The Bund

Shanghai, China

The Bund


The Bund or Waitan (Chinese: 外滩; pinyin: Wàitān, Shanghainese romanization: Nga3thae1, pronounced [ŋà.tʰɛ́], lit. 'Outer Beach') is a waterfront area and a protected historical district in central Shanghai. The area centers on a section of Zhongshan Road (East Zhongshan Road No.1) within the former Shanghai International Settlement, which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River in the eastern part of Huangpu District. The area along the river faces the modern skyscrapers of Lujiazui in the Pudong District. The Bund usually refers to the buildings and wharves on this section of the road, as well as some adjacent areas. From the 1860s to the 1930s, it was the rich and powerful center of the foreign establishment in Shanghai, operating as a legally protected treaty port.

The term "bund" was borrowed into English from Hindi and originally referred to a dyke or embankment. Within the Chinese treaty ports, it was applied specifically to an embanked quay which ran along the shore. The Chinese name for the Bund is unrelated in origin: it literally means "outer bank", and distinguishes this part of the riverfront from the "inner bank" adjacent to the old city of Shanghai.

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