The Bund in Shanghai

This popular area along the western bank of the Huangpu River, in the eastern part of Huangpu District, faces the modern skyscrapers of Pudong District. [Photo: The Bund, by AJ Paris].

In the First Opium War, which took place between 1839 and 1842, the British defeated the Qing army. That event led to the establishment of the British enclave of Shanghai.

Twenty years later the American and British enclaves merged together, creating the Shanghai International Settlement, or what is known in Shanghainese as Zånhae Konkun Tsyga.

Today, that part of Shanghai is known as the Bund. The buildings are clearly a mix of Asian and European architecture, with many of the old ones looking like buildings you might find in London or Paris.

The Bund, locally known as Nga Thae or Outer Beach, is a popular area along the western bank of the Huangpu River, in the eastern part of Huangpu District, and faces the modern skyscrapers of Pudong District.

“I would have to say it’s one of my favorite parts of Shanghai,” said Arthur, a man from Singapore who was in the city for business, “It’s a nice place to come in the evening and unwind.”

The height of the buildings here are restricted and, of course, modern China is no longer worried about international settlements and you will see a big statue of Mao Zedong, the Chinese communist revolutionary and founding father of the People’s Republic of China.

In early mornings you will see many locals active in pursuit of internal and external health, as you will encounters runners alongside Tai Chi practitioners leading groups of students.

In the early evening, especially around sunset, you will see many people relaxing from the stress of life, friends meeting, and later lovers sneaking in romance.

The Bund is definitely a must see location in Shanghai.

AJ Paris is a New York based photographer and the author of the coffee table book Men Around the World.

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