The dominant symbol of colonialism in China and the financial center of East Asia in the early 20th Century, the Bund is the first stop for most visitors to Shanghai. It’s an atmospheric place, evocative of Shanghai’s wild and debaucherous past and brimming with the spirit of colonial arrogance. The buildings along the Bund are well-preserved and provide a stark contrast with the modern skyline of Pudong across the river.
The Bund stretches along the river from Suzhou Creek in the north to Yan’an Elevated Road in the south (some travel guides also include the area on the north bank of Suzhou Creek and a bit south of Yan’an Road). Prominent buildings here include the former British Consulate (#6), the Peace Hotel (#9) headquarters of Victor Sassoon’s empire), the Customs House (#13) and the former Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (#12). Enter the bank (now the Pudong Development Bank) to check out the mural on the ceiling. All of the buildings feature plaques in English stating their date of construction and original purpose.
These days the riverside promenade teems with tourists, all wanting to have their photograph taken in front of the Pudong skyline and generally mill about. It’s worth visiting the Bund both by day and by night when both Pudong and the Bund itself are illuminated.
Directions: The nearest subway is Nanjing Dong Lu. Walk east from here to reach the Bund.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去外滩，谢谢。 (Please take me to the Bund. Thank you.)