It is hardly the best reminder of Shanghai’s history, but the Bund is still one of the top waterfront settings on Earth. Many of these buildings, built by European and other foreign powers as a means to strengthen their footholds in Shanghai—and greater China—still impart a colonial vibe.

But many of these monumental buildings now have Chinese companies as tenants, or are homes to international businesses that signifies China’s emergence on the global stage. And the massive walkway, which curves approximately 50 blocks along the Huangpu River, also offers views of the ultramodern buildings across the water, which are bold reminder of China’s future.

Foreign influences aside, the Bund offers an incredibly eclectic collection of architecture, and is a visual reminder of how Shanghai’s global status rivals other great cities such as Chicago, London, Mumbai and Tokyo. If you have enough time during your travel in China, be sure to make enough time to treat yourself to a walk in the early morning and at night, when the Bund comes even more alive in vivid colors. During my walk late last month, it was a particularly hazy day, which is why I eschewed the muted colors for sepia tones.

Image credits: Leon Kaye

Shanghai, China, architecture, travel, Bund, Leon Kaye

Walking towards the Bund is a treat for the eyes as well

Shanghai, China, architecture, travel, Bund, Leon Kaye

The former HSBC building

Shanghai, China, architecture, travel, Bund, Leon Kaye

The iconic Customs House

Shanghai, China, architecture, travel, Bund, Leon Kaye

Left to right- Former Chartered Bank Building, Peace Hotel and Bank of China

Shanghai, China, architecture, travel, Bund, Leon Kaye

Be sure to whip out that iPad

Shanghai, China, architecture, travel, Bund, Leon Kaye

Old Shanghai Clearing House

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.