Pearl of the Orient
Leaving behind South Korea, we moved into our next destination; China. A new country visited in our already busy list, currently occupying the 67th place (as of 2014). Knowing there are 196 official countries in the world then this is quite an achievement so far! Not an absolute “new” country let’s specify in this note as we’ve been to Hong Kong and Macau before which belong to China under special territories though surely first time in the mainland.
After visiting Seoul some days before now arriving to Shanghai, there’s not too much difference between them in the sense of architecture. This is after all, the financial heart of China. And that title comes with an obvious outcome: the already thousands of skyscrapers the city has. More shockingly to know that all you see today has been built pretty much over the past 25 years only. Unfortunately (or fortunately), depending which kind of person you are and what interests you have behind, most of the traditional old architecture is lost on behalf of this frenetic construction and development.
Still good to know and see that the waterfront, what is named “The Bund”, has been spared and retains almost in full and intact the heart of the colonial city that Shanghai once was, in this area, the British Concession. A massive and beautiful collection of buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries with special attention to the 1930s when the city bloomed and so the art-deco new architecture embellished the city with grand constructions, most of them financial institutions like the HSBC headquarters (also shared with the Hong Kong headquarters). (more…)