Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Bund: History in Microcosm (Getting High in Shanghai Series 18)

The Bund 
History in Microcosm
Getting High in Shanghai Series 18        

The Bund is a waterfront area Shanghai which
runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River


It is one of the most famous tourist
 destinations in Shanghai.

The Bund refers to the strip flanked
on one side by the Huangpu river,


… and the well preserved and impeccably restored
historic buildings on the other side of the road,

…that were the grandiose symbols
of Shanghai’s colorful colonial past.

The river promenade is a wide riverside park
where one can have a breathtaking panoramic view
of the Pudong skyline, where there is a conglomeration
some of the world’s tallest and most modern skyscrapers.


The riverside boardwalk is also a great place to stroll,



…or just sit around a do some
shameless people watching.

Right at the entrance of the riverside
park is the bronze statue of Chen Yi,
the first mayor of Shanghai after 1949.

One could also just sit down and admire the magnificent
Beaux Arts classical buildings built around the turn of the
20th century as Shanghai became a major financial center.


Some of the most notable colonial
building in the Bund are as follows:

The previous headquarters of the Bank of China
houses the Shanghai Branch of the Bank of China
and was built on the site of the old German Club 

Fairmont Peace Hotel was originally the Peace Hotel is made
of two buildings. The north side, or the Sassoon House, originally
housed the Cathay Hotel and is today the Fairmont Peace Hotel.

The South Building built as the Palace Hotel
and is today the Swatch Art Peace Hotel and
divided fron the north building by Nanjing road.


The Chartered Bank Building of India, Australia and China was built in 1853
was the oldest of the foreign banks in Shanghai.  The entrance facade features
two Brecchia marble columns apparently shipped to Shanghai from Tuscany Italy.


The Neo-Renaissance-style North China Daily News Building
was built in 1924 by first English-language newspaper in Shanghai.
It now serves as American International Assurance (AIA) office.
It was the tallest building in Shanghai at the time of its opening.


Former Bank of Taiwan’s  architecturarl design combines both
Western and Japanese elements. It was built in 1924, meant to
promote trade between Taiwan, the Japanese Empire, and the rest
of Asia. The building is now occupied by China Merchants Bank 


The Italian Renaissance style Russo Asiatic Bank Building,
was built in 1896, is one of the oldest buildings in the Bund.
It now houses the Shanghai Foreign Exchange Trading Center.

Former Bank of Communication Building,
a modern Art-Deco style, concrete-frame structure,
framed by black marble around the doors .It is now
occupied by the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions. 


Custom House Building was built in 1927, and presently
remains a customs house. It was built the late 17th century
and is seen as one of the symbols of the Bund and Shanghai.


The exquisite Greek style Shanghai Pudong Development Bank building was
built in 1923 and considered one of the most beautiful structures in the Bund.


With the colonial buildings to appreciate the past on one side,


…and the awesome sksyscrapers to
 marvel the future on the other side,


…amd a beautiful riverside park in between,



…the Bund is a must visit, not to be missed
attractionto anyone traveling in Shanghai,

Read my other Getting High in Shanghai Series:

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