Huangpu River

With Pudong to the East and Puxi to the west, the Huangpu river connects both sides of the city.

TravelCurious Tip

If you take the cruise along the river, be aware it is three hours long. Take snacks and something to drink!

The Huangpu runs for 113 kilometres, cutting through Shanghai and forming a tributary of the Yangtze before it empties into the East China Sea. It was excavated by Lord Chunsen, one of the Four Lords of the Warring States during the Warring States period (475 BC - 221 BC). It is the largest river in Shanghai, on average 400 metres wide and nine metres deep.

A Tale of Two Cities

The Huangpu slices Shanghai in two: giving us Pudong on the east bank and Puxi on the west. Puxi is the older cultural and residential centre of Shanghai. Along the west bank you can find the Huangpu Park, the Bund and the Monument to People’s Heroes. But it is the east bank that will hold you attention. Pudong has shot up in the last twenty years and is home to Shanghai’s most magnificent steel and glass skyscrapers. Shanghai Tower is no less than 565.6 metres tall!

Cruise Control

Many of Shanghai’s great attractions are assembled along the Huangpu, and river cruises have become a popular tourist activity with good reason. Moving along the river, and looking from left to right, is like looking at a cross-section of Shanghai’s history through its architecture. But it’s not just the marvellous buildings you can admire: a cruise is the perfect way to see the famous “three-colour waters” when the grey-blue Huangpu converges with the yellow silt Yangtze and the green waters of the East Sea during high tide.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Shanghai
Known as the 'Soho of Shanghai', this area was originally a lane factory but now an entertainment hotspot.
Ferry Ride
With their century old transport history in Shanghai, ferry boats remain a popular choice.
Sheng jian bao
Similar to the Xiao long bao, these dumplings are pan fried and dangerously delicious.
Deep fried Wonton
Delicious pork dumplings deep-fried and served with vinegar.
Yellow Wine
This distinctly flavoured traditional Chinese wine is made from fermented rice.
Flower and Bird Market
This is where locals go to buy turtles, fish and flowers and it is one of few traditional markets left.

Related Tours

Private Full Day Tour of Shanghai
Known as the ‘Paris of the Orient’, Shanghai is steeped in culture, history and glamour in equal measure. Get to the heart of this fascinating city in our best of Shanghai full day tour.

  • Commence your tour at the iconic Jade Buddha Temple 
  • Take in your tranquil surroundings by People's Square 
  • Venture through Shanghai Old Town, and get lost in Yuyuan Garden 
  • Visit the revered Old City of God Temple 
  • Learn about Shanghai in the 21st century, at Tianzifang
  • Walk along the picturesque Bund 
  • Enjoy a ferry ride across the Huangpu River to the futuristic Pudong on the east
Temple, Museum and The Square

Your day begins at the famous Jade Buddha Temple, home to a priceless collection of jade statues. The temple is designed in the breathtaking architectural style of the Song Dynasty and is the base of the Shanghai Buddhist Institute. Continue on to People’s Square. This beautiful green spacer is a hub of daily activity, and you will be surrounded by other well-known attractions, such as the great Shanghai Museum. 

Old Shanghai

Your adventure moves on to Shanghai Old Town and the enchanting Yuyuan Garden. You will see the old style buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasty and have the chance to stop and try delicious local delicacies recommended by your guide. You will also visit the revered  Old City of God Temple and learn about its statues in Taoism.

Shanghai Today

Move on from the traditional and learn more about Shanghai’s present as you head down to the exciting Tianzifang - the ‘Soho of Shanghai’. Then walk along the most famous landmark, the Bund. From this beautiful waterfront, enjoy a perfect end to your day as you take a ferry ride across the Huangpu River to the futuristic Pudong on the east. 
Private Half-Day Tour of Shanghai
 As China's largest and most affluent city Shanghai is rarely static, a city of mind-blowing proportions and an ever-changing urban footprint. Sky-bound superstructures, gleaming designer malls and sweeping, futuristic bridges characterise this modern megalopolis yet Shanghai - meaning City of The Sea - has a history that spans over a thousand years. On your private guided tour of Shanghai, you will enjoy the old, the new, and everything spanning in between. 
  • Enjoy the quietude of the iconic Jade Buddha Temple built in 1882.
  • Yield to the buzz of the city in leafy People's Square
  • Relish Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture and the hallowed Old City of God Temple 
  • Stroll historic Shanghai Old Town to Yuyuan Garden and the bustling Bazaar 
  • Soak up views across the Huangpu River at the Bund, a waterfront promenade
Beginning life as a tiny fishing village, the city now represents China’s 21st showcase of dynamism in art and design. Upscale apartments, glitzy bars and restaurants overshadow Shanghai’s humble origins. Yet the city owes much to the Yangzi River delta where China's main waterway completes its 5,500-km journey to the Pacific - the trade route on which Shanghai blended East-meets-West culture was born. 

Parts of Shanghai were once independently ruled by British, French, and American colonists and each presence has left its telltale mark on the architectural and societal character of the city. This  contrasting mix of cultures has paved the way for an openness to Western influences found in modern Shanghai. See the ancient and the modern, beginning with the Jade Buddha Temple, a beautiful Song Dynasty-era building flanked by statues. Denoting the geographical heart of the city, leafy People’s Square forms a lively daily hub in the thick of it. In Old Shanghai you see the enchanting Yuyuan Garden and the city’s historic Bazaar amidst a storied building of the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The 15th century Old City of God Temple is a grand place of Taoist worship while the Bund, a mesmerizing 1.5 km esplanade along the Huangpu River, cafés, restaurants and chichi boutiques boast prized views of the Lujiazui skyline.


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