Stretched along the western bank of the Huangpu, the Bund is one of Shanghai’s most popular destinations – it’s hard to believe that Shanghai’s standout landmark was once swampland around the river! The area was originally settled by the British (‘bund’ means embankment – how it was made habitable) and shortly after became the ‘International Settlement’, and Shanghai’s most prestigious residential address. During the financial boom in the early 1900s, it changed again, and was the centre of Shanghai’s foreign trade and banking.
The beautiful, colonial-style Art Deco buildings that stand along the river once housed the banks and trading houses of a number of European nations, including the UK, as well as Russia, Japan and the USA, plus the Shanghai Club, several consulates and the Masonic Club. Today these majestic pieces of architecture house luxury hotels, restaurants, bars (the rooftop ones have amazing views over the city), and shops as well as financial institutions, including the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai Hotel, Bank of China and Shanghai Gold Exchange. Best viewed on a Huangpu River cruise, where you can compare the colonial stylings of the Bund to the modernist skyscrapers of Pudong across the water.
What better way to experience it than on a Wendy Wu tour?