riding the human tide along the bund to cloud 9 & pudong

Friday, May 1: After disembarking from the Huangpu River tour, I am now in search of food and rest before I fight the crowds back to the metro.  It’s now about 3:00, and as I walk the long trek back to Nanjing Dong Lu, I see that Pudong is now glowing in the afternoon sunlight. The sky is blue and clear and the buildings are stunning against that blue backdrop.

More views of Pudong as I walk back up the Bund

More views of Pudong as I walk back up the Bund

Funky boat

Funky boat

Since I entered the waiting area for the boat launch slightly after 1:00, the crowds on the Bund have swelled.  I thought it was packed before, but that was nothing compared to what it is now.

Pudong and boats

Pudong and boats

the busy Huangpu River

the busy Huangpu River

looking north down the Huangpu River

looking north down the Huangpu River

I have quite a long walk back, so I make a number of stops along the way to capture the skyline in the waning light.  I haven’t eaten all day, since the breakfast buffet at the hotel, and my plan is to take the metro to Pudong to go to Cloud 9, a bar on the 87th floor of Jinmao Tower.  However, I realize that will take a long time and I don’t know if I can wait that long to rest and eat.  Besides I want to be there at sunset, and that’s still quite a long time from now.

I haven’t been able to take many pictures of the actual Bund, as the sun is to the west and the photos are not good in that direction.  I determine that I will need to come back one of the next two mornings at an earlier hour so I can catch the Bund from the Pudong side with the sun in the east.

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

I come across a bride and groom posing for wedding photos.  Every time I’m about to capture the bride and groom alone, someone else from the wedding party walks across my photo!  I kind of like these non-staged photos.

Bride & groom photo session in progress

Bride & groom photo session in progress

Bride, groom and groomsman

Bride, groom and groomsman

I sure wish I were cruising down the river on a sailboat.  I’ve always been a water person, and I especially love being on a sailboat, despite the fact that I know nothing about how to actually sail.  I’d need a good captain aboard.

sailboat heaven

sailboat heaven

sailing away

sailing away

IMG_5948

Another boat plies the river

I finally decide to turn inland from the Bund back to Nanjing Dong Lu. However, there are policemen, and possibly the National Guard, in force, trying hard to contain the crowds.  They are doing their best to keep people going in one direction on one side of the walkways, and those going in the other direction on the other side.  The police are redirecting those of us coming off of the Bund further south and aren’t allowing us onto Nanjing Dong Lu because there are so many people.  Most of the crowds seem to be going toward the Bund.  Those of coming from the Bund have to walk down a street south of that busy street.  I need to make my way back to Nanjing Dong Lu in order to catch the metro.

When I finally get to Nanjing Dong Lu, I see a two-story high Starbucks and decide I’ll stop there to sit for a while to have a drink. I stand in a long line and order a Chicken Caesar Wrap and a berry yogurt drink and take a seat on the second floor overlooking Nanjing Dong Lu.  Looking down on the street, I see the police force or National Guard (I’m not sure of their official capacity), standing at intervals along the sidewalks, making sure that people stay out of the street.  They’re facing the crowds and looking very stoic and official.  Chinese people are taking pictures of the guards like crazy, but I don’t dare, in case, as a foreigner, I might get my camera confiscated.  I don’t know if that would happen, but I would imagine I’m not supposed to take pictures of official-looking places or people.

Busy Nanjing Dong Lu

Busy Nanjing Dong Lu

I can’t help but be a little mesmerized by the tall video screen on the high-end shopping mall across the street, with its models sashaying rhythmically down a runway.

Nanjing Dong Lu and fashionistas

Nanjing Dong Lu and fashionistas

After I finish eating and drinking, I look for a restroom in Starbucks, and I’m surprised to find they don’t have one!  I’ve never encountered a Starbucks without a bathroom before.  They direct me across the street to a shopping mall.  The mall is quite extravagant.

shopping mall on Nanjing Dong Lu

shopping mall on Nanjing Dong Lu

Finally, I make my way down the street to the metro.  However, as I get closer, the crowds are so thick we can’t even move.  The guards are making sure people stay on the sidewalk and we are packed in tightly, unable to move at all.  I start to feel very claustrophobic and I think, oh my gosh, these are the conditions that can result in stampedes.  As I go into the metro, it’s even worse, as people are packed in and surrounded by walls and gates and there really is nowhere to go.  All we need is a loud noise and there could be mass panic.  During this time, I feel horribly trapped myself and cannot wait to be released from this crowd.

