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The Bund Review
Shanghai's waterfront boulevard best shows both the city's pre-1949 past and its focus on the future. Today the municipal government has renovated the old buildings of this most foreign face of the city, highlighting them as tourist attractions, and even tried for a while to sell them back to the very owners it forced out after 1949. Currently, the area is undergoing a massive transformation including the closure of half the lanes of traffic along the waterfront and a revamp of the northern area near Suzhou Creek.
On the riverfront side of the Bund, Shanghai's street life is in full force. The city rebuilt the promenade, making it an ideal gathering place for both tourists and residents. In the morning, just after dawn, the Bund is full of people ballroom dancing, doing aerobics, and practicing kung fu, qi gong, and tai chi. The rest of the day people walk the embankment, snapping photos of the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Huangpu River, and each other. Be prepared for the aggressive souvenir hawkers; while you can't completely avoid them, try ignoring them or telling them "bu yao," which means "Don't want." In the evenings lovers come out for romantic walks amid the floodlit buildings and tower.
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