Shanghai’s most iconic and visited tourist location was named by Victor Sassoon, a Baghdadi-Nepali Jew. The word Bund comes from the Urdu meaning embankment or dam, and although there are many ‘Bunds’ around the world it is largely understood that The Bund refers to the boardwalk embankment in Shanghai.
The area of the Huangpu River where the majority of the Bund now lies was once part of the British and American settlement during the concessions period of Shanghai’s history. These two settlements merged into the International Settlement, and the Bund was built up as the settlement’s primary means of accepting supplies and communication from the outside world.
Some of Shanghai’s most important buildings stretch behind the Bund’s mile long boardwalk. These were once the city’s most important banks, consulates and government structures. Today some of them hold brand-name shops like Armani, and some of the city’s hottest restaurants and bars are on the top floors of these beautiful Western-style structures. For example, Laris, M on the Bund, Glamor Bar and many more spectacular eateries and watering holes have astonishing views of the Huangpu River and Pudong skyline at night.
To really enjoy The Bund, you need to stroll along the boardwalk from south to north during the day, and vise versa at night so you can soak in the astonishing light shows that go from dusk until 10-11pm nightly in Pudong. With one of the most famous city-scapes on the planet, you’d be a fool not to try to soak it in as many times as possible each trip to Shanghai.