By syw on Apr 24, 2008
Cross posted at http://www.nomadicminds.org
HuangPu River carved the lovely Bund, the prime financial real estate since China leased this area to Britain in 1870s. It slices the city into halves.
ShangHai City started from the west side (PuXi) and expanded east, toward the sea. The river exacted a distance tax to PuDong, or the east of HuangPu river. It accepted to be the lesser part of ShangHai.
No more. Its rural land provided growth space for high-tech industries. The adjacency to the new airport and sea ports makes it a better choice of trade, light manufacturing, and the steel industry. PuDong is now rich, modern, and vibrant. PuXi, however, remains charming, classic, and the choice location for the best restaurants.
The necessity of crossing the river is a daily nightmare. Subway network is not yet mature. Tunnels are frustrating. Bridges are inconvenient detours. Then, I found the lovely alternative: the ferry. I like ferries.
There are two commuter ferry lines (and many tourist ones). The shorter one costs 0.50 RMB and the longer one 2. A short wait beacons the boat and begins the leisure crossing. I soaked in busy river activities and understood the role this river plays to the prosperity of this biggest city of China.