Keep your eyes open for the “three-colour waters” when the grey Huangpu converges with the yellow Yangtze and the green East Sea during high tide
Rivers are central to Shanghai. The Huangpu cuts through the city, diving it into two parts: Pudong New District to the east and Puxi Area to the west. Then the Yangtze separates the three islands of Chongming, Changxing and Hengsha from the mainland. Bridges obviously exist, but it is no surprise that ferries have come to assume some importance in the city’s transport system.
Road traffic and metro sardine-packing can be quite intense in Shanghai, so ferries can offer something a little more relaxed. Moreover, they are convenient and very cheap indeed. But the ferries aren’t just for getting around: there are sightseeing lines that run along stretches of the rivers, taking in the famous attractions along the banks.
The Puxi side of the river is the cultural and entertainment centre of Shanghai, with the Bund, Monument to People’s Heroes, Waibaidu bridge and Huangpu Park drifting into view along the river. The Pudong side has only really developed in the last twenty years, in a pretty explosive way, and has become a financial hub of China. Some of Shanghai’s most impressive steel and glass beasts live there: you will be transfixed by the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Jin Mao Tower and the 565.6 metre Shanghai Tower.
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