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The Bund - Shanghai's Signature Strip Of Historic Riverfront Architecture
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© Christine Till - CT-Graphics
The physical impact of the Bund – taken from a Hindi word meaning 'embankment', though officially called Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, and colloquially branded 'Waitan' (meaning 'outer beach') – is multi-faceted.
For tourists arriving on cruise liners, today as of yesteryear, it represents their first taste of China, where modern skyscraper Shanghai is cast in the background; for the masses, it's the place to promenade and for the élite the place to indulge in life's finer pleasures in a city besotted by glitz and glamour.
Historically, the Bund marks the spot where Shanghai (which translates as 'above the sea') grew from a small settlement in the early 19th century into today's globalised mega-city of 20 million people, the place where wooden barges became ocean-going cruise liners, and street-side food carts turned into restaurants by Michelin-starred chefs.
The Bund represented Shanghai's theatre of dreams. It is China's historic cradle of possibilities.
July 22nd, 2011
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