Saturday 23 August 2014 -
The Bund (Wai Tan)
Old and new Shanghai.
The Bund ("dam" or "dike") designates a boulevard along the Huangpu River that winds its way through the city.
The Bund was the site of the concession zone in the 30's and once housed numerous banks and trading houses, foreign consulates, grand palaces, cinemas and casinos. It was in effect the centre for economic and political affairs of Shanghai and China as a whole.
China has gradually rehabilitated certain elements of its past and the Bund has become one of the major tourist attractions in the city. Visitors admire the period buildings boasting the architecture typical of the first half of the 20th century. However, neither has China forgotten that this was a period of foreign rule that divided the country into separate jurisdictions. Symbolically, 21st century China is represented by the skyscrapers rising up on the opposite bank of the Huangpu facing the Bund, and in particular by the Pearl Orient Tower (468 metres high), the building most emblematic of new Shanghai.
Shops, boutiques and malls