shanghai days: the huangpu river tour

Friday, May 1:  After a long walk along the Bund, I find the ticket office for the Huangpu River tour and buy the ticket (120 yuan for a 50-minute ride).  It’s a long walk, and a little confusing, from the ticket office to building #481, the boarding gate for the tour, but I finally find it.  Since I just missed the 1:00 boat, I have quite a long wait until the next boat leaves at 2:00, but I’m happy to rest my aching feet for a while.  I made the mistake of wearing sandals that I usually think are comfortable, but not for the amount of walking I’m doing today.   Finally we board the boat and push off into the Huangpu River.

Huangpu River Boat

Huangpu River Boat

We see a lot of interesting seafaring vessels both at the dock and in the river.

Another strangely shaped boat

Another strangely shaped boat

The sky is clearing up and we have great views of the Pudong skyscrapers, most notably the spiraling Shanghai World Financial Center.

Pudong as seen from the Huangpu River

Pudong as seen from the Huangpu River

And then there are the bookends of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center in Pudong.

the new Pudong

the new Pudong

It’s always interesting me that on boat rides such as these, the Western tourists climb immediately to the top outdoor deck and stand at the railings for the views, while most of the Chinese people sit at the big banquet tables below deck, where they pull out snacks and drinks.  For them, it’s all about food and socializing.

Meanwhile, on the top deck, I’m surrounded by tourists from all over the world. There are only a few Chinese on the upper deck, including a Chinese couple and their son, who I later come to know as Hubert, a very outgoing and talkative 12-year-old Chinese boy who speaks impeccable English.  He pushes his way to the railing between me and a couple from Atlanta, and he talks away about the heights of all the famous skyscrapers and the length of the Huangpu River compared to the Mississippi River, and all other kinds of factual knowledge that I’m not prone to store in my head.  He’s a non-stop talker, and it’s obvious the Atlanta couple is quite annoyed by him, but I’m impressed not only by his English-speaking ability but also by his confidence, spunk and all the knowledge in that 12-year-old head of his.

Pudong as a backdrop for boat traffic

Pudong as a backdrop for boat traffic

We have some amazing views along the river, and luckily the haze in the sky has dissipated on this lovely afternoon.

Oriental Pearl TV Tower and  the Pudong skyline

Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Pudong skyline

I also have a chat with a French woman who’s on a whirlwind tour of Beijing, Guilin, Shanghai and Hong Kong.  It’s a beautiful day with a cool breeze and I enjoy commiserating with her and other travelers along the way.

Pudong skyline with Jinmao Tower

Pudong skyline with the Shanghai World Financial Center

tall towers

tall towers

Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong

Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong

Oriental Pearl

Oriental Pearl

Pudong from the river

Pudong from the river

Pudong from the river

Pudong from the river

Shanghai International Convention Center

Shanghai International Convention Center

Facing the river near the Oriental Pearl TV Tower is the white wing-shaped Shanghai International Convention Center.

Shanghai International Convention Center & Oriental Pearl Tower

Shanghai International Convention Center & Oriental Pearl Tower

Oriental Pearl Tower & Shanghai International Convention Center

Oriental Pearl Tower & Shanghai International Convention Center

Oriental Pearl Tower & Shanghai International Convention Center

Oriental Pearl Tower & Shanghai International Convention Center

We go a little further northeast along the river and then turn around and head back.  Sadly, the sun is still not at the best angle to see the Bund clearly.

skyscrapers in Pudong

skyscrapers in Pudong

along the Huangpu River

along the Huangpu River

Looking northeast along the Huangpu River

Looking northeast along the Huangpu River

the western shore

the western shore

buildings along the western shore of the river

buildings along the western shore of the river

buildings along the west shore

buildings along the west shore

Hubert sticks by my side for the whole trip, talking away the entire time.  He asks me for my phone number and adds me on WeChat.  I fear his mother is going to ask me to tutor him online, but luckily she never does.  However, his father does take a photo of the two of us together.

Hubert and me

Hubert and me

more tall buildings

more tall buildings

Suzhou Creek

Suzhou Creek

The Bund

The Bund

The Bund & the Shanghai Customs House

The Bund & the Shanghai Customs House

Colonial buildings along the Bund

Colonial buildings along the Bund

The Bund

The Bund

colorful boat

colorful boat

Coming in to the dock

Coming in to the dock

a roundish boat

a roundish boat

fancy structure

fancy structure near the boat jetty

River boat

River boat

After the boat ride, I walk back along the Bund, where I slowly, and with some trepidation, make my way back to the metro.

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Categories: Asia, Bank of China, China, Huangpu River, Huangpu River Tour, Jinmao Tower, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Pudong, Shanghai, Shanghai International Convention Center, The Bund, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “shanghai days: the huangpu river tour

  1. You got some astonishingly clear shots on this trip! Amazing! But what the heck is “the Bund” and where does that name come from and why is whatever it is, called that? Is it a district? A river quay? It has been driving me a bit crazy!

    You must be counting the minutes now…..!!!!!!

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    • Thanks so much, Mona Lisa. I was lucky to have a clear day. My second day was all rain, so not nearly so nice. As for the Bund: it’s just a strip of colonial buildings along the west bank of the Huangpu River. According to Lonely Planet China, “since 1949, it’s been known officially as Zhongshan Lu, but it’s better known by locals as Wai Tan (literally “outside beach”). Named after an old Anglo-Indian term, “bunding” (the embankment of a muddy foreshore), the Bund was old Shanghai’s commercial heart, with the river on one side, the offices of the leading banks and trading houses on the other.” In short, I guess you’d call it the riverbank!

      Now I really am counting the minutes, or at least the hours — 18!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are some marvellous shapes there – boats and buildings! I bet Hubert couldn’t believe his luck, finding someone who was so happy for him to practise his English with.

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  3. Shanghai is very impressive but I find the 120 RMB boat fare high. Maybe I’ve been in Nepal for too long.

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  4. I love the green boat and the buildings looked so different once the light was on them.

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    • Thanks, Gilly. The afternoon light got better and better throughout the day. I’ve heard Shanghai rarely has blue skies, so I was lucky. 🙂

      Like

  5. I always enjoy river cruises. They are a great way to see a city from a different perspective.

    Like

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