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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Early Morning Walk at THE BUND (Wai Tan) + Shanghai's Skyscrapers in Technicolor at Night

The Bund (Wan Tan) is the most famous attraction and the symbol of Shanghai. Not seeing it is to deny yourself of the Shanghai experience. This is a waterfront area in central Shanghai with the main concentration near Zhongshan Road (East-1 Zhongshan Road). It runs on the west bank of Huangpu River.

Very famous that it is flooded with tourists day in and day out. We were lucky because our accommodation,
CAPTAIN YOUTH HOSTEL , is located only a few blocks away to it. That means we could go here anytime we want by foot. And so we were here early in the morning and again at night.


wife with some Russian Tourists


Bund means embankment or embanked quay. 

Being here is to lay witness to the Shanghai of old and new. And you can't help but marvel. Welcome to the financial capital of China!

On one side are the famous European Style buildings due to the former Shanghai International Settlement and on the other is Pudong where Lujiazui is located. The area has been developed specifically as a new financial district of Shanghai where iconic skyscrapers are located inlcuding that of the Oriental Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Building, Shanghai World Financial Center. Under construction and soon to be completed later this year is the tallest of them all --- the Shanghai Tower.

Crossing Zhongshan Road (East-1 Zhongshan Road)
Technically, the bund refers to the historical buildings lining the Huangpu River that once housed numerous banks and trading houses from the UK, France, The United States, Italy, Russia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Belgium.It is a long stretch that begins at Yan'an in the south and ends at Waibaidu Bridge in the North.
The embankment on the other hand is huge. There is a large street before it, Zhongshan Road. Then there is a wide sidewalk almost as spacious as Zhongshan Road and then the elevated embankment where you have to climb a couple of steps to get a good view of the area. It can accommodate thousands of visitors at a time. I call it the king of all promenades. Move over Hong Kong!



One thing I realized, Shanghai's skyline might be imposing in photos and posters but it still pales in comparison with that of Hong Kong. Nothing is as compact and as crowded as the skyscrapers in Victoria Harbor. And I mean "crowded"here in a good way. It will take more years before Pudong's skyline to overtake that of Hong Kong.

And when in Shanghai, you will realize, MANILA NEEDS AN ICONIC SUPERTALL!
Give us even one pleeeeeeease! ^^


WHAT TIME OF THE DAY IS THE BEST TIME TO GO?

The Bund is especially famous at night. This is because buildings on both sides are lighted brightly in technicolor reflecting the dynamism of the city. 

We were advised by a friend and fellow travel blogger Bojo to go here in the morning if we want to enjoy the place without the sea of people. The mood is different in the morning and at night so I suggest you try both if you have the time.


GO IN THE MORNING if:
You want to stay away from the crowd. Now that means a lot because you can pace yourself while walking the stretch of the promenade. That sound more romantic to me because there is no feeling of being rushed. You get to enjoy the view more, you get to feel it more, and you get to get more photos less the annoyance of photo bombs.

GO AT NIGHT if:
You want to see the building light up as if it is everyday Christmas. Electricity must be cheap in Shanghai because it seems that every building lights up at night and streets are also bright. No worrying about going around by foot. All you need to do is enjoy the view. Do know though that there are so many people at The Bund at night. You have to compete for space as and it especially hard to find a seat should you go tired of walking around. 

Either way, may it be morning or night, a visit to the Bund is always rewarding. The sightseeing itself is quite an experience. It would be lovely to go back after a few years and see how this fast-paced city thirsty of skyscrapers will evolve.
We flew in Shanghai via
AirAsia Zest which flies daily to Pudong International Airport. 
Be sure not to miss on their promo fares 

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