(I find out from my colleagues after I return home from Shanghai that there was a “Bund Stampede on New Year’s Eve which left 36 people dead and 49 others injured,” according to China.org.cn: Shanghai’s cancellations of events raise controversy.  Thank goodness I didn’t know about this when I was stuck in these crowds; if so, I would have been in more of a panic than I already was).

packing into the metro

packing into the metro

Finally, we make it through the gates and I get on the metro to go one stop across the river to the Lujiazui stop in Pudong.  The metro is packed as well, but at least the crowds are limited in each metro car.  Finally, I am released into the sunshine in Pudong.  Before me I can see Jinmao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center soaring above me.

on the Pudong side of the Huangpu River

on the Pudong side of the Huangpu River

looking up in Pudong

looking up in Pudong

up, up and away

up, up and away at Jinmao Tower

Lonely Planet China advises that people should enter through the front door in the east to get to the Hyatt hotel lobby on the 54th floor.  I find there that no drinks are served, and I want a glass of wine for my viewing pleasure.  I head up another set of elevators to the hotel bar, Cloud 9, on the 87th floor.

Entering Jinmao Tower to head to the Hyatt's 54th floor

Entering Jinmao Tower to head to the Hyatt’s 54th floor

Jinmao Tower

Jinmao Tower

To get into Cloud 9, I have to pay 100 yuan (about $16), which gives me the pleasure of sitting in the bar with one glass of wine. Sadly, all the window seats are taken, so I’m on a platform overlooking those lucky people with window seats.

Cloud 9 on the 87th floor of Jinmao Tower

Cloud 9 on the 87th floor of Jinmao Tower

I order an appetizer of vegetable fried spring rolls with sweet sauce for 69 yuan ($11) and I try to enjoy my views from afar.  It’s pretty hazy now as the sun sets, so my views are a little disappointing.

hazy views from Cloud 9

hazy views from Cloud 9

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower from Cloud 9

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower from Cloud 9

view of Pudong, the Huangpu River and the Bund from Cloud 9

view of Pudong, the Huangpu River and the Bund from Cloud 9

Cloud 9 views

Cloud 9 views

I leave and pass through another bar that’s pretty deserted on the same floor as Cloud 9.

Another bar at the Hyatt

Another bar at the Hyatt

Heineken

Heineken

Then I head back down to the 54th floor to check out the free views from the Hyatt lobby.

Views of Pudong from the 54th floor

Views of Pudong from the 54th floor

the 54th floor lobby of the Hyatt

the 54th floor lobby of the Hyatt

Finally, I’m back on the streets of Pudong and, though I’d like to walk around a while, I’m too exhausted and my stomach is still cramped, as it has been all day.  I do get a few night shots on my way to the metro.

at ground level in Pudong

at ground level in Pudong

Night time in Pudong

Night time in Pudong

Oriental Pearl TV Tower at night

Oriental Pearl TV Tower at night

Oriental Pearl TV Tower at night

Oriental Pearl TV Tower at night

Oriental Pearl TV Tower at night

Oriental Pearl TV Tower at night

Oriental Pearl TV Tower at night

Oriental Pearl TV Tower at night

Walking back to the Lujiiazui metro station

Walking back to the Lujiiazui metro station

last views of Pudong at night

last views of Pudong at night

the colorful Oriental Pearl TV Tower

the colorful Oriental Pearl TV Tower

I finally get on metro and take the #2 line all the way back to Zhongshan Park.  Outside the station, I walk up and down the street near my hotel trying to find a market that sells bottled drinks; I find a Family Mart tucked into a little alley and buy some orange juice and water.

Finally, I collapse in my hotel room after a very long day!  I’ve seen the forecast for tomorrow is rain all day, so at least I feel good that I saw most of the views I wanted to see today.

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Categories: Asia, China, Cloud 9, Huangpu River, Hyatt, Jinmao Tower, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Pudong, Shanghai, Shanghai World Financial Center, The Bund, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 25 Comments

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25 thoughts on “riding the human tide along the bund to cloud 9 & pudong

  1. Good golly Ms. Molly! Those crowds are insane! It was not nearly as crowded when I was there in March-April, eventhough it seemed crowded to me. After seeing your photos, what I witnessed was nothing in comparison. Glad you were able to do the boat cruise, too. I missed the 2 story Starbucks, eventhough I try to find Costa’s instead of Starbucks. But, I was desperate a couple of times to just rest and have a coffee. I can relate to your situation of being exhausted and needing a break. I can’t believe I missed seeing Pudong at night. I was too tired to venture out of my hotel room at night after full days of walking! Now I could kick myself for not taking a taxi and “just doing it.” It’s an interesting place, nevertheless….

