Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Walk on the Bund

The area of Shanghai that sits right along the river is simply called the Bund and contains a very cool collection of old banking houses built in Renaissance, Gothic, Victorian styles. They were built between the years of 1881 - 1942.

I snagged this picture (below) of a large mural in the lobby of the former HSBC building of what it looked like in its heyday. Pretty cool.

Today, the buildings are still there, but there is a ton more traffic and far fewer boats ... plus in preparation for the Expo which will be here in May, the entire region is under construction/renovation.

With the help of our (embarassing) guide book, we found an awesome cafe located in one of the buildings and had a quick bite to eat. The views from the cafe were great!

Outside some Chinese tourists had us take their picture, then insisted on returning the favor while they rattled off every song lyric and city they new that had anything to do with California (they'd asked where we were from). It was pretty cute. These lions are very old and somewhat famous. We aren't 100% sure why except for one story we heard that they were stolen by the Japanese at one point, then recovered by the US during WWII and returned to China.

And ... the official "bird" of Shanghai - the crane! These are everywhere!

Signs of reconstruction for the Expo.

And right around the corner, housing that appears to be in the process of being torn down to make room for all the new construction. I was appalled to see laundry hanging from the lower region, knowing its a sign that this building is still a home to somebody, and from the looks of the clothing, at least one child.

In yet another contrast, right around another corner was this lovely park.

Some fishmen in training! (Yes! They are fishing for goldfish!) And a young man with quite the tail of hair already started!

One final treat for the day was stumbling upon this beautiful church


Will said...

Wow Shanghai has changed so much since the last time I visited. You guys are awesome at getting great pictures!! <3 the 'crane' note =)

Molly W. said...

I love that they took your pic too. :) It is so sad to see those buildings and know that someone calls it home. sigh.