Monday, January 24, 2011

Shanghai: Pudong Towers

Across the Huangpu River from the Bund is Pudong, Shanghai's new corporate development area, which provided me with an entire afternoon of memorable experiences and worthy photo ops. My taxi dropped me off at the Shanghai World Finance Center... at 492m it's the tallest skyscraper in China, 2nd tallest in the world, and possesses the world's highest observatory ~ with glass floors, so cool!

The journey to the top is a high-tech Disneyland-like experience, from the ticket buying, to the elevator waiting area (complete with attractive "flight attendants"), to the elevator design and ride itself, to the observation decks, lounges, and souvenir shop... it'll put a big wow into your day. And yes, the views are incredible. The highest viewing deck is 474m (1,555 ft) above ground level. Do you have vertigo? Yikes!

The Park Hyatt Shanghai occupies floors 79-93, the highest hotel in the world, surpassing only its next door neighbor in the architecturally decorative Jin Mao Tower, the Grand Hyatt Shanghai (floors 53-87). After a cool drink at the WFC lounge
I headed down and walked toward the Oriental Pearl Tower... there's a nice park along the way (seen in the lower right of the photo below).

The Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai's most recognized landmark, has 15 observation levels, restaurants, exhibits, gaming areas for kids, shopping, and ~ my favorite ~ the Shanghai Urban History Museum in the "basement"... a fascinating chain of revealing wax-museum type exhibits (skip the tower crowds and lines ~ trust me on that ~ and also have lunch at one of the fine restaurants beside the Huangpu River nearby).

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