A short, fast-speed train ride away from Nanjing, is the cosmopolitan metropolis, Shanghai. The city is modern, sleek, but also bursts with classical buildings and a multicultural history that peeks from underneath, if you scratch away the facade typically displayed to the world.
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China, a global financial centre and transport hub. At the delta of the Yangtze River, it has always been a busy port since the 19th century and a favoured administrative centre for foreign countries. No where is this more apparent than at the historical Bund area. Sweeping along the waterfront of a bend in the Huangpu River, it is a beautiful promenade of classic European buildings, originally banks, trading houses and consulates of several countries.
In contrast, the towering glass monoliths that line the pedestrian only Nanjing Road Shopping Street remind you that futuristic Shanghai is on full display. Old classic buildings front the mall and serve a photogenic backdrop for the neon lights that dance and flash once night falls.
New Years Eve in Shanghai was a highlight we were looking forward to. The Bund was the epicentre of the internationally renown fireworks and lights display. After a long day of shopping, we reached the Bund around 9pm and were met with epic crowds. We squeezed and shimmied our way through the hordes of locals to the water’s edge on the boardwalk that lines the Huangpu River. Across the wide expanse stood the postcard perfect skyline of the Pudong financial area.
Since we had reached our vantage point and couldn’t move anyway, we stood there for three long hours until midnight. Wished we had brought some snacks and water! After the lightshow that danced across the facade of the Bund’s famous Customs House clock tower, we joined in the ten second countdown with the sea of chanting locals. Albeit, everyone was counting down in Mandarin!
Happy New Year 2014!
Fireworks lit up the sky launched from boats and barges on the river and from building tops on the Pudong side. Although we could see party-going crowds on the other side, we surely had the better view of the fireworks above their heads!
We must say though, as awesome as it was to witness New Years Eve in Shanghai like this, the fireworks were not as grand as we had hoped. Perhaps Chinese New Year is the better time.
We broke in the New Year with a set brunch meal at the famous “M on the Bund” restaurant, overlooking the Bund itself. Run by a fellow Australian, it was nice to have a good traditional Aussie pavlova for dessert! The views from the restaurant balcony are superb!
Visited 30th, 31st December 2013 and 1st January 2014.