River­front trail of­fers chance to see city in new per­spec­tive

China Daily European Weekly - - Advertorial - By YUAN SHENGGAO Tusushang­hai

If you are look­ing for a good way to ex­plore Shang­hai’s past, present and fu­ture, then the 45-kilo­me­ter wa­ter­front trail along the Huangpu River can hardly be beaten.

The trail, com­prised of walk­ing, jog­ging and cy­cling lanes, was opened to the pub­lic ear­lier this year. It me­an­ders through five dis­tricts from a north­ern ter­mi­nus at the Yangpu Bridge to its south­ern end at Xupu Bridge.

Shang­hai’s in­dus­trial past can be seen along the 2.8-km sec­tion in Yangpu dis­trict, where for­eign-built mills and a ship­yard are lo­cated. There’s also the city’s first wa­ter plant, which is still op­er­a­tional to­day — more than 100 years af­ter it was built. Re­fresh­ments are avail­able from nearby pubs that of­fer great food and beer.

At the 2.5-km sec­tion of the trail in Hongkou dis­trict, the fu­tur­is­tic sky­scrapers of Shang­hai’s Lu­ji­azui fi­nan­cial area can be seen.

In Huangpu dis­trict, mean­while, there are stun­ning views of old Shang­hai such as the Waibaidu Bridge, China’s first full-steel bridge that was built in 1908. Also in­cluded in this 3.2-km sec­tion is The Bund, a fa­mous part of the city’s wa­ter­front with more than 50 for­eign-style build­ings, all of which are more than a cen­tury old.

Else­where, an 8.9-km sec­tion of the trail through Xuhui dis­trict links an ar­ray of mu­se­ums and art gal­leries. The Yuz Mu­seum was formerly an air­craft hangar, the Long Mu­seum used to be a coal-load­ing dock, while the Star Mu­seum was a rail­way sta­tion.

By 2020, there are ex­pected to be 10 mu­se­ums open to the pub­lic along this sec­tion, ac­cord­ing to Chen Zi­han, a land­scape de­signer at the West Bund Group — the main de­vel­oper of Xuhui dis­trict’s river­side.

In Pudong New Area on the east bank of the Huangpu River, vis­i­tors can look on in awe at mod­ern Lu­ji­azui, home to the fa­mous Oriental Pearl Tower and the more re­cent Shang­hai Tower.

To help raise aware­ness of the trail, the Shang­hai Sur­vey­ing and Map­ping In­sti­tute re­leased a map of it on Chi­nese WeChat ac­count last year. The map helps vis­i­tors lo­cate at­trac­tions, re­strooms and pub­lic trans­porta­tion along the trail.

“I took my 5-year-old daugh­ter for night­time walks along the Yangpu, Hongkou, Huangpu and Pudong sec­tions dur­ing the week­ends this sum­mer, and the ex­pe­ri­ence and night­time views were fas­ci­nat­ing,” said Yang Yi, a res­i­dent who lives in Shang­hai’s Yangpu dis­trict.

“Some­times, young kids will ask ques­tions about the city they live in, but it is dif­fi­cult to ex­plain with­out real ex­pe­ri­ences. Now, things are get­ting eas­ier.”

Yang’s daugh­ter also en­joyed the ferry trip from the Yangpu to the Pudong sec­tions of the trail, be­cause it taught her that “fer­ries used to be a ma­jor mode of trans­porta­tion in Shang­hai be­fore the Huangpu River’s bridges and tun­nels were built”, he said.

CHEN MINGSONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

The 45-kilo­me­ter trail along the Huangpu River is a new land­mark in Shang­hai to ex­plore the city’s past, present and fu­ture.

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