Day and Night at the Bund, Shanghai

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The Bund is probably the most recognisable image of Shanghai, and definitely it’s most famous sight. As a result, it was high on our to-visit list, anticipating breathtaking views of an amazing skyline.

Our first visit was somewhat disappointing due to the unbelievable haze prevalent in China. Even looking across the river the buildings were as if an old, faded backdrop of a theatre show; less a view than a clouded kind of painting. The haze was so thick that visibility was quite limited. All the pictures you see of the Bund with beautiful blue skies and fluffy white clouds? We missed out on that. I’m not entirely sure that those pictures aren’t photoshopped to hell!

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We decided to go back again in the evening, as I was SURE that it would be more impressive at night. I had some idea that it would be like the Hong Kong skyline at night: beautifully lit up and colourful and incredible. It definitely wasn’t as amazing as Hong Kong, but it was rather nice.

So we went back as dusk was falling and watched the sky fade to blues and violets and pinks before turning dark. The haze wasn’t quite as terrible and we could see further as darkness fell than we’d been able to see at noon a few days earlier.

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However, it was absolutely packed! Hordes of people awaited the twilight, and more and more packed in. Families reserved spots on decks and couples milled around paying salesmen for photos printed on the spot. We’d managed to hold onto a bit of the railing for a while, but as the light changed we thought we’d wander south and check out some different views.

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It was so much nicer at night than during the day, mostly because of the beautiful lights and the reflections in the water but also because the haze wasn’t quite so dreadful. It was also slightly cooler and marginally less humid, which was most definitely a blessing!

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