What stands out and comes first on your list, while you’re reading up on places to visit is The Bund. Bund arising from our very own Indian dialect, meaning embankment. It is where the ships would come in and was once a bustling area with the most important buildings, like their original stock exchange, and other vital buildings, placed exactly opposite the bund since time immemorial.Bund is the perfect example of the two worlds, the two lives and the two identities of China, standing diametrically opposite each other, both giving pretty views from either sides, with their reflections merging into each other and the gentle waters flowing between them- just like the Shanghainese residing there.If you visit this city for the first time and happen to be at Bund during the night, you will find yourself struggling from not being enamored, belittled and awed all at the same time, by glistening buildings on the Pudong side merging into the vastness of the space. You may find this little spark of ambition igniting within you to have your office placed in of those glitzy buildings that promise a good life.Whereas, if you visit the bund from the Pudong side i.e. the East side and witness the view of the city from the plethora of high-rises stuffed next to each other, you will be enthralled for a while by the vigor of the city contouring from one street to another.With the Pearl Tower being one of the earlier high-rises of this vicinity and having a distinct shape, the building saw a lot of attraction, with tourists as well as the locals wanting to view the city from their viewing deck, perched high-up in the clouds. The price for this experience is about 120 Yuan (Rs. 1200/-) and if you have not done your Burjs, Petronas and the Eiffels, this will be a new good/rich experience for you.But since competition is another thing that forms the Chinese DNA apart from buying-selling, several other viewing decks have popped up around the Pearl Tower within no time. Now the Shanghai Tower promises a view from a height of 587.4, being the highest and tallest around, taking the image of Shanghai high-up in notches. The Shanghai Tower is slightly more priced than your Pearl Tower and there are other competitors around namely Shanghai World Financial Centre and Jin Mao Tower– all of them being located in the area called Lujiazui.If you choose to view the city from the Puxi side of the Bund, you will come back with a bunch of postcards in your head as the view from the Puxi side is absolutely out of the world and you will find yourself torn between experiencing the sight and capturing it for another nostalgic night. This is one place where you really can’t say the grass is always greener on the other side. As on both the sides the grass is extremely beautiful and distinct.However, Bund can be an extremely crowded area if you go on a holiday as the Chinese work all days (even Sundays) and they come out in large numbers on their holidays. So avoid, avoid, avoid stepping our on their holidays, unless getting down at Dadar station at 7pm gives you an adrenaline rush.After you enjoy the view up and close from the either side of Bund, I suggest you ascend on one of those rooftop restaurants like Shook or M on the Bund on the Zhonghshan Street, for one of the most romantic drinks overlooking the colorful view of Pudong. Have the wind playing in your air as you feel all ‘fancy vibes’ and sit back after clicking the mandatory pictures to soak into the moment that makes you feel you’re in Shanghai. Then of course, you can follow the music and show up at a club opposite the Bund and have the upmarket crowd groove you through the party scenes of Shanghai.Party Tip – visit small pubs/bars etc like Perry’s where there are promoters who are always looking for foreigners to visit the clubs and since you’re an exotic species there, follow the promoter who will take you to one of the coolest clubs and offer you free drinks. Do this freebie shit in groups for safer side.
After the temple I took a walk on most famous shopping street in Shanghai of Nanjing where you can find zillions of shoppers combating to snatch the best deals. With presence of most of familiar worldly consumer brands I was teleported to Oxoford Street of London. The global mega brands can give you uncanny sense of acquaintance in even the most outlandish location on the earth. Walking along busyness of Nanjing Street I reached “The Bund”. The Bund showcases recently restored historical buildings with variety of architectural styles from renaissance, gothic to art deco stretched in a mile-long street along Huangpu river. Just across the street you are welcomed by that iconic skyline of Shanghai. A young Chinese lad carrying bunch of papers with his friends came to me while I was taking a leisurely stroll on a boulevard overlooking magnificent skyline. He requested me to hold a paper in my hands on which it was written “I Love You” in Chinese. Very passionately he explained that he was creating collage of photos with people from world over holding the signage to propose to love of his life. I wondered around the area till all the buildings were illumined in their full glory in the darkness of night. I took a ferry to cross the Huangpu river to get to Pudong area where my next destination was waiting tall for me. It was time to be on cloud nine. With fast pacing heartbeat and swiftly moving elevator I was taken to 87th floor of Jin Mao Tower, the home to Cloud 9 run by Shanghai Grand Hyatt. It’s the lounge to visit in a city crowded with skyscrapers with breathtaking views of glitzy surroundings. The jazz, the long island tea and Montecristo was the Shanghai luxurious experience at highest man-made levels.Day 04: Who Snatched Floor Beneath My Feet?If you wondered how the mega city of Shanghai was built in last two decades you should straight head to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center located close to People’s Square. The exhibition has an urban planning collection on Shanghai right from the historic times to future projects in the forms of models, maps and mini-shows. The most intriguing part of the exhibition is huge scale very detailed model of the city of Shanghai, showing all existing and approved buildings. The model is so minutely designed that each and every building can be lit as it is in real world. Alongside the model is a theater with a 360 view screen that plays a video giving bird’s eye view of most notable places in the city! From the top floor gallery of the exhibition center you get to see a very good view of People’s Square. One of the most thrilling experiences of the China trip was to walk on “The Sightseeing Floor” with glass bottom at The Oriental Pearl Tower. The elevator running at speed of seven meters per second takes you to height of 263 meters to breathtaking views of the Shanghai skyline. Just step down a floor to trick your mind standing at heights of 259 meters on a glass floor. It gave shivers through whole body and dizzy head when I took that first step on the glass panels that hold you above the ground at freaking heights!