Shanghai - Huangpu Cruise and the Bund
Trip Start Mar 13, 2007
92Trip End Aug 10, 2007
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Sprawled for about a mile along the left bank of the Huangpu, The Bund is Shanghai's historical financial center from its first heyday as East Asia's most important commercial city in the decades before WWII. The buildings facing the waterfront and several blocks inland were also the center of European influence in Shanghai during that era, and its hotels, banks, and government buildings are largely in the Art Deco style
The Bund and the nearby shores on both sides of the river are also where plenty of tacky tourist-trap crowd-pleasers are clustered, ranging from the Chinese version of Ripley's Believe It or Not museum to Insect World to the "Bund Tourist Tunnel", the last of which I made the mistake of riding through since it was faster and cooler than waiting for a ferry across the river. I have to admit that my curiosity was piqued, though, by the Museum of Ancient Chinese Sex Culture and Health, and I forked out a few Yuan to check it out.
In my wanderings along the Bund, on Nanjing Road pedestrian shopping street, and in Peoples Park and other destinations frequented by foreigners I was starting to get very wary of friendly people in Shanghai. The only friends I was making were those trying to separate me from some of my money. I think I had been approached 2,318 times and asked, "Meesta, want to buy watch? Rolex - looky, looky
Bangkok is also the last place I ever felt as hot as in Shanghai. Throughout my stay in eastern China, the region was suffering through a heat wave that kept humidity high and temperatures in the upper 90's farenheit and me in a constant sweat-soaked state whenever I was outside. It was so bad I began to wonder if a fungus might start to grow on me the way it does on those tree sloths that live in the rainforest. I experienced much higher temperatures when I was based in Egypt, but the twenty-degree hotter dry Saharan air felt nowhere near as uncomfortable as Shanghai's steamroom like air.