Located in the central part of Shanghai, the Bund got its name from a desolate beach outside the old Shanghai City. The area centers on a section of Zhongshan Road, which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River, facing Pudong. The Bund usually refers to the buildings and wharves on this section of the road, as well as some adjacent areas. The Bund symbolizes Shanghai's history and has been given the reputation of "The Oriental Wall Street". Even today, visitors can still feel the prosperity of the old Shanghai, when looking at those old buildings.
The word "bund" means an embankment or an embanked quay. The word comes from the Hindi-Urdu word band, which has Persian origins and meant an embankment, levee or dam (a cognate of English terms "bind", "bond" and "band", and the German word "Bund", etc). In Chinese port cities, the English term came to mean, especially, the embanked quay along the shore. In English, "Bund" is pronounced to rhyme with "fund". There are numerous sites in India, China, and Japan which are called "bunds" (e.g. the Yokohama Bund). However, "The Bund" as a proper noun almost invariably refers to this stretch of embanked riverfront in Shanghai
The Bund stretches one mile along the bank of the Huangpu River. Traditionally, the Bund begins at Yan'an Road in the south and ends at Waibaidu Bridge in the north, which crosses Suzhou Creek.
The Bund centres on a stretch of the Zhongshan Road, named after Sun Yat-sen. Zhongshan Road is a largely circular road which formed the traditional conceptual boundary of Shanghai city "proper". To the west of this stretch of the road stands some 52 buildings of various Western classical and modern styles which is the main feature of the Bund. To the east of the road was formerly a stretch of parkland culminating at Huangpu Park. This area is now much reduced due to the expansion of Zhongshan Road. Further east is a tall levee, constructed in the 1990s to ward off flood waters. The construction of this high wall has dramatically changed the appearance of the Bund.
Near the Nanjing Road intersection stands what is currently the only bronze statue along the Bund. It is a statue of Chen Yi, the first Communist mayor of Shanghai. At the northern end of The Bund, along the riverfront, is Huangpu Park, in which is situated the Monument to the People's Heroes - a tall, abstract concrete tower which is a memorial for the those who died during the revolutionary struggle of Shanghai dating back to the Opium Wars.