The Bund

Zhongshan East 1st Road

Architecture lovers flock to the Huangpu River’s western side to stroll the Bund, a waterfront tourist magnet in central Shanghai. There’s a glorious mishmash of late-19th- and early-20th-century styles here, from Gothic revival to art deco. Walk by the Fairmont Peace Hotel—first opened in 1929 as the Cathay Hotel—to behold its copper pyramid roof turned aqua with age. (Talk about aging gracefully.) Then hit the marble-floored HSBC Building (No. 12) to admire the domed ceiling’s eight mosaic murals, with frescoes depicting the 12 zodiac signs.

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View Old and New Shanghai

I was expecting Shanghai to be modern and architecturally stunning. But when I walked to the Bund district to view the sleek skyline from the river, the first thing I saw was an old barge chugging down the river in front of skyscrapers. This is a great spot to get the shot of the city landscape! Sherry Ott traveled to China courtesy of the China National Tourist Office ( and Wendy Wu Tours ( as part of AFAR’s partnership with The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) (, whose members provide travelers with unparalleled access, insider knowledge, and peace-of-mind to destinations across the globe. For more info on Sherry’s journey, visit the USTOA blog (

Sideways View from the Bund

Newly constructed from the 2010 Expo, the Bund boardwalk and its magnificent colonial-era architecture hosts this view. The image above shows Pudong, the financial district of Shanghai and the very polluted Huangpu River, still heavily trafficked with cargo transport. Anyone traveling to Shanghai should walk from People’s Square, down through Nanjing Road to the Bund.

Catch Sunrise on the Bund

One of the very first things to do when visiting Shanghai is to make a trip to The Bund. Sure, you can see it at any time of the day, and it will be memorable. But go there first thing in the morning to really get a spectacular glimpse into Shanghai life. As the sun starts peeking through the futuristic skyscrapers across the Huangpu River, people start arriving at The Bund to do all sorts of activities. There are photographers lining the rails to get the shot of the skyscrapers. Chinese, young and old, begin their day with light exercise up and down The Bund. You might even catch a Tai Chi class under way. There are also plenty of kites early in the morning. This gentleman was proud to show up with his handmade kite, featuring the Olympic Rings in the spirit of the games. The Bund is a can’t-miss scene in Shanghai. At night, it is absolutely packed with people getting a glimpse of the skyscrapers. In the morning, it is very laid back, and makes a perfect start to your day.

Fashionable Promenade

Shanghai’s young and fashionable enjoy walking along the Huangpu River after work. It’s a wonderful place to escape the crammed shopping districts, grab a snack, and people-watch.

Early morning walk on the Bund

Highly recommended that you take in a stroll on the Bund very early (say 7 am). There are many fitness geeks out and about doing all sorts of physical activities such as jogging, walking the dog and even a spot of kite flying. At the far end of this magnificient boulevard by the great river, there are crews of taichi exercise enthusiasts too. The air quality is not too good these days, making for some interesting outlooks with the dispersed light.

Biking through Shanghai

At 4AM, my study abroad friends and I set off for a biking adventure to the Bund from our Fudan University dorms. We biked across the city and saw the city wake up district by district. And we reached the Bund just in time to see the sunrise! The experience was unforgettable and the view was unreal.

A Sleepless Metropolis in Classic Tradition of Humankind

Shanghai is my second hometown. It is my favorite city in East Asia. I am fond of traveling at night along the long Bund and viewing the skyscrapers opposite. This is a happy time to me when complete a full-day job. I prefer to see the complexes of tall buildings with colorful show at night. Shanghai is a business city, but is not short of feeling of culture and leisure. And I always believe that the leisure is a suitability both of physics and mentality. This is not a good picture actually, taken in summer last year

A hazy sunset at the Bund

Every traveler from far and wide has to make at least one trip down to The Bund while visiting Shanghai. It makes for great people watching and photo opportunities with a wonderful river view of Pudong and the wonderful architecture off of Nanjing Lu. If you approach the Bund from Nanjing Lu, make a left down the street and try to find the metal bull that replicates charging bull of Wall Street! If you look like a tourist from a far off place, be prepared to have Chinese tourists and locals approach you for a friendly photo op! Tip: Skip the taxi cab ride and take the metro. The metro stop is near by, cheap, and there are stops written in English

Financial District at Night

Usually the Financial District of a city is quiet and dark at night, but not Shanghai. All the buildings are in glory lights facing the Huang Pu River. This is the Bund. The entire bund is a great walk at night - store, photo spots, food stands are along the bund. You can also take an audio tour under the tunnel to go to the opposite side.

On the Bund

Two weeks and Shanghai couldn’t have been better. Walking along the Bund at night we felt safe and the energy was vibrant.

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