What better than to have a specialist introduce you to Shanghai through a tour of its colonial architecture, taking you to some of the most important buildings in the French Concession and along the Bund including the former Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. The historic Bund reopened to the public on Sunday March 28, 2010 after restoration. This embankment waterfront used to house the world’s most powerful banks and trading houses from all over the world, as well as the consulates of Russia and Britain, an English language newspaper, the Shanghai Club and of course the Masonic Club.
Communist victory in the Chinese civil war temporarily put-paid to all that, at least until recently. These days western consumer brands can once more be seen on the Bund, but it would be misleading to draw a parallel with the past. Whilst the commercial vision to crack the Chinese consumer remains the same, now it's the Chinese authorities who control the playing field and set the rules.