Instaseries: The Shanghai Bund

Hello all!

Sorry for the lack of activity on this blog! I’ve been able to post some snapshots semi-regularly on social media websites, but WordPress seems to have more connectivity issues. Also school and studying for graduate school entrance exams  and visiting my family has definitely kept me busy! Nonetheless, while some of my more story-like posts are in the works for you all to enjoy, I thought I’d start something new on my blog: an Instaseries!

Yes, an Instaseries is exactly what it sounds like: a mini-blog series of the pictures that up until now, I’ve only been able to post and share on Instagram and Facebook, with a more detailed description than the cryptic ones I usually post.

So here we go: the obligatory tourist shot of the famous Pudong skyline from the Bund! (Pudong means “East of the Huangpu River”)

Pudong Daytime

I came here on one of the first days I left the comforts of the Fudan suburb, and even though it’s still lively out in the day, the night view here is what attracts people. Still yet, this view is spectacular any time of day.

What you see up there is not necessarily “the Bund.” The Bund, pronounced with the actual short “u” sound rather than the “oo” sound, refers to where I was standing when I was taking that picture, more accurately speaking, west of the Huangpu River. This is what you can see on the Bund on a nice sunny day (see below, previously not posted). And Shanghai has blessed us with really nice weather throughout almost all of September and even now, with the occasional endless rain.

The Bund

The Bund is actually an Indian word meaning “embankment,” which coupled with the neo-Classical style of its imposing buildings, really preserves the sentiment of Shanghai’s yesteryears. The richest and most powerful (foreign) investors were the ones who were able to carve out the most prime of locations, so for a very long time, the famous Shanghai Tang, or Waitan (外滩), did not belong to the Chinese, but was rather a part of the British Settlement. Which might help to explain why the Anglicized name for 外滩, the Bund, has Indian roots. (Connect the dots: East India Trading Company, and the fact that the British got opium from India)

[Fun fact! There is a clock tower in the photo that is actually called “Little Ben.” If I’m not mistaken, it was designed by the same person who designed Big Ben. If conditions permit, I’ll try to upload a recording of its hourly chime!]

A tour guide once told us, “If you want to see China 5000 years ago, go to Xi’an (cue the Terra Cotta warriors). If you want to see China 3000 years ago, go to Beijing. But if you want to see China 100 years ago, and perhaps what it will be, come to Shanghai.” And just being on the Bund a few times, or even once, you can see that it is true.

But even with the albeit sad history aside, this place is absolutely amazing. And not too far along is the 5th Avenue of Shanghai, Nanjing East Road! More to come 🙂

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