Here's How to Stay There on a Budget.
The Shanghai Bund was once the financial hub for all of East Asia. That all changed after the Communist Party won the Chinese civil war.
Most of the banks, hotels and clubs that once lined the banks of the Huangpu river, were closed or converted into other government uses.
But there are alot of cool buildings to see, shopping to do along Nanjing Road and not to mention the walkway that follows the riverbank and allows great views of some of the most famous Shanghai landmarks.
The Shanghai Bund meets the Huangpu River at Yan'an Road and continues North for nearly a mile, following Zhongshan Road to the Waibaidu Bridge.
Zhongshan Road is dotted with some 52 buildings of various Western, classical and modern architectural styles.
I took only 1 book with me when I visited the Bund. I only grabbed it because of the great maps and reputation that the Odyssey Guides have. This one was called The Bund Shanghai: China Faces West.
I suppose you might find this book at a bargain price on Ebay as well.
The information is solid and will help you get to some of the best spots around the Shanghai Bund. The maps are clear and easy to negotiate, making it much easier to find your way around and make your life a heck of a lot easier.
My wife and I lived in the Shanghai Bund area for nearly 8 months. One of the things we loved the most was our nightly strolls along the banks of the Huangpu River with the Shanghai TV tower in the background.
Sometimes we would walk up Nanjing road to the 'People's Square' and back, stopping in the fruit markets along the way.
It's just a great area and a pretty safe part of the city. It made our nightly walks possible, peaceful and relaxing. However, when the sun goes down so do the inhibitions of the 'Junk Vendors'. They are always there, waiting for you with their wares but after dark they are relentless.
They'll thrust their wares into your face until you either buy what they're selling or ignore them like all the Chinese do.
Despite the small drawbacks, the Shanghai Bund was such a nice area that we decided to stay.
We had originally planned to get a cheaper apartment in the Pudong district, which is much further from the city, back towards the airport.
It's just the best area to stay in Shanghai but....It is also the most expensive. There are about 6 or seven budget options for accommodation from Dorm rooms for $5USD a night up to about $17USD a night (at the lowest!) for a room of your own.
That doesn't mean it will ahve a toilet. Most of the budget options used shared facilities but some are very good.
After a few weeks living in a private room in the Mingtown Hiker Youth Hostel, we decided to remain in the Bund Area for the duration of our stay in Shanghai.
How To Get There?
Line 2 on the Shanghai Metro crosses the Bund but there are no plans to build a station on the Bund. The closest station is East Nanjing Road, about a five minute walk up Nanjing Road.
The East-1 Zhongshan Road Bus is a major bus route that heads through the Shanghai Bund.
More on an airport arrival in Shanghai and subsequent trip to the bund via the Maglev and Subway on our Shanghai Travel page.
Make Sure To Check Out The Light Effects In The Pedestrian Transit Tunnel. The tunnel gets you to the other side of the Huangpu River from the Bund.
You can get on a slow-moving powered vehicle which travels along the tunnel. Light effects are projected onto the walls of the tunnel as you pass through.
It was a different way to get across the other side of the river but I wouldn't do it more than once.
The Best Way to See Shanghai including the Bund
Whether you are staying in Shanghai for a long time or just spending a few days, you can't miss seeing the Huangpu river at night. It is a special sight and there's no better way to see it than by boat.
But the boat is expensive. Some trips are a lot more than others. The one we decided on was a full tour of the whole city. It included the boat ride at night, which sold us.
But there are shorter 'pressed for time' tours as well.
The trip we went on took us to the top of the Oriental TV Tower for an incredible view of the entire city. Then it was on to Pudong Park and then to Nanjing Road before we hit the cruise along the Huangpu River to view the old and new Shanghai buildings.
It's an amazing cruise that takes you through the heart of Shanghai via the Huangpu river. It was a bit chilly at night but you can also sit comfortably inside the boat and still be in awe of the view through the huge windows.
As long as they provide the transportation and leave me alone, I love an organized expedition.
Learn more about the Huangpu River Cruise here.
Also available from the same tour group (We are happy with them) are a few shorter and cheaper options for seeing the Shanghai Bund on a budget.
We have to tell you about the cheapest tour available. The same company so the service is excellent but you get to see all the major stuff for $39USD.
You'll get a chance to see the Jade Buddha Temple, the Fresh Water Pearl Gallery, the Shanghai Museum, The Shanghai Bund, Yuyuan Gardens, Shanghai Old Street, a silk mill and Shanghai's entertainment district all on one trip.
Sounds rushed but they pick you up at your hotel, get you to every site in an air-conditioned bus (Stress Free) and then return you to your hotel.
Learn more about this Shanghai power excursion here.
One last tour we have to mention includes seeing the world famous Chinese Acrobats.
This evening tour of Shanghai begins with you attending an astounding performance by the Shanghai Acrobatics School & Troupe. They have won hundreds of gold medals in different international acrobatics competitions, displaying incredible feats of skill and grace.
After that you'll tour Shanghai at night abourd a luxury coach. You'll visit People's Square, city lights along the Bund, the French Concession District and Xin Tian Di, - a chic restaurant, pub and boutique area.
Learn more about the Chinese Acrobats and Shanghai Evening Tour here.
Below is a video of the both sides of Shanghai, including the Shanghai Bund from a river cruise along the Hangpu River.
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