Notes on Shanghai – old and new

[Notes from my visit to Shanghai in November 2008.]

Shanghai was once known as the Paris of the East. Today it is referred to as the Pearl of the Orient. Along the Shanghai river front is where you can see the best of Shanghai’s past and future in one spot.

China Minsheng Banking Corp - Guangdong Rd
[Shanghai old and new. A colonial bank building with the modern Bund Center looming overhead.]

The Bund

The Bund is part of the former International Settlement on the Huangpu River. Zhongshan Road runs adjacent to the river and it is here where the classic buildings can be found.

HSBC Building and Custom House
[HSBC Building and Custom House]

The Bund at night
[The Bund at night]

The Bund Promenade
[The Bund Promenade]

The South Building of Peace Hotel and Peace Hotel
[The South Building of Peace Hotel and Peace Hotel]

References: The Bund

Chinese Breakfast Burrito’s

These food vendors can be found on the streets of Shanghai early in the morning. I don’t know what they are exactly,the name so I have been calling them Chinese Breakfast Burrito’s. There are 2 eggs, onions, sauces and spices inside the wrap and they cost about 2 RMB (30 cents USD).

Shanghai Breakfast
[Shanghai Breakfast]

Public Newspaper

Public Newspaper - Shanghai

Public newspaper reading in Shanghai, China.

Disappearing laneways of Shanghai

Shanghai is a great city to walk around and explore the older residential areas with their back street laneways (known as linongs in Shanghai and hutongs in Beijing).

Alley Entrance
[Alley Entrance]

Alley Shanghai
[Alley Shanghai]

Shanghai Laneway
[Shanghai Laneway]

This old part of Shanghai is disappearing fast as high rise devolopment eats up more of the old neighbourhoods every year.

Apartment Blocks
[Apartment Blocks]

I have been walking around with someone who has been coming to Shanghai for over 10 years. He has pointed out to me skyscrapers that sit where old markets used to be. An all too common site are these whole blocks of demolished neighbourhoods.

Demolition Site
[Demolition Site]

The back of the bike economy of Shanghai

The car may be taking over life in China at a rapid pace, but bikes still rule the streets for now. I am happy to report that people here use their bikes to carry improbable cargo like elsewhere in Asia.

Pipe Delivery
[Pipe Delivery]

Water Bottle Delivery
[Water Bottle Delivery]

Box Delivery
[Box Delivery]

Cake by the slice
[Cake by the slice]

Skyscrapers of Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the largest cities on the world, and it has a skyline to match the population. If the smog ever clears you would have a view of nothing but tall buildings everywhere you look.

Shanghai has two distinct areas: Puxi and Pudong. Puxi is the old city west of the Huangpu River, while Pudong is the new city east of the river.

Pudong was mostly farmland until 1990, when it was designated as a New Open Economic Development Zone. The skyline on the Pudong side of the Huangpu river is now one of the best known skylines in the world.

Pudong Night Skyline
[Pudong Night Skyline]

The Pudong skyline’s landmark building is the Oriental Pearl Tower, which gives the city a futuristic feel. It is the 2nd biggest building in Shanghai.

Oriental Pearl Tower
[Oriental Pearl Tower]

The first and third biggest buildings in Shanghai are the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Jin Mao Tower.

Jinmao Tower and SWFC
[Jinmao Tower and SWFC]

These two towers stand next to each other, and you could call them Shanghai’s twin towers, albeit fraternal twins. The SWFC is known as the bottle opener, for obvious resons.

Puxi might be the old half of the city but it has an equally impressive skyline. Adding to the futuristic look of Shanghai is the Radisson Hotel Shanghai New World, with its spaceship-esque observation deck.

Radisson Hotel and Shimao International Plaza
[Radisson Hotel and Shimao International Plaza]

Trippin’ through the Bund Tourist Tunnel

The Bund Tourist Tunnel is a train that runs under the Huangpu River in Shanghai, from the Bund side to the Pudong side. I was told that it was so bad that it’s good, so how could I not go with a sell like that. Well I went, and I must say it was so bad it was bad.

To The Bund Tourist Tunnel
[To The Bund Tourist Tunnel]

The trip lasts about 5 minutes and costs 40 RMB (about $5.80 US). A return ticket will cost you 50 RMB, but I somehow knew I wouldn’t be returning via the same way. The metro ride from one side of the river to the other costs 3 RMB

Bund Tourist Tunnel Lights
[Bund Tourist Tunnel Lights]

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