Last week’s adventure took us on a historical stroll through Shanghai’s old International Settlement, now a famous tourist destination called the Bund. This week we’re going across the Huangpu River to the Pudong district, also known as “New Shanghai.”
A quick ride through the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel for 70 CNY ( round-trip ticket, approx. $13 CAD) will shoot you under the the Huangpu River on the west, and land you in Pudong on the east, right next to the Oriental Pearl Tower. A word to the wise though, it’s not a sightseeing tunnel ride in the sense that you get to look out into the river like an underwater wonderland. It’s a darkened cement tunnel, illuminated with a series of images and lights flashing on the walls as you pass through as seen below. Still cool, but not “sightseeing” as most people know the term.
Once on the east side in New Shanghai, you’re a stone’s throw from the beautiful Pearl Tower, seen below. The ride up was almost $30 CAD and the line up was long so we passed, but it was still amazing to see the tower from the ground. The tower is 468 meters high and is a beacon for many on both sides of the river (in comparison, Toronto’s CN Tower stands a little shorter at 453 meters). The design features fifteen spheres of different sizes placed at different levels within the tower’s structure. The concept was to symbolize pearls dropping onto a jade plate, perhaps a metaphor for Shanghai’s lavish past and flourishing present.
Moving along, we were wandering the Pudong district in awe of the modern architecture and majestic presence of the downtown core. The two photos below show a circular walkway built above the traffic with several exit and entry points jutting off the footpath. Most exits lead you to a huge shopping mall with 9 floors of designer shops, restaurants and movie theatres. With the Shanghai heat and humidity, it’s not surprising that many tourists and locals choose to spend their days inside these gigantic malls.
Below is a shot of Shanghai’s World Financial Center.
While inside one of those monster malls, we stopped into a restaurant for some authentic Chinese lunch and we were not disappointed. Here is the view of the Huangpu River from our seats at the restaurant. You can see the old relics of the Bund looming on the west side of the river bank.
What was for lunch, you ask? I’ll show you! It may look simple to the naked eye, but I assure you Dear Reader, it was delicious.
Whatever magical herb they used to infuse that oil in my bok choy had me sold on the first bite. It had a smoked taste with a hint of sesame seed oil and mixed with the hot chilies, I was in heaven. While cruising through the mall we came across a candy shop where they make their own candy in the store! It was pretty cool to watch.
Once it got dark we ventured back towards the west end of the river and back to our hotel. Below is a view of Pudong from the Bund at night.
This concludes our stroll through modern day Shanghai. We would’ve walked farther into the downtown area to check out more buildings, but the sun was relentless and I was weak against its ultraviolet rays of doom. Stay tuned next week for some more adventures!