Friday, June 11, 2010

Shanghai, part 3: Sore Feet

The Bund is the old financial center of Shanghai, from the foreign concession era in the early 1900s. The buildings used to be just a few feet from the Huangpu River, but now a wide avenue and a pedestrian-boulevard dike separate them. Much like New Orleans on the other side of the world, old Shanghai has sunk a bit and is now below river level.

i41 - Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank on the Bund
My grandmother was born in Shanghai back then. Did she see the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank soon after it was built? It's still standing and looking good. The clock on the Customs House next door is still telling the correct time. Not much remaining from those days, but the line of buildings along the Bund would look familiar, I'm sure.

i39 - Bund Center from the Bund

i42 - Up the Huangpu

i48 - Chunlin and Mark on the Bund

In a juxtaposition credited to central planning, across the river is the new financial heart of Shanghai: Pudong (meaning "east of the Pu river"). The towers rank among the tallest in the world.

i46 - Working the River

We headed under the river to Pudong for a closer look, me being an architect and all.

i53 - Oriental Pearl TV Tower Trees

i57 - Pudong Skyscrapers

Unfortunately, the low clouds precluded us from seeing their full world-class heights.

i61 - Jīnmào Tower & Shanghai World Financial Centre

Pudong has been derided as being soulless and such, but at least it had a big mall to explore... We had sticker shock at the Starbucks, thanks to the currency conversion factor, but then did the calculations and realized -- wait a minute, it's still more expensive than Seattle!

Back on the subway, back to our hotel. This city just keeps going forever. Our first day of vacation ended and we already had four sore feet and a couple blisters.

So, in summary: Shanghai is just like New York City, but bigger. I feel like a giant sometimes, though.
i62 - Mark's Feet, Standard Slippers

More photos on flickr.

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