Pudong Skyline, by night, Shanghai, China. Skyline of Pudong as seen from the Bund, with landmark Oriental Pearl tower and Jin Mao tower, Shanghai, China. The word "bund" means an embankment or an embanked quay. The word comes from the Persian word band, through Hindustani, meaning an embankment, levee or dam (a cognate of English terms "bind", "bond" and "band", and the German word "Bund", etc.). It is thus named after the bunds/levees in Baghdad along the Tigris, when the Baghdadi Jews such as the prominent Sassoon family settled their business in Shanghai in the 19th century and built heavily on the bund on the Huangpo. In these 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", without qualification as to location, usually refers to this stretch of embanked riverfront in Shanghai.
The Chinese name for the Bund is unrelated in meaning: it means literally the "outer bank," referring to the Huangpu River, because this part of the riverfront was located farther downstream than the "inner bank" area adjacent to the old walled city of Shanghai. The Shanghai Bund has dozens of historical buildings, lining the Huangpu River, that once housed numerous banks and trading houses from the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Italy, Russia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the consulates of Russia and Britain, a newspaper, the Shanghai Club and the Masonic Club. The Bund lies north of the old, walled city of Shanghai. It was initially a British settlement; later the British and American settlements were combined in the International Settlement. Magnificent commercial buildings in the Beaux Arts style sprung up in the years around the turn of the 20th century as the Bund developed into a major financial center of East Asia. D