Sunday, 25 June 2017

Exploring Shanghai - Night Photography By The Bund

Shanghai is most famous for its iconic Skyline filled with modern skyscrapers and historic buildings; and the best place to capture this architectural beauty is at The Bund. I keep coming back here each time I visit Shanghai and always have a great time shooting around this area. Getting to the Bund is fairly simple, take the subway line 2 or 10 to Nanjing East Road Station, once you get out just look up and walk towards the tall buildings; as simple as that
Postcard View of Shanghai 
The Bund (Wai Tan) translated to an embankment in Chinese, you have the old colonial buildings on one side of the Huangpu river and modern skyscrapers on the other side. If you are photographer dont leave Shanghai without visiting the Bund. The best time to shoot the Shanghai Skyline would be around sunset but if you get a day without fog and the view of the buildings is clear consider yourself lucky. 
Peace Hotel Shanghai
Peace Hotel Shanghai built in 1929

Bund Shanghai
Old Colonial Buildings on the Bund
A legendary hotel in Shanghi built in 1929 around the Bund area along other historic structures . For more on the old buildings in Shanghi click HERE
Shanghai Clearing House Building
Shanghai Clearing House (Glen Line Building)
Taking about  the gear I was carrying my main body was Canon 50D , secondary Sony RX100 ; lenses included Tamron 18-50mm f2.8 and Tamron 11-16mm F2.8 and Manfrotto MKBFRA4R-BH Befree . The tripod really came in handy for long exposures. The shot above of the building called the Clearing house was taken at 3.2 seconds.
Swatch Art Hotel
My favourtie  part of the Bund is the west side lined with 52 beautiful old buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance. The Bund was the centre of Shanghai's economy and culture for hundreds of years. Consulates of most countries and many banks, businesses and newspaper offices were also started here.
The Union Building 
Customs House Clock Tower Shanghai
Customs House Clock Tower 
 The Customs House was built in the year 1927, it has eight stories and a beautiful clock tower on the roof  that makes this building stand out
The Great Northern Telegraph Company Building

Beautiful Old building on the Bund 

Clock Tower on the Bund

The Union Building  Shanghai
The Union Building 

Shanghai Club Building on the Bund
Shanghai Club

Shanghai Travel Blog
Chasing light trails 

The Bund Financial Bull
The Bund Financial Bull

Heritage Buildings Shanghai Bund
Shanghai Bank Building 

Things to do around the Bund area 

  • Visit the Yu Garden the no 1 tourist destination in Shanghai , check out my blog on Yu Garden HERE 
  • To get the best view of the skyline take a river cruise on huangpu river on a classic steam boat , more on the Bund HERE
  • Visit the beautiful Jing'an Temple , link to my blog post HERE 

Pearl Tower Shanghai
Pearl Tower
Customs House Shanghai
Customs House 
I had a great time shooting around the Bund; the old buildings were beautiful and the lighting was perfect. I stuck around till midnight and then found it difficult to find a place to eat and also  cab back to my hotel. Finally ended up taking a cab for a much higher fare so my advice dont stay late here , take the last metro back.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Explore Shanghai - M50 Moganshan Lu Art District

 M50 Moganshan Lu Art District
50 Moganshan Creative Complex
M50 Creative Park is a contemporary art district tucked away in the old Industrial area in Shanghai. The park is home to about 100 artists whose work range from pottery, oil painting, sculpturing and wood work. Abandoned warehouses and factory buildings have been converted to modern studios for the artists to work and reside in. With over 100 gallery's and art studios open to the public it has become quite a popular destination for both local and international visitors. 
Shanghai Travel Blog
Wedding Ride 
This beautiful Rolls was parked on Moganshan road and it looked striking against the colourful street graffiti and I could not resist taking a photo.
Bridge over Suzhou Creek very close to the park 
The name M50 comes from the road that leads to park called Moganshan Road. The creative park was originally a textile mill called  Chunming Slub Mill, in 2000 local artist's began to move into the abandoned factory warehouses as the rents were cheap and they were able to set up workshops and studios.
Shanghai M50 Art District

Street Graffiti Shanghai

M50 Art District Travel Blog
M50 is a very interesting place to visit but getting here is not easy, the closest metro station to the park is Zhongtan Road Station. From the station its a 20 minute walk to the park, it took me about 2 hours to reach the park from Pudong. 
Art gallery Shanghai

Shanghai Street Art
Moganshan Road leading up the Art District is filled with graffiti, the walls and buildings are completely covered with colourful street art by local artists.
Explore Shanghai

 M50 Moganshan Lu Art District

 M50 Moganshan Lu Art District
My favourite place inside of M50 was this restaurant filled with antique artefacts, they had a lot of interesting gadgets from the world wars but the prices were through the roof. I recommend visiting the place for the food, I had prawn dumplings, Fried  rice,  stir fry beef for lunch and it was yummy !

If you are into Art then you will enjoy M40, but if you have not checked off the customary sights like the Bund, Yu Garden, Jingan Temple etc. I would suggest covering them first, it took me about half a day to go to M50 and get back to my hotel and honestly I was not very impressed. Also note that most of the galleries dont allow photos or videography inside the gallery's. 

Samsung Galaxy S7
All photos in the post have been shot with Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 

Friday, 2 June 2017

Exploring Shanghai - Xintiandi

Nested between the French Concession Area and Nanjing Road; Xintiandi is a beautiful upscale neighborhood in Shanghai famous for its vibrant nightlife and high end shopping. The name Xintiandi literally translates to “New World” and the area certainly does live up to its name. The streets of Xintiandi are lined with old Shikumen style brick buildings which gives the place  a unique character. 
Streets of Xintiandi in Shanghai CHINA
Maple Trees and Brick buildings of Xintiandi
Shikumen style buildings started appearing in Shanghai in the mid 1800's combining both western and Chinese architecture. It was during the Taiping Rebellion when civil war broke out in China; all the ministers, businessmen and people of power moved to the concession area to escape the war.
Xintiandi Travel Blog
Location of the first Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
I had visited Xintiandi a couple of times before but always in the night,if you are on a business trip its usually the place clients take you out for a drink on a Friday night. This time around I went there on a cloudy Saturday morning, the weather was chilly and there were hardly any people around. I spent around 2 hour walking around the old historic lanes and visiting the Shikumen Museum. 
Xintiandi Travel Blog
Renovated Shikumen lane in Xintiandi
Shikumen Architecture
Shikumen translated to "stone gate" 
Xintaindi must be experienced both during the day and night; you can explore the Shikumen buildings, shop at the high end boutiques and try some fine food at award wining restaurants during the day and at night hit up one of the many bars and cocktail lounges for a fun night out. 
Shanghai Night Life
Greyhound Cafe 
A boutique that sells high end ceramics 
Alleyways of  Xintiandi 
Had lunch at Glasshouse , good food and not that expensive 

Places to Eat

  • Glasshouse - reasonably priced 
  • Din Tian Fung for yummy dumping 
  • Paulaner for beer and sausages 
al fresco dining at Paulaners Pub
Green & Safe - very cool grocery store 
Places to see near Xintiandi
  • The Bund - best view of the Shanghai skyline 
  • Yu Garden - ancient Chinese garden 
  • East Nanjing Road 
  • Jing'an Temple 

Travel Tips
  • Best way to get here is my the subway as roads can get clogged with traffic 
  • After 2:00 am its very difficult to get  a cab and also they usually charge you double