Bund Sightseeing Tunnel Shanghai photographed byJakob Wagner
This psychedelic tourist trap is a leisurely descent into madness
When trying to cross the Huang Pu River in Shanghai’s bustling Bund district, you can either hop on an inexpensive metro car, or you can take a psychedelic trip through the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel.
Located under the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower, the tunnel was built to be one of the Bund’s major tourist attractions, and still manages to draw large numbers of travelers despite costing more than ten times as much as the metro. Although riders do get a rather mind-blowing (if dated) experience. After hopping into a small, futuristic rail car, riders are leisurely carried through a tunnel which is covered in pulsing, strobing lights that attempt to simulate flight through some acid-soaked version of space. The bombardment of flashing lights and colors is accompanied by a rather ominous soundtrack punctuated by an occasional intonation of English words such as “…shining star…” and “…hell…” It is unclear whether the ride is trying to evoke wonder or terror, but both reactions seem appropriate.Despite its name, the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel offers no Shanghai sights other than its own sensory bombardment. The entire ride lasts just under five minutes, but the mind-blowing light show could have much more lasting effects