The Bund is a mile long section of waterfront on the Huangpu river in Shanghai. Yesterday I mentioned the Nanjing Treaty that was signed at the end of The Opium Wars. The Bund was the International settlement area that was established for foreign powers to conduct business, banking, and trade. The original buildings have been preserved and are a protected historical area in Shanghai.
Today? The Bund is all banks all the time. Seriously. Look at this picture of high rises. All banks. And it goes on in both directions. Think Wall Street. They're all banks or investment buildings.
Heard of HSBC? Its the giant international bank that was established in China to handle the gobbs of money flowing through Shanghai. I've heard of HSBC, but just learned that it means Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation. Hong Kong became a British territory at the same time as the creation of the Bund. The film Empire of the Sun with a young Christian Bale highlights this area in 1940 just as Japan invades Shanghai.
Our plan was to hit a bookstore in The Shanghai Tower. It's on the 52nd floor. That seems high, no? Yeah. Shanghai Tower is the second tallest building in the world. I didn't know it was that crazy tall looking at it from our hotel. When we arrived it made sense that it's a busy site to see, so you have to make a reservation to go up, even to the book store. Next time we'll know better. I guess that's a negative side of just winging it. That said, we had fun on the day overall and got some nice pictures from the ground. Over 2000 feet up. Damnnnnnn. And the weird curve you're seeing in this picture? The building actually has a weird curvature built into it. It's all twisty.
After NOT getting high (up in the air) we found a restaurant to have some dinner. Ivy has been great to travel and eat with as she's always open to giving me an education on more traditional Chinese meals. We had chicken, rice, and Shanghai pork. Way better than the traditional Hangzhou pork. Hangzhou pork has a thick layer of fat on it. I couldn't decide if I liked the chicken or pork better last night The pork had a sticky sweet sauce that's akin to what we would called sweet and sour pork in the states, but the small bones were annoying. The chicken was mega-moist (ugh. did I just say moist?) and soaked in chicken broth. The tiny little bones in your food is a Chinese thing. Be warned, if you eat meat here don't be shocked when you find bones in it. Fish, pork, chicken, all of it. It feels like a lawsuit waiting to happen in the states, but it's the norm here.
Speaking of lawsuits, good luck suing a company here. If you slip and fall on a slippery floor here in a business people will look at you and ask, why weren't you more careful? It's a different mindset.
Getting back to our hotel we had to cross the river. We had some options. We settled on taking a ferry across.
It was a fairly short ride, but fun to quickly hop on a boat with hundreds of other folks. The river was packed with boats moving back and forth. Lots of dinner cruise ships with entertainment.
That purple looking thing ahead in this next picture was one of them. And lots of people. Like, an ocean of people. This mad mass of people went on for at least a mile along beside the river. It's because it's a holiday weekend here. Added note, every Asian city I've seen is lit up like a Christmas tree, but it's more than just lights. It's a light show that pulsates and moves. I regret not grabbing a short video so you could see what I'm referring to.
After looking at register of expenses in my phone this morning as I was trying to figure out where I spent 2 RMB. Ivy told me it was the ferry. That's about 32 cents USD. That was the cost to take the boat across the river. Really? Wow.
We opted to walk back to the hotel after getting off the ferry. Two miles. I had no idea two miles would feel like that. I'm getting old fast. What's walking 18 holes going to feel like when I get home this summer? Ugh. I'm sure it will be great to get some regular excercise while I'm home.