Nothing represents Shanghai like the iconic architecture of The Bund.
Built in the late 1800’s, the buildings are the oldest witnesses to the changing history of China. Each building that lines along Zhongshan East Road tells a unique story. With so many Chinese cities occupied by flocks of tourists in the summer months, staying home-bound to discover the city’s hidden gems seems to be the best summer excursion. The Bund is beyond a tourist icon. Each building represents a slice of Shanghai’s past and each brick builds the foundation of Shanghai’s blossoming future.
Waldorf Astoria: Formerly “The Shanghai Club”, it is the most exclusive gentlemen’s club in Shanghai during the 1930’s . It is well known then as it is now for its Long Bar. Made from unfinished Mahogany wood and lying 7 meters long, it was once the gathering place for Shanghai’s “Who’s Who”. In the 1990’s, the Long Bar was transformed into the city’s first KFC. From 2011 onwards, the Hilton Group took this building over and turned it into Waldorf Astoria.
ICBC building: In the 1920’s, this building was the HSBC building. Frescos are left untouched and in original condition on the ceiling, which illustrates the mercantile business of the day, including key trading posts. Aside from the fresco, the building has a rare Roman pillar which is built and installed using one whole piece of marble (normally the pillar is constructed by conjoining two to three pieces of marble).
Cathay Peace Hotel: Built by Sir Victor Sassoon in 1929, it is one of the earliest prestigious hotels famous for hosting foreign envoys and socialite events in Shanghai.
Wai Bai Du Qiao (or Garden Bridge): This is Shanghai’s first full steel bridge, opened to the public in 1908 that lies over Suzhou Creek. It is the only example of a camelback truss bridge in China. Back in the glory days, it is used to connect foreigners who live on the other side of Suzhou creek (Hongkou District) to The Bund (Huangpu District). During those days, a lot of Americans dock and live in the area north of The bund. Aside from Americans, Hongkou district was also popular among the jewish population, who had their own history in Shanghai (alongside Sir Victor Sassoon) and, the Japanese. Also located in Hong Kou district is Astor Hotel.
Astor Hotel: Built around the time of the Peace Hotel, it is also one of the deluxe hotels of Shanghai famous for its international guests.
Post Office: After crossing the Wai Bai Du Qiao, along the shores of Suzhou creek stands the old Post Office, which today still remains a post office. Old counters and architectural elements from the 20’s art deco are still present. Within the post office lies a renovated train station, where old parcels used to be loaded and unloaded.