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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shanghai: The Bund & Urban Planning Exhibition Hall - 4.14.11

  • The Bund (外灘)
  • Urbain Planning Exhibition Hall (上海城市規劃展覽館)

It was down to our last few hours in Shanghai today.  And there was only one place to go, probably the most important destination in Shanghai, the Bund.

We began our walk from south to north, and tried to step inside the buildings whenever possible.  Unfortunately most of the buildings did not allow pictures taken inside some glamorous lobbies.

Growing up reading Eileen Cheng's haunting Shanghai stories, as much as the Bund represented a turbulent time in China's history, I couldn't help but feel a romanticized nostalgia.  Images of the old Shanghai kept popping up in my head.

We lingered around for quite a while at the former Shanghai Club, the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai.  It is now called the "Waldorf Astoria Club". It was timeless, classic, and elegant.

After the walk, we had lunch at a cafe inside the Peace Hotel.  There were still some time left before leaving to the airport.   We hailed a taxi and headed to the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall.  I read many great reviews about this museum but I did not find it living up to the hype.

Looking at the ambitious vision of Shanghai's future urban development in the museum, I imagined myself ever to return to Shanghai in a distant future.  The world would look very differently and the city of Shanghai would probably be beyond recognition.  The future would be full of excitement and possibilities for younger generations.

I had a fleeting thought of my own mortality. 

But there was no time for such sentiment.  We had to be ready to leave in an hour to rejoin the rest of the world where future seem far more distanced than it was in Shanghai.....


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