Bund 382-5 PSE lightened


Visiting Shanghai


Shanghai: the Bund
The Bund, or Embankment at Shanghai with the Customs House dominating the centre, ,overlooking the Hangpu River



In the 19th century, the centre of power in China shifted. The original centre of power was in the west in Xian, at the end of the Silk Road to the Mediterranean. Then it moved to Beijing, to the northern frontier, to ward off the invaders from the north. But in the 19th century, power moved to the East, to the seaboard, where the seaborne traders set up their trading stations, Shanghai and Hong Kong.


Shanghai lies at the mouth of the Yangtze River or rather it lies 17 miles up the Huangpu River, which is a tributary of the Yangtze. The modern city can be divided into two parts, the old and the new. The old part is the West side, known as the Bund or Embankment, which is where in the 19th century the foreign settlements were established, – the British, the French, and the American, but then the British and American merged to form the International settlement.

Shanghai: Customs house  and HSBC bank
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank building (left) and the Customs House (right).  The clock on the Customs house is said to be modelled on Big Ben.

The waterfront is today embellished by a number of fine early 20th century buildings vaguely in the art nouveau style, reminiscent of the Three Graces in Liverpool.  The finest are the original headquarters of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (left) and the Custom  House beyond it.







Shanghai HSBC interior I managed to get inside the HSBC bank building and sneak a photo of the fine interior.





Shanghai French concession
The French Concession, one of the fashionable quarters of the city.

Adjacent is the French Concession, rather grey, but still a fashionable area known for its literary and artistic bent. We went there and enjoyed an ice cream.








Shanghai: Yuyuan bazaar
The Yuyuan bazaar in the old city of Shanghai. This is all rebuilt, but in a traditional style.

To the north is the old Chinese town, part of which has been rebuilt  in traditional style and has become a very fashionable shopping centre,


TStarbucks 2586here are  also  some familiar establishments.





Shanghai: Yu gardens
The EU gardens at Shanghai laid out in the 16th century, and still preserved.

The centre piece of the area is the Yu Garden, whi h was first  planned  in 1559 by Pan Yunduan as a comfort for his father, the minister Pan En, in his old age


Shanghai: Yu gardens study
The study in the new God’s with some of the Rosewood furniture of the Ming era

At the centre is the house. Here is the study, based around his desk where as  a scholar  he  could  write  poetry and  practice his calligraphy.





Shanghai Skyscrapers
The three tallest skyscrapers at Shanghai.Between the Mirae Asset building and the Aurora building can be seen the Jinmao Tower, the earliest of the great skyscrapers. Peeping out over the top of the Aurora building is the World Financial Centre with the rectangular void at the top. Behind the Citibank is the newest and tallest of all, the Shanghai Tower which projects heaven-ward out of the photo.

The other half of Shanghai is on the east side of the Huangpu River, in Pudong. Up to the late 20th century, Pudong was a run-down area but in 1993  it was made into a Special Economic Zone,  since when  it has exploded and is now the site of the greatest display of skyscrapers in the world.




Shanghai: Oriental Pearl
The Oriental Pearl a television aerial which is also a very popular viewing platform. It was the earliest tall building in Pudong, and was designed to display the skills of Chinese architects.

This led to an explosion of high-rise buildings. The first was the Pearl of the Orient, a fantastic television aerial with circular balls at intervals which make a spectacular view at night






Shanghai: Skyscrapers
The three great towers that dominate the Pudong side at Shanghai. To the right is the Shanghai Tower, the tallest of al,l still under construction. Adjacentis the World Financial Centre, and to the left of that, the Jin Mao Tower

At the centre the skyline is currently dominated by three huge towers, each in turn the tallest building in the eastern world.







Shanghai: the Jinmao tower
The Jin Mao Tower, which when it was first opened in 1998, was the tallest building in China

The earliest was the JinMao tower, which looks vaguely like a pagoda with projecting eaves at intervals.






Shanghai: View from Jinmao tower
Live view from the JinMao tower, looking across to the Hangpu River and the Bund beyond.

We went up to the observational platform on the 88th floor from which there is a spectacular view.





Jinmao interiorDSC02433At its centre there is a vertigo- inducing void down which I took this photograph. A pity that it is now largely hidden by other skyscrapers.





Shanghai: World Financial centre
The World Financial Centre

Its title of tallest building was then taken by a building adjacent to it, the World Financial Centre, easily recognisable by the rectangular opening at the top.






World Financial Centre
The World Financial Centre, as seen from the Jinmao tower

It was originally intended to be circular, but it was pointed out that this was too much like the Japanese symbol, so it was changed to a rectangular opening. But the actual structure as can be seen by this photograph is an amazing twist through 90°.







Shanghai tower
The Shanghai Tower, still under construction

The latest and tallest tower is simply called the Shanghai tower, which is just being completed. We saw it from our observational platform at the Jinmao Tower, and it was amazing to see this skyscraper shooting up higher and higher in the sky when we were already ourselves 88 stories up in the sky!
















Shanghai: Maglev railway
The Maglev railway station, with a train arriving.

Shanghai also boasts the fastest railway in the world, the Maglev railway which runs by magnetic levitation from the centre of the city to the airport, running for 19 miles at up to 400 km an hour. It has become something of a tourist attraction and we shot out there – and then came back.





Shanghai at night: the Pearl of theOrient and the World Financial centre.
Pudong at night. To the right, the Oriiental Pearl television tower. Just left of centre is the blue/green World Financial Centre, and to the right of it the Jinmao tower
Oriental Pearl  and WFC
Another view from the river, this time showing the Oriental Pearl left, and the World Financial Centre adjacent to the Aurora building, right.

The highlight of our trip was a river tour by night, when all the skyscrapers are lit up and make a fine display.


Happy Chinese party on the riverboat at Shanghai
With a school party on the riverboat, seeing the sights of Shanghai.

At the end of the boat trip, I   fell in with a party of schoolgirls who wanted to practice their English on me. I tried to teach them to say hello.




On to: Buddhas
6th January 2015