Monday, August 4, 2014

THE BUND - SHANGHAI

Shanghai's iconic landmark
No one gets lost in Shanghai.  In the darkness of the night and emptiness of the alleys, just look up and follow the pearl that outshines China's world of skyscrapers and architecture, akin to the star of Bethlehem, and you'll find yourself in a quay of tourists called The Bund.

Following the advise of the many, the Bund is a walking distance from where I am staying - at the Luofu Road - and so I walked for my first night in Shanghai.  Residents of Shanghai must have been used to walking that I see no one perspiring except myself.  Fortunately, I have no schedule for the night but to sit at one corner, drink and watch the sea of tourists do their respective order of business.

A Night at the Bund

Waibaidu Bridge, the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Monument to the People's Heroes in Shanghai
The Bund, being a waterfront area in central Shanghai, apart from housing almost all the iconic landmarks of China, would be the perfect vantage point for a shoot of Shanghai's skyline at night.  With a million of tourists braving the crowded space and a long walk within the grounds of the Huangpu Park, I was one of the million curious and amazed simultaneously while sitting at one end of the park.


The Bund stretches one mile along the bank of the Huangpu River.  Currently, it houses buildings of various architectural styles, generally eclecticist, but with some buildings displaying predominantly Romanesque Revival, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-classical or Beaux-arts and a number in art deco styles.  




I should have brought my tripod with me. Everyone was busy taking photos and it poses a challenge if one would be able to get a self portrait without a bomber.  And so I hopped from one vantage point to another like a predator detecting its prey, searching for someone who can take photos of me given my instructions on what should be captured.  I probably requested five different individuals for this loser feat of mine and the view was cropped on a number of shots.  Only one was the closest to what I wanted.  Apart from sight-seeing at the Bund, there's nothing much to do, thus, the need for a solo picture to cure boredom.

perspiring tourist at the Bund taken by a Chinese tourist

Monument to the People's Heroes with Shanghai's skyline



Morning Walk at the Bund

rare times when a solo picture can be had without a bomber
Summer in Shanghai is unbearable.  The sky may be clear and blue with flowers that bloom at its peak, yet visitors sweat profusely as they gaze the destination.  Unmindful of the scorching heat of the sun, I woke up early and visited the Bund for a morning walk.

Waibaidu Bridge
As soon as I pass by a steel bridge, the view of the Bund was simply breathtaking even in the morning, especially with less crowd and shutters of camera co-existing.  I had no idea what the bridge's significance is in China, but the need to be photographed is just apparent.  Then, I learned that the steel bridge is known as the Garden Bridge when translated in English, and that, it is the first all-steel bridge and the only surviving example of camelback truss bridge in China.

marker of the Monument to the People's Heroes
Across the bridge is a structure resembling three rifles leaning towards each other.  No English translation for the marker of the said structure yet I noticed a lot of tourists taking photos making the same as its backdrop. So why shouldn't I?


This is the Monument to the People's Heroes.  The paved space that surrounds the monument is used by locals for morning exercises. I continue to walk around the park.  A literal walk in the park. Residing from a tropical country, I can withstand the summer heat whilst walking and taking photos at the Bund, with timers set at varying vantage points as less tourists step on the embanked quay. Several hours after, it dawned on me that inevitable sunburn may mistaken me as having bummed on a nearby beach rather than a vacation in a first world country. And besides it's rainy season in the Philippines. The air-conditioned restaurants and coffee shops within the park become my ally then for a refuge.




Cliche or obligatory as it may appear, but indeed you have never been to Shanghai if you haven't stepped on the Bund.  After all, the said tourist destination (substituting ships for tourists) have been used as a platform for loading millions of travelers - a "tourist quay" perhaps?



2 comments :

  1. The Bund looks different during the day and in night. It looks awesome at night. Para na rin kami nag-tour sa Shanghai thru this post.

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    Replies
    1. thanks atty. for the visit! makakapunta ka naman dun anytime hehe

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