With just a week left Kim and I decided to head to the World Financial Centre and the Bund to take some night pictures. The smog was down to 53 ppm – almost half of what it has been the last month. There was no rain so it looked like a plan. I was feeling a little crappy from some sort of stomach flu but decoded to brave it because this is our last week to get out and see this. It seems so strange to be leaving China. It is weird that most of the Chinese folks we have met never do the Chinese tourist thing. Even the majority of our students who are quite affluent, have never been to the Great Wall. I guess this is like living in Vancouver and never seeing the Capilano Suspension Bridge or the top of Grouse Mountain. You just assume you will see it one day, but not this weekend.
Anyways, we took the subway and rode the express elevator to the top of the SWFC (Shanghai World Financial Centre) The elevator went 8 metres a second and we were up to the 97th floor in under a minute. They had a very cool light show happening in the elevator to give you the impression you were really moving. With our ears a popping it was a very cool effect! Here are some photos.
You can see how smoggy Shanghai is. (Cough cough) The tower with the ball is the Pearl Radio Tower. I was up that one on my last visit to China but the SWFC has a much better view and a lot better AC in the building. This is important if you visit in the summer!
The SWFC is also called the Bottle Opener building because of it’s shape. It is also the building Tom Cruise’s stunt double jumped from (with a parachute) in Mission Impossible 2. Kim and I took the elevator down.
Here we are on the observation deck 100 floors above Pudong. Sorry in my previous blog I reported it was 140 stories high, I stand corrected it’s only 100. The new building going up is about that height; it opens sometime in 2014.
The green and blue buildings in the background have interactive light shows that happen from 7:00pm until about 10pm at night. They are very cool.
Here we are looking at the Bund on the other side of the river. Our next stop.
Here is the SWFC from outside. Kim and I left the SWFC, got good and lost and by chance walked by a ferry terminal that could take us to the Bund for only 2RMB (about 30 cents). Of course we went and crossed over to our side of the Huang Pu River.
Here we are crossing the Huang Pu River. All of these buildings are are just dancing with light displays and advertisements. It’s like Christmas in Times Square.
You gotta love Shanghai. It’s is just spectacular at night and very safe to walk down the darkest of side streets.
Once we docked we saw all of the Bund buildings lit up. They were gorgeous structures built sometime in the 1920-1930’s when England had a big influence on Shanghai.
This is a very crowded place, even at night. Night time is a very social time especially for the younger people. First, they all work until 7:00 pm it seems and second, the temperature drops a little so it is much cooler. Nothing worse than trying to impress a girl when your shirt is soaking wet with sweat.
As you can see there is lots of traffic as well, although most of the people at the Bund come down by subway (The nearest stop is about 5 blocks away) or by taxi which is very cheap.
All of these building have very high end restaurants and stores here. We looked at a couple of these places to eat online and while they report good atmosphere they often pan both the food and the service. We know where to eat and the Bund is not the place.
It was pushing close to 10:00 and we still hadn’t eaten dinner, so Kim and I hailed a taxi and paid our 3 bucks to get home to our apartment. All in all a very successful trip. Shame about that smog. Thanks to Kim for supplying all these fab pics with her new NIKON!