The first leg of the No. 1 bus passes through the French Concession, giving passengers glimpses of historic villas; Art Deco apartment buildings, hotels and theaters; plane-tree lined streets; and, of course, plenty of modern Shanghai with its high rises and mega-malls. A great way to be in the thick of it all without having to do anything other than sit and enjoy the pageantry of Shanghai street life.
Sponsored by Bud. We prefer Tsingtao. Or Reeb. Anything, really, but Bud.
The bus is popular with both Chinese tourists and Shanghainese looking for a commute with a view.
Xujiahui, one of Shanghai's major shopping and dining centers, is home to the multi-story geodesic dome of Metro City, which houses restaurants, electronics shops and much more. Xujiahui also features a major Shanghai Metro stop where you can hop off the bus and pick up Line 1.
Xujiahui's Grand Gateway Mall is flanked by a pair of distinctive glass towers with slanting conical tops that give them the shape of lipstick tubes. Inside, you'll find scores of brand-name shops, restaurants and a cinema.For photos of the bus tour as it heads towards Shanghai Stadium click here. The bus passes Shanghai Stadium and stops briefly at the terminal near the Cao Xi Road metro station (Line 3). Just stay in the bus if you wish to extend your tour. An attendant will come by to ask for 3 RMB for the second leg of the journey.
The route cuts through the heart of historic Concession-era Puxi, passing through Xujiahui, past Hengshan Lu and Fuxing Lu, down Huaihai Lu and winding up just south of the Bund near the Old City and Yu Gardens.
Looking back at Xujiahui and the twin towers looming over the Grand Gateway Mall.
Xujiahui's St. Ignatius Cathedral stands on land originally donated by early Chinese Catholic convert Xu Guangqi. The Xu family also gave their name to the Xujiahui, which translates roughly as "Xu's Junction." The cathedral was originally completed in 1847 and largely reconstructed in 1906.
Approaching the Bund, passengers get an eyeful (and earful and noseful) of the construction taking place ahead of the World Expo Shanghai 2010, coming to Shanghai before you know it.
Near the Bund, riders get a good view of the Jin Mao Tower and World Financial Center, Shanghai's two tallest buildings rising from Pudong on the other side of the Huangpu River opposite the Bund.
Sunset in Shanghai under clear fall skies.For more pictures of the return leg of the journey as it heads past Yu Garden click here. All photos by Stephan Larose.