If you live near the People's Square, I recommend you having a walk at the Bund in the morning before 8 am. This is the best time to visit the bund if you would like to quietly experience it and take the bund for yourself, without being bothered by travel groups, photo taking touts, car horns.
It is better to start from Yan'an East road, where is the beginning point of all the western buildings left from the colonial period at the Bund. Along the way you will be able to see the "Exhibition of the world's architecture" on the left and Pudong on the right.
The old meteorological tower
A great spot for viewing the scene of the riverside at night is a café inside the old meteorological tower. It is located at the intersection between Zhongshan East road and Yan'an East road. The old meteorological tower was the first one in China. It sent out weather reports to the ships passing by. It was deemed "the first tower in the far east". However nowadays just a short tower that is easily overlooked. The first floor of the tower is a museum while the second and third floors are café. Go earlier at night and take the sit at the third floor to the side of the river. With a cup of coffee or a beer, you will have the best experience in viewing the night scene of the Bund and Huangpu River.
Old HSBC Building
The "exhibition of the world's architecture"consists of 23 buildings. They were built during the early 19 century. The largest building is the old site of Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). There are two copper lion statues at the door: one is called Stephen, the other is called Stitt, which were the names of the chief managers of HSBC Hong Kong quarter and Shanghai quarter. However, those two lion statues were imitations; the real ones are exhibited in the museum in the Oriental Pearl Tower. The main hall of the building has 28 stone pillars; four of those are made of seamless marble. There are only 6 such pillars in the world: four is here; the other two is in the Louvre, Paris. The dome has 8 wall paintings, depicting the 8 HSBC branches in 8 cities in the world during that period. Between 2 of the paintings there is the word "we are brothers over the four seas".
The custom house bell tower
Next to the old HSBC building is the customs house. The most famous thing of that building is its bell tower, which is a reproduction of the Big Ben in London. There is one big clock and four smaller clocks. Every 15 minutes the four smaller clocks will ring and every one hour the big clock will ring. The sound is so loud that you can hear it on Binjiang Avenue across the river.
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