Meandering through beautiful Shanghai, is the majestic Huangpu River. One of the main landmarks of the city, the river divides Shanghai into two sections: Pudong and Puxi. Lovingly deemed the “Mother River of Shanghai” by locals, Huangpu River serves many purposes. It not only attracts tourists for cruises, but also provides drinking water, and functions as a shipping route for goods and drainage. Huangpu River has been an integral part of the history of the city for over 2,000 years. With such a rich history, and beautiful scenery, Huangpu River is an attraction that cannot be missed.
- Huangpu River is the largest river in Shanghai at 113 km (70 miles) long.
- On average, the river is 400 metres (1,312 feet) wide, and 9 metres (30 feet) deep.
- Huangpu River divides Shanghai into two sections: Pudong (“East Bank”) and Puxi (West Bank).
- Many attractions are located along the river, included the world-famous Bund and Lujiazui.
- Huangpu River snakes through 10 districts of the city, and a cruise along the river is one of the best ways to experience Shanghai.
History Of Huangpu River
Huangpu River was first excavated and created by Lord Chunshen sometime in the 3rd century BCE, during the Warring States period (475 to 221 BCE). Born Huang Xie, Chunshen was a renowned scholar who worked as a government official for years, then returned to the Kingdom of Chu. In 262 BCE, King Kaolie of Chu appointed him Prime Minister, bestowing him the name “Lord Chushen”. For the next quarter century, he was Prime Minister until his assassination in 238 BCE.
Lord Chushen is revered in his former fief of Wu, especially in Shanghai, where his many public works projects include the creation of Huangpu River. The Huangpu actually gets its name from Lord Chunshe’s surname, “Huang”. In addition, the river is sometimes called the “Chunshen”, or “Shen River” in his memory.
The Lord Chunshen Temple was erected in his honor during ancient times. Located in Songjiang District in what is referred to as Chunshen Village, the city rebuilt the temple in 2002.
Several extraordinary bridges cross Huangpu River including Songpu Bridge, Xupu Bridge, Lupu Bridge, Nanpu Bridge, and Yangpu Bridge.
Songpu Bridge, initially known as “Huangpu River Bridge, Cheting Bridge”, was the first to be built on the Huangpu River. First opened to traffic in 1975, this bridge crosses the river in Songjiang District.
Yangpu Bridge crosses Huangpu River from the Yangpu District in Puxi to the Pudong new area. Opened in October 1993, it is one of the world’s longest bridges spanning a total length of 8,354 meters. Because of its length, Yangpu Bridge is also one of the world’s longest cable-stay bridges.
Culture Of Huangpu River
A cruise on the Huangpu River is one of the best ways to appreciate both the extraordinary body of water, and the wonders of Shanghai. In fact, taking a cruise on the river is now a main attraction unto itself.
Visitors can choose from two different routes along the Huangpu River – the regular route and the Shanghai Expo Route. Most visitors to Shanghai choose the regular route, which passes several renowned sites and landmarks including Waibaidu Bridge, Monument to the People's Heroes, Shanghai World Financial Center, Oriental Pearl Tower, and Nanpu Bridge, to name a few.
Originally constructed in 1856, Waibaidu Bridge is a revered landmark of the old city of Shanghai. With a rich 160-year history, this bridge is the oldest and largest steel bridge in the metropolis. It stretches over Suzhou Creek, where the creek meets the Huangpu River.
Located on the banks of the river, the beautiful Huangpu Park was initially built in 1886. It was the first park in China to be opened to the public. Some of the highlights from within the park grounds that can be viewed from Huangpu River include the Monument to the People's Heroes.
Monument to the People's Heroes is situated on the southern section of the river. This towering modern edifice is said to be an abstract rendering of three rifles leaning together.
Shanghai Tower is another phenomenal highlight of any cruise on the Huangpu River. With a total height of 632 meters (2,073 feet), this gargantuan skyscraper is the tallest building in China, and the second tallest in the world. Located in Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone in the Pudong section, it is truly awe-inspiring.
Night cruises along Huangpu River are another incredible way to experience both the river, and stunning metropolis. The night-views from the river are spectacular, not to mention the overall nightscape of Shanghai.
- The best times to take a cruise on Huangpu River March to May, and September to November, when the weather is usually clement.
- Huangpu River is easily accessible via several Metro and bus routes in Shanghai.
- Cruises on Huangpu River take about 50 minutes. For those visitors who don’t want to spend as much time on a cruise, single-journey ferry rides from Pudong to Puxi take roughly 15 minutes.