In sharp contrast to the gardens, ancient Chinese buildings, and tranquil ponds we explored during the first part of our day in Shanghai, the remainder was filled with historical (and mostly Western-style) buildings and a dramatic backdrop of skyscrapers. We even visited the top of one of them.
This area in Shanghai is called The Bund. It's a popular tourist attraction for good reason, and houses buildings that were once banks and trading centers for countries all over the world. Situated against the Huangpu River, The Bund used to be a British settlement. These days the buildings aren't used for much, mainly just a destination to be visited in Shanghai. The Chinese flag adorns the top of all the buildings, a meeting of east and west.
The skyline across the river in Pudong, Shanghai is also striking, for different reasons. The Oriental Pearl Tower caught my eye as soon as the skyline was in view, it looked like some sort of spaceship to me. The banking and financial centers are striking, glittery and so tall. The craziest part? This skyline didn't exist 20 years ago. Here's a side-by-side view. I had no idea until our tour guide mentioned it!
Later in the evening we rode the elevator of the Shanghai World Financial Center to the 100th floor and took it all in from up high. The city lights were so beautiful, and we felt like we were on top of the world.
The rest of our visit included an unplanned dinner at a German beer hall (so not Chinese, but very fun), and lunch with my dad's good friend (and Shanghai native) and his family. A short but filled-to-the-brim couple of days in Shanghai behind us, we were ready to take on the next city.
I'll be back with more soon, thanks for reading!