Friday, July 10, 2009

Lights in the sky

When you encounter a riverfront like the Shanghai Bund, it’s easy to see why the earliest cities were always built by the banks of a river — it becomes a lively hub of activity. Shanghai’s historical administrative buildings line one side of the Bund along the Huangpu, creating a regal line-up of sedate, impressive buildings.

On the other side is the new Pudong district, the forever-twinkling downtown area, with its office buildings and the riverside restaurants. It’s also where the iconic Orient Pearl TV tower, the third tallest in the world, looms on the skyline like a glittering jewel.

On the slightly overcast Shanghai evening, the Bund seems like the very place to go for a relaxing stroll after a shopping spree at the adjoining Nanjing Street. There are skateboarders and kite flyers, kids with their grandparents, lovers and families out for a walk. Roaming peddlers sell sticks of barbecued meat that sizzle in the cool evening temptingly. And the irresistible river ferries, strung up with fairy lights, seem to be beckoning us. We hop on to one for a dinner cruise. For the next couple of hours, Shanghai glitters and sparkles past the railing, as we sit back and enjoy the breeze and a slow meal.

a version of this will be published in the hindustan times tomorrow

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