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    • Hi Vivian, those crowds were definitely insane!! I’m sure it wasn’t nearly so crowded when you were there, especially if you weren’t there on a national holiday. I loved that boat cruise, but then I’m always happy to be on a boat. I often miss cities at night for the same reason you did. I’m often too exhausted after a day of walking everywhere and I just want to stay in my room and relax. Luckily, I stuck with it and didn’t succumb to the urge to return early to my hotel. If I had returned, I’m certain I would have never gone back out again. You know, I missed Hong Kong’s nighttime skyline for exactly that reason. I’m glad I at least got to see Pudong at night!

      Like

  2. That skyline doesn’t disappoint, does it? You took some great shots, Cathy, but I think you’re right- sailing would be the way to go 🙂 (but then you’d have bobbing up and down shots 🙂 ) Yes, I seem to remember reading about that stampede. It doesn’t bear thinking about!
    Soon be home safe! What a wonderful thought 🙂 🙂 Happy packing!

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    • Thanks, Jo! I would have loved to have gone sailing on the Huangpu River to enjoy Shanghai away from the crowds.

      Packing is almost done. Now I’m just waiting for the time to pass. A nap sounds awfully inviting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My goodness, that is one enormous shopping centre! I remember hearing about the stampede on the news. Lucky you weren’t there then.

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    • That was an enormous shopping center, Carol! And thank goodness I wasn’t there at the New Year. It must have been horrible for those who were there. 🙂

      Like

  4. Fabulous night shots Cathy, and I’d never manage to take them because there’s no way I’d hack those crowds so I thank you for sharing them!

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  5. I could feel your pain in those crowds – talk about claustrophobic! High above the streets was a good place to be, I think, and I love your photos. I took some photos of the uniformed men I assumed were police in Beijing without even thinking about potential ramifications. I didn’t get in trouble, so I guess it was okay.

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    • Thanks, I’m glad you like the photos, Carol. The crowds were really claustrophobic and I felt such relief to escape them.

      Maybe I was just too paranoid about taking the pics of police. I know a lot of countries are prickly about that kind of thing. 🙂

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  6. I love that ‘twisted’ tall building in Pudong and the TV tower at night all lit up. You have definitely seen a lot Cathy. These memories and photos should last you a lifetime!

    Like

    • I love that twisted tall building and the Oriental Pearl tower all lit up at night, too, Jude. They’re very colorful, aren’t they? I think I’ve seen more of China than many Chinese have seen, and even more than most of my colleagues who have been here for years. I did my best, and now I’m ready to go, never to return. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well it has been nice, if not a little exhausting, seeing it though your lens and words as it is not a country I have any intention of visiting. I can’t say I’ll miss the food! Best bit for me probably has to be those rice terraces. ‘See’ you back in the USA shortly I hope 🙂

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      • Yep, I should be back in the USA by Wednesday at 4:00, assuming all my connections go as planned.

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      • Safe journey! I hate long haul travel, cramped into a tiny space for hours on end with rubbish food and stale air. But maybe you are different!

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  7. Oh my, those crowds I would be wanting out, it would be very scary having no control and having to just be pushed along. But you did get some amazing photos Cathy.

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  8. The skyline photos are great – what an amazing group of buildings. I think I’d have found crowds of that magnitude very concerning too, and wouldn’t fancy having to use the metro. We think London is busy, but it’s nothing compared to the crowds you experienced.

    Like

  9. Heather's Arrow

    You have given me some great pointers for my trip in August – Thanks! Those crowds sound full on, stuff like that doesn’t usually bother me but my frantic mother in law is coming with us which is going to be a nightmare! Do the crowds happen all the time do you know?

    Like

    • You’re welcome, Heather. I’m glad to give you some good pointers. I believe Shanghai is always crowded, but I think it was unusually crowded because of the national holiday, as May 1 was Labour Day. Everyone moves in China during a holiday, so it’s not a good time to travel. I think you’ll be okay if you’re there at a time that’s not a holiday. Have fun, and I hope your mother-in-law does too! 🙂

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      • Heather's Arrow

        Ah thats good to know! Haha thank you, she has never left Europe and stresses there so not sure what is going to happen in China! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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