Sin City Shanghai | For a short time in the beginning of the 20th century Shanghai carried the nickname “Paris of the East”. Shanghai was the island of wickedness on the Asian continent. You could get drugs on hotel service and amazingly cheap and good sex. Lead by the British and French, Shanghai catered to every dangerous obsession imaginable.
In the 1920s and 1930s, this exotic city lured thousands of adventurers, gamblers, drug addicts and high-flyers to its streets teeming with prostitutes and opium … In 2005 the Canadian TV channel CBC broadcasted a valuable historic documentary about the sin city Shanghai. First Broadcast : 15 Feb. 2005
When British consul George Balfour envisaged the future of a British-only settlement at the location of today’s Shanghai he stood on a piece of marshland by the Huangpu River. That was in 1843. No British colonialist could have imagined the prosperous modern metropolis to come. A settlement was built to house an influx of refugees from the Chinese hinterland. At this point Shanghai was just a rudimentary division of land blocks driven by pragmatism. East-west roads were laid towards the Huangpu River bank, which has lasted to this day as the enduring urban feature of Shanghai: the Bund.
The first settlers slept rough, just hoping to make some quick bucks in Shanghai. Nobody did intend to stay put for long. The Bund river frontage with easy waterways turned out to be a convenient and strategic location for the British. The French took note of this advantage. In 1856 they secured a segment between the old Shanghai town and the British Bund as the French Bund, though not as grand. Shanghai became a haven in times of conflict. You find a very interesting read about the history of Shanghai at citymetric.com
As part of this series, CBC aired two more documentaries worth watching. Therefore we have two more links for you. One is for Shanghai and the other one for Berlin -> Sin City Paris | Sin City Berlin.
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