The Bund is a famous waterfront promenade north of the old Walled City of Shanghai, facing the vast skyscrapers of Pudong, and must surely be among the city’s most romantic spots.
I had made my way under the Huangpu River enroute to Yuyuan Gardens, but first I wanted to explore this famous waterfront area. The Bund is seeping in history. Most of its age-old eclecticist buildings along the waterfront once housed banks and merchants from European and American settlements. As such, it was sometimes easy to imagine I was walking in an old Manhattan side street or in a Germanic city. Maybe this is why the authorities here have gone overboard with the numerous Chinese flags on top of this old buildings, as to remind you that you’re in Shanghai after all?
Although the height of the buildings is restricted on this side of the Huangpu here on The Bund, it is no secret that on the other side of the river there are a collection of amazing skyscrapers, topped by the awesome Shanghai Tower, which is now the largest building in China. On my visit last year, the Shanghai Tower was not yet complete, but nevertheless, the view was still spectacular as the Oriental Pearl Tower took pride of place while reflecting over the shimmering waters. River cruises are also a big thing here – as you would expect with the place literally crawling with tourists (including me)! I saw many small and mid-sized ferries plying their trade on the Huangpu, and even spotted a Chinese Customs building on the banks of the river, presumably for when international passengers disembark from their cruise ships from other countries in the region.
Although I didn’t get any photos, one thing I do most vividly recall about my brief visit to The Bund was a Chinese worker who was cutting the grass with shears! No lawnmowers here, they make too much noise! He was down on his knees working immaculately to trim the grass and level it all out equally! Mostly, though, you will enjoy being part of the atmosphere around here, and enjoy the views across the river of the Pudong skyline. There’s not much to do in the Bund other than immerse yourself in the atmosphere and history of the place, but I would recommend a visit to everyone enroute to somewhere else in the area, such as Yuyuan Gardens.
There are no Metro stations close to the Bund, although Metro Line 2 does cross underneath the area. The closest station would be East Nanjing Road, perhaps a 10 minute walk away. I arrived at The Bund under the river on the slightly-tacky and more-than-a-little-weird sightseeing tunnel train from Lujiazui where my hotel was situated.