Shanghai by Night

Aside from the cold and wet weather my trip to Shanghai was pretty good. The city stands out as being surprisingly un-Chinese with its mixture of stark modern skyscrapers, European colonial remnants and the odd monstrosity (see Oriental Pearl Tower above).

Alcholic Soup!

Having travelled from the warmer climes of Shenzhen my first port of call upon arriving was to buy a coat which I had stupidly neglected to bring. After warmth was taken care of it was time for sustenance which came by way of an interesting soup concoction of sweet rice wine with glutinous rice balls and even more rice served warm. Just by the smell you could tell the alcohol content was pretty high but it wasn’t unpleasant, especially on a cold day.


It was then time to have a prowl along the shores of Pudong and gaze up at the towering giants of commerce that line the eastern side of the shoreline. If cathedrals were the places of worship for our ancestors surely skyscrapers have replaced them as the new objects of wonder and mystical power. You can’t help drawing the analogy with the “Tower of Babel” here with each successive construction vying for the title of world’s highest.

 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

Genesis 11:4

Construction has already begun on the 632 m “Shanghai Tower” which will be the tallest in China and one of the tallest in the world once complete in 2014. No signs of any recession around here!


On the opposite side of the Huangpu River, The Bund is a much more restrained affair where dozens of historical buildings that once housed numerous banks and trading houses from around the globe are situated. Planning has been much more carefully controlled here where new building heights are restricted.

Nanjing Rd

Above: Nanjing Road East, where ’30s European architecture meets neon signage in an odd fusion of styles. It’s apparently the longest shopping street in the world at around 6km long. Think Oxford Street but even busier.

Below: A short video I put together from a few clips I shot along the way whilst freezing my hands off in the process (stay tuned for the bonus fish at the end!).

More mind-boggling architecture from Shanghai soon.

David avatar

6 responses

  1. sabrina avatar

    Hey, very nice pictures and video.I also shoot the HuangPu river from both sides, but a bit yellower than yours, I didn’t use triple.

  2. Yeah, taking pictures/video at night is pretty hard. I didn’t use a tripod either so mainly rested my camera on walls etc. The photos are a bit noisy when you look at them closely but passable – my Lumix LX3 seems pretty good for this.

    Rebecca – thanks for reminding me of the soups name!

  3. Rebecca avatar

    The soup is what I told you”Tang yuan”I think,so finally you tried it:P

  4. Pritam avatar

    Wow! I asked you few months ago that how to take nice pictures at night. You replied and gave me a link(Canon’s website) and said that “I’m not the best person to answer this question”. No doubt you lied. I wonder how did you do this miracle with your camera? I think these are the best (maybe perfect) night pictures I have ever seen!!!


    1. Thanks Pritam but you are being too kind! When you look at the photo’s up close they are quite noisy (i.e. you can see a lot of “dirt” in the black areas) so while they look good at this size they wouldn’t print very well.

  5. Jhon Donnelly avatar
    Jhon Donnelly

    i love taking night time photography too get best photo you need a tripod and remote control save on camera shake you need set camera too bulb setting try 10 seconds at f5.6 then f8 try 10 seconds then 15 then 20 even up too 60 seconds and you soon learn what one is the best try f 16 again 10 sec 15 then 20 25 30 seconds its good fun but go with company better being safe and bring a flask get hot tea or coffee enjoy i have a lovely one off the houses off paliment taken in london and the london bride cheers jhon


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *