Just a month ago I was in Shanghai, shivering in 2-8 Celsius and eating 20 dishes at one meal. But I can’t complain, since it was my first visit to Shanghai and I had a blank canvas to fill.
BELOW: A typical meal in Shanghai. Oh yums! :DD
After 5 days, I have toured picturesque gardens, stood high over Shanghai city in Oriental Pearl TV Tower, cruised over water villages and posed with famous celebrities (albeit wax ones).
Done with the Air Asia X launch of AAX inaugural Shanghai flight at Shanghai Paramount building just a day earlier, we went on a relaxed tour of Shanghai city, starting with a hearty breakfast at our hotel Courtyard by Marriot and then straight to the iconic Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
Traffic in Shanghai can be busy at times but we were there during the CNY week thus many citizens were still on their CNY break, which turned out well for us as the roads were pretty clear.
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower were majestic even from a far distance. I have been up many high towers – KLCC (duhhh!), the Eureka Skydeck 88 in Melbourne and even the Taipei 101. Frankly, high rise buildings overlooking the city landscape (meaning more buildings) doesn’t exactly thrill me.
Still, if you’re in Shanghai and needed an adrenaline rush, make your way to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and look down at 259 metres above ground level! I guarantee tingles down your spine even if you’re not afraid of heights!
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is located in Pudong Park in Lujiazui, Shanghai. The tower, surrounded by the Yangpu Bridge in the northeast and the Nanpu Bridge in the southwest, and it’s supposed to create a picture of ‘twin dragons playing with pearls’.
I’m not getting any visual of “dragons playing with pearls” here but you know the Chinese and their dragons. Anyhow, look carefully below and you can see there are three large spheres including the top sphere, known as the space module. Then there are five smaller spheres ( see the same-sized spheres in the middle of the tall structure? ) and three decorative spheres on the tower base.
This 468 meters (1,536 feet) high tower is the world’s 3rd tallest TV and radio tower surpassed in height only by towers in Toronto, Canada and Moscow, Russia. That’s taller than the Fuji TV Tower in Odaiba, Japan which I visited just last year.
Its base is supported by three seven-meter wide slanting stanchions (see below). Surrounding the eleven steel spheres that are ‘strung’ vertically through the center of the tower are three nine-meter wide columns.
Security is tight and there were bags and body scans before we enter the building, not unlike at the airport.
Visitors travel up and down the tower in double-decker elevators that can hold up to 50 people at the rate of 7 meters per second. A pretty elevator attendant recite an introduction to the TV Tower in English and Chinese during the rapid 1/4-mile ascent.
At the top, a variety of activities are available as the various spheres and columns actually house places of interest, commerce, and recreation. We started at the top sphere which has a futuristic space capsule/city and a circular sightseeing observatory.
On a clear day a visitor can see all the way to the Yangtze River. Since the sphere is circular, a full walk takes you on a “quick tour” around the whole city of Shanghai.
I find these pointers on the glass rather helpful since there are no tour guides to show you around and explain which building is which (unless you’re here in your own tour group).
On another floor, at 267 metres, visitors can enjoy both spectacular views and food (buffet-style); at the revolving restaurant.
Done with the upper sightseeing floor, we moved down where another circular fun begins again. This time the viewing deck is divided into 2 sections, with the outer section open (chilly wind can be felt blowing in from gaps in the glass enclosure) with transparent glass as walkways.
Here tourists had a field day posing and taking pictures of themselves with numerous creative poses.
I just had to do some funky ones myself too!
The view from the top can be pretty amazing for some. For me it was the architectural wonder that held my interest. This ultra-modern tower combines ancient concepts such as the spherical pearls, but yet equipped with 21st Century technology, commerce, recreation, educational and conference facilities.
Yet at the core of it, its actual purpose is really a TV and radio tower that services the Shanghai area with more than 9 television channels and upwards of ten FM radio channels.
Done with heights, we moved on to the lower sphere of the tower which is home to a Game City, Indoor Roller Coaster and a 5D cinema.
At the base of the tower more cafes and a large exhibition area for commercial purposes allows tourists more legroom to explore. Similarly, the layout is circular too.
If you’re a history buff, then the Shanghai History Museum might interest you with a multimedia exhibition presenting from the beginning to the modern day of Shanghai.
All in all, one could easily spend a whole day within the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
The exit area is expectantly crowded with souvenir shops but it was this Coke themed cafe, aptly named Coca-Cola Bar that caught our attention! Can I have a ride? 😀
Souvenir shopping anyone? Big stores, small stores, there’s no reason not to shop! Well, other than if you’re broke.
I for one won’t mind this but it wasn’t for sale. 🙁
And finally we got out!
The area just outside of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower has a massive walkway (again circular) which is like a pedestrian bridge.
Tourists and locals stroll along and snap shots of the surrounding buildings and themselves. Needless to say we did the same. From the “bridge”, one can get up or down via escalators that works in any weather – as assured by our tour guide. Even if it’s snowing, the escalators work.
We moved on to lunch and then People’s Square, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum & Huangpu River Cruise after this but I have separated that into another post as this post is getting way to long to stroll down! Read about that HERE! 😀
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower
NOTE: Additional info below from : http://www.travelchinaguide.com
By bus: Take bus 81, 795, 799, 870, 961, 971, 985, 993, 996, Cai Lu Special Line or City Sightseeing Bus and get off at Dong Fang Ming Zhu (Oriental Pearl) Station.
By subway: Take Subway Line 2 and get off at Lujiazui Station. Get out from Exit 1 and you can see the tower.
|Entrance Fee (including the visit to the sightseeing hall on the second sphere)||08:30-21:30||RM 50|
|Sightseeing hall on the second sphere and Shanghai Municipal History Museum||08:30-21:30||Rm 56|
|Shanghai Municipal History Museum (in the second sphere)||08:30-21:30||Rm 18|
|Through Ticket for Two Spheres (including the entrance fee and the fee for the Shanghai Municipal History Museum)||08:30-21:30||RM 67|
|Through Ticket for Three Spheres (including the entrance fee, the fee for the Shanghai Municipal History Museum and the upper sphere – the Space Module)||08:30-21:30||RM 75|
There is a revolving restaurant inside the second sphere of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. The restaurant mainly offers western style buffets. While dining, customers can appreciate the beautiful scene of the city. Customers of the revolving restaurant can also enjoy free visit of the tower, including the three spheres and the Shanghai Municipal History Museum. The cost of the restaurant is listed here for your reference:
|Buffet Lunch||11:00-14:00||Rm 133|
|Buffet Dinner||17:00-21:00||Rm 148|
Height: 468 meters
Address: 2号 Lujiazui Ring Rd, Pudong, Shanghai, China
** This is a media trip with the Air Asia X team together with media from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. We were in Shanghai for the Air Asia X inaugural Shanghai flight launch and had the good fortune to explore Shanghai for 5D4N.