China Tour Guide : World's Window To China — Travel E-Online

The Bund (Wai Tan)

The Bund, located by the Huangpu River in Huangpu District, Shanghai, is a historical and cultural block in China. Since 1844 (Daoguang 24th year of Qing dynasty), the Bund has been classified as a British concession, which is a true reflection of Shanghai’s ten-mile ocean field, and also the starting point of the old Shanghai’s concession area and the whole modern city of Shanghai. The Bund is totally 1.5 kilometers long, south to Yanan East Road, north to Garden Bridge over Suzhou River, East to Huangpu River and west to the old Shanghai financial and foreign trade organization’s concentration. After Shanghai became a commercial port, foreign banks, commercial banks, associations and newspapers began to gather here, and the Bund became the financial center of the whole country and even the Far East. In August of the thirty second year of the Republic of China (in 1943), the Bund was returned to the Shanghai public concession under the Wang puppet national government, and then that ended the concession period of one hundred years. In the thirty fourth year of the Republic of China (in 1945), the Bund had the official name of ZhongShan East 1st road..

It was originally a desolate shoal, along which there was a narrow mud road for the boatman to walk when pulling the fiber. To the west of the shoal is farmland, and there are scattered thatched houses among the ditches. In Daoguang 36th year of Qing dynasty (in 1843), before it opened a concession in Shanghai, the British imperialism first designated the Bund area as the “anchorage area” for its ships. On November 29, 1845, the 830 mu land on the west of the Bund was designated as the British concession through the Shanghai land charter. Since then, the colonial authorities have built the British Consulate in Lijiazhuang (also known as lijiachang, a section near the Bund on the southwest of Yuanmingyuan Road and the East Beijing Road). Soon, in the south of the British Consulate along the Huangpu River, there appeared Sassoon, Renji, Baocheng, Qichang, Tianchang and other foreign firms. In 1848, the trackway near the Huangpu River was transformed into an 18-meter wide road, and wharfs, stacks, banks and shipyards were built on the east side of the road. From 1854 to 1941, there were more than ten foreign banks and Chinese banks, and it became the financial center of Shanghai, known as “Oriental Wall Street”. The houses on the Bund started with two and three stories. Since the beginning of this century, due to the development of building technology and the growth of economic strength, there have been high-rise buildings with many layers and various styles, such as British classical, British neoclassical and British Renaissance Asia Building (formerly Shanghai Metallurgical Design Institute), Shanghai Federation (now Dongfeng Hotel), HSBC building (formerly Shanghai Municipal People’s government building), Qiahe building (now the foreign trade bureau), French classical style, French big-house style, Gothic style, Baroque style, modern western style, East Indian style, eclecticism style, Chinese and western mixed style, etc., are known as “World Architecture Expo”.

Now, most of the buildings along the Bund have been rebuilt, but their basic styles remain the same. Before the National Day in 1992, the first phase of the comprehensive renovation of the Bund was completed. Now, the flood-controlled wall of the Bund is like a box Gallery, with 6.9m high and 15.4m wide, which can withstand the tide once in a thousand years. More than 300 cars can be parked in it. Its surface has a green scenic spot and a pedestrian road along the river. The road has been widened by twice, where there are 10 driveways with 8 motorways and 2 cycleways. The Bund has always been a hot tourist spot in Shanghai. Besides enjoying the rare “World Architecture Expo” at home and abroad, tourists can also appreciate the charm of Garden Bridge and Gate Bridge on Wusong Road, ingenuity of Huangpu Park, design and ingenuity of flood-controlled wall, and the spectacular scenery of the buildings and the river shining together. Besides, the night tour on Pujiang River is more interesting. In addition, it has developed transportation, convenient shopping, rich historical experience and complete tourism facilities, which makes people forget to return.

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