good as the old market. I hear there’s also a good one in Puxi off Nanjing Xi Lu (I can’t remember the cross street).

  4. Hi Jianshou, You are right. When you live near a place it becomes familiar and even the most magical places can easily get forgotten. That’s certainly true for me in London. I have to say though that I cannot imagine the Bund losing its power to amaze me! Even now after some 20 business trips to China, most of them arriving or departing from Shanghai, I cannot imagine an overnight in China without a walk along the Bund at nightime. It has to be one of the most magical places in the world!

    And that is despite its past association with greed and exploitation. The buildings of the Bund seem to have been designed by the mainly Western architects to declare aloud the greatness of the Western powers. They were certainly well built. And yet now you Chinese have done an even better job over in Pudong. So the IFC is well above the Jin Mao tower now!! Wow! Last time i was there it was moving close. I cannot wait to see it – and the lighting design they choose for it.

    The Bund is definitely the name given worldwide to the riverside of Puxi. Its origin is not an English word, however, but from a Hindi / Urdu word ‘band’, which we British brought with us from India in the early days of the International Settlement of Shanghai. It means “an artifical embankment or quay built in a muddy place”, and in fact there were bunds on the International Concessions all the way up the Yangtze. There are remains of them in Nanjing (there are even some of the old English street lamps along the embankment), and in Wuhan (on the Hankou waterside) as well as other places. A lot of Hindi words have come into English from our colonial presence in India – words like jungle, bungalow, pyjama, loot — and even Mandarin, the word we used for Chinese government officials and the “official Chinese” they spoke.

    We Brits did a lot of mixing up, and have a lot to answer for, as well as leaving some good things in place.